The Faster Smarter Better Investment Selection Process

For Retirement Plan Trustees

If you are a trustee of a 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan…

…there is an important New Technology that can help protect you from class-action lawsuits for holding chronically poor performing investment choices within your Plan[i] and that can also help improve investment results for your Plan’s participants. There are two ways in which you can obtain its benefits.

The first is to directly obtain the technology to improve your fiduciary oversight of the selection and monitoring of investment choices offered within your Plan.

Trustee Empowerment & Protection, Inc. (“TEPI”) has exclusively arranged to make Decision Technologies Corporation’s (“DTC’s”) Professional RapidReview Tool (“ProRRT”) available to enable you to comparatively evaluate hundreds of mutual funds and ETFs in mere moments and in a way never before available.

It will help you and your investment advisor to answer this key question – “Of all the available choices, which ones are best for our plan’s participants?”

It will also help to protect against one of the greatest potential risks to 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plan sponsors and trustees. That’s the risk that your Plan and you, as a trustee, could face a class-action lawsuit, claiming that you’ve breached your fiduciary duty by holding chronically underperforming investment choices within your Plan.

Here’s the core problem if you’re a Plan trustee: In selecting the investment choices within their Plans, trustees often find themselves almost entirely dependent on the investment advice of a single investment consultant with no meaningful way to “vet” that advice.

Many trustees uneasily feel that they have little choice but to “rubber stamp” their advisor’s recommendations, while being personally liable for those investment decisions.  It’s even more troubling to learn that your reliance on the advice of your investment advisor alone is not enough to protect you.[ii]

Imagine instead going into your quarterly meeting with your Plan’s advisor with a scored and ranked list of the choices within your Plan.  Imagine being able to ask why a particular choice is being recommended for selection or retention rather than those ranking significantly higher and performing better. 

Having the information with which to intelligently discuss and consider recommendations uniquely empowers trustees and also helps make advisors better and more accountable. The ProRRTenables users to determine which investment choices have proven best over time at producing the desired composite investment results.

It also effectively filters out all conflicts of interest, both known and unknowable, in a way that cannot be gamed. Importantly, it enables plan sponsors, trustees, and advisors alike to provably demonstrate to the DOL, IRS, any plan participant, and in any court proceedings that the investment choices selected are truly in the best interests of the Plan’s participants.

But we’re not suggesting that trustees pick and monitor investment choices themselves without the help of qualified investment advisors. 

That leads to the second way Plan sponsors and trustees can benefit from this new technology. It’s a unique new investment advisory service – the “Investment Choice Protective Review” (“iCPR”). It’s a comparative evaluation of investment choices, performed once-a-year, by investment advisors licensed and trained by TEPI, which refers plan sponsors and trustees to those advisors.[iii]  The ProRRT was originally designed for investment advisors to optimize investment choice selection and ongoing performance monitoring. It’s currently available to all advisors.

What’s so different about the iCPR from what you’re getting now? The difference is the “Process” and the protective record it produces. You not only get to see the comparative evaluation performed, but you also get to participate in it while it’s happening.[iv]

With either use, the ProRRT represents an evolutionary and empowering advance in investment consulting,[v] and is fully consistent with “best practices” in investment choice selection.[vi] With it, any combination of 48 parameters can be selected, hierarchically arranged and weighted, and used to score and rank hundreds of choices in a manner specific to what trustees feel best reflect the needs, goals, and preferences of their Plan’s participants. 

But don’t take our word for it, use this free version to see for yourself how well the choices within your Plan compare with other available choices. See for yourself how vulnerable you and your plan may be and identify the improvements that could be possible. You’ll likely be both surprised and glad you did!

[i] Jeff Mamorsky, Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s ERISA & Employee Benefits Litigation group and Editor of a treatise on ERISA, who tracks such things, states that within the last 2 years over 200 cases have been filed against plan sponsors and trustees, and that number is increasing. The original cases were all excess cost cases. The largest claims now are much larger claims resulting from holding chronically underperforming investment choices with the plans.

[ii] It is almost always shocking to plan trustees to learn that their reliance on the advice of their plan’s investment consultant is not a complete defense to a charge of fiduciary imprudence in their investment-related decision making. One of the earliest direct rulings on this occurred in the Tibble v. Edison case – a case that famously resulted in a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of plan participants and against the plan sponsor and trustees, individually.  Although the Supreme Court Decision focused on and significantly limited the plan trustees’ statute of limitation defense, it is a ruling at the District Court level – a ruling that was not appealed – that should be of concern to plan sponsors and trustees.

When sued for breach of their fiduciary duty for more costly investment selections, the Edison trustees defended themselves by stating that they relied on the advice of their investment consultant.  In what must have been an unpleasant surprise to the trustees, the Court ruled that: “While securing independent advice from . . . [their investment consultant] is some evidence of a thorough investigation, it is not a complete defense to a charge of imprudence.  At the very least, the Plan fiduciaries must ‘make certain that reliance on the expert’s advice is reasonably justified.’” (Page 56 of the District Court Opinion, emphasis added, citations omitted).

[iii] Employing a proprietary advisory process, utilizing Decision Technologies Corporation’s (“DTC’s”) patented decision-assistance technology, these advisors can help plan trustees comparatively evaluate the performance of their plan’s investment choices against other available choices. The Goal?  To better protect plan trustees from claims of fiduciary imprudence in their investment-related decision making by providing them with a way to “make certain that reliance on . . . (their advisor’s advice) is reasonably justified.” (See endnote ii, above). It can also help to improve the chances of better investment results and retirement security for their plan’s participants.

[iv] If you, as a plan trustee, were to be asked, under oath, how you came to pick the choices within their plan, in which of the following ways would you prefer to truthfully answer that question? Would it be: “I relied on the advice of our investment consultant” – an answer that isn’t sufficient to completely defend against a claim of fiduciary imprudence. Or, would it be this: “We brought in an independent consultant; we put a decision-assistance technology on the screen; and, we used it to comparatively evaluate all of the investment choices within our plan, using the factors and weightings that we believe best match the needs and preferences of our plan’s participants.  After carefully considering the scored and ranked results, we made tentative investment selection, retention, and replacement decisions based upon those objective results and then passed the information over to our primary investment consultant to perform a qualitative due diligence review. The purpose was to answer one remaining key question: ‘Is there any reason, qualitatively, that would militate against us selecting any of those that we’ve tentatively chosen?’  Here are detailed Minutes of that meeting describing and documenting each of those steps.” 

[v] The application of DTC’s decision-assistance technology has been independently evaluated by one of the top “Quants” on Wall Street, C. Michael Carty, former President of the NYC Chapter of QWAFAFEW (  See:  and especially his conclusions.  

[vi] Additionally, the nationally prominent Wagner Law Group ( has also rendered a legal Opinion strongly supportive of the use of our decision-assistance technology in the retirement plan context.  See: