Leading fund manager Fortress Fund Managers recently launched its newest offering, a pension plan that offers greater flexibility, lower costs, and less administrative effort than standard pension plans.
René Delmas, Pension Director, Fortress Fund Managers (FFM)
The Fortress Multi-Employer Pension Plan (MEP) allows multiple companies or employers to contribute collectively to a single pension plan. In a short, engaging presentation Pension Director at Fortress, René Delmas explained that companies are allowed to join the plan even if there’s no relationship between them. The result is a coming together under the umbrella of a single pension plan.
“What does this mean?” Delmas asked. “You will need only one audit, one actuarial valuation etc. Internally, assets will be separated from company to company as it’s done now but the key thing is that as businesses come on to the plan the fixed costs will be spread across a larger base, resulting in a cheaper unit cost to administer the plan.”
The pension director added, “The job of running a pension plan now can be very costly and onerous and if you are an SME you may not have the luxury of an HR department which can manage a plan for you and organise audits and actuarial evaluations. But when you have your own pension plan this is what you have to do. Regardless of whether you have a plan or not, retirement will still be on the horizon and we have to be prepared for it. It’s for this reason that we have launched the Fortress Multi-Employer Pension Plan.”
Speaking to the benefits of the plan at the Courtyard Marriott before an audience of human resource managers, business professionals, CEOs, board members and staff, Delmas explained that it would “remove a lot of what we call the red tape. You have your business, you want to focus on that business, you know your business. The MEP allows you to join the plan and let someone else have the responsibility of managing it while you continue to take care of your business.”
Administration of the Fortress MEP does not rest with the company or employer but with a board of trustees, resulting in the alleviation of the burden of managing the plan. The two initial plan trustees are retired executives Valerie Williams and Everton Browne. Fortress will offer support and training to employers regarding operation of the plan.
The pension director concluded, “The beauty of the plan is in its flexibility. Each employer can decide what it wants for its contribution rates, retirement rates, vesting and eligibility. Think of it like a plan within a plan – many unrelated companies can join and they can have various rates and contributions but it is still one plan.”
Fortress manages more than $650 million across 11 different funds with regional and global investments.