Defined Contribution Consulting

Defined contribution (DC) plans have often been viewed as supplemental retirement plans, meant to be an addition or secondary option to the primary pension plan provided by an employer. Yet today's difficult economy and volatile financial markets have seen a trend toward DC plans as the primary or only employer-provided retirement plan available.

Sibson has a dedicated team of experienced defined contribution professionals with extensive actuarial and investment expertise, regulatory and compliance knowledge, and experience in plan design, risk mitigation, vendor searches and plan assessment studies.

Sibson can help corporations and nonprofit organizations, as well as higher education institutions, with their defined contribution consulting needs, tailoring each project to the plan’s specific concerns and objectives.

Plan Design

Careful planning and creativity are needed to ensure that the design of DC programs will meet the goals and needs of plan participants over the long term. Sibson offers a multi-disciplinary approach to assisting with the design of new defined contribution programs.

Likewise, we work with organizations to modify existing DC plans by:

  • Advising on compliance changes mandated by federal laws and regulations
  • Providing information and input on industry trends
  • Proposing changes related to fiduciary and governance structures
  • Reviewing and advising on changes to plan document provisions and administrative processes and procedures


Sibson provides ongoing compliance consulting services for DC plans by periodically reviewing plan documents and operations for compliance with federal legislative and regulatory requirements. We provide specific advice and recommendations for plan changes required to maintain compliance as well as assist administrators and legal counsel in developing plan amendments. 

Our compliance consulting services include advice on the following:

  • Trust requirements and fiduciary duties
  • Participant eligibility and participation rules
  • Required minimum distributions
  • IRC limits on contributions, benefits and compensation
  • IRS withholding, reporting and notice requirements
  • Administering direct rollovers and transfers
  • Permitted distributions
  • QDROs, loans and hardship distributions
  • IRS income and FICA tax reporting and withholding requirements
  • Federal workplace laws

Investment Consulting

Investment solutions for DC plans are provided by Segal Rogerscasey, our SEC-registered investment consulting affiliate.

As DC plans grow in prominence and asset size, sponsors are continually evaluating their investment options and looking at ways to improve them with the ultimate goal of improving a member’s retirement by offering competitive returns at the most reasonable cost possible. Continual evaluation of options is prudent and Segal Rogerscasey works with organizations to ensure they are making optimal investments.

Our investment consulting services include:

  • Ongoing monitoring and performance analysis
  • Creation and ongoing review of Investment Policy Statement
  • Administration monitoring
  • Fiduciary oversight and training
  • Selection of best-in-class investment options
  • Proposing changes related to investment options
  • Vendor searches
  • Benchmarking services (including fees and administrative services)

To learn more about our comprehensive retirement expertise, including defined benefit and hybrid plans, please visit our Retirement Services page.