FSMA Frequently Asked Questions

What is FSMA?

A community of employers that sponsor ERISA qualified retirement plans and welfare benefit plans.

FSMA helps plan sponsors ensure that the fees paid for services by their plans’ participants are appropriate.

Why Participate in FSMA?

Executives and managers enhance their careers and cooperative purchasing helps employee benefit plan sponsors reduce costs and obtain better quality services.

Sectors of the general economy that have experienced relatively large increases in costs, such as energy and health care, have responded with substantial innovation and institutional development in collective purchasing. These sectors are rapidly building large networks of membership. The same forces that have compelled other sectors of the economy to pursue collective purchasing alliances have driven retirement plan sponsors to organize FSMA, namely rising costs and a complex legal environment.

Can my organization use FSMA’s program in place of an RFP to satisfy ERISA?

FSMA's members do not need to sponsor an RFP to satisfy prudent vendor selection rules.

All service providers that have been rated by FSMA have been competitively solicited by retirement plan sponsors in several plan size sectors. Although each plan sponsor may have different purchasing procedures to follow, applying competitive principles satisfies vendor selection requirements of federal and state fiduciary laws.

How is FSMA Funded?

Membership dues and administrative fees are FSMA's sources of funds.

Individuals and plan sponsors pay annual membership dues while sanctioned vendors annually pay a flat administrative fee. The administrative fee is not affected by whether sanctioned vendors obtain service agreements through FSMA.

Does FSMA provide access to professional help for buying retirement plan services?

Yes. Members have access to procurement experts.

FSMA maintains a roster of qualified experts that specialize in retirement plan procurement methods and outcomes. You may obtain referral to a procurement expert at this link.

How much does it cost to become a member of FSMA?

FSMA offers retirement plan sponsors two ways to participate.

Dues for individuals who join FSMA are $475.00 per yer. Employers’ dues fall into two categories: Standard Enterprise membership is $2,125.00 per year and Intermediate Enterprise membership is $875.00 per year. Each class of membership is described in detail at this link.

Can nonprofits benefit from membership in FSMA?

Membership in FSMA offers equally powerful benefits to both commercial and nonprofit organizations.

Universities, hospitals, colleges, private schools, and any other nonprofit organization that sponsors a retirement plan, regardless of whether the plan is ERISA qualified, can benefit significantly from FSMA membership.

How can my company become a sanctioned FSMA vendor?

Vendors that desire recognition by FSMA register their intent with FSMA's Vendor Selection Board.

Businesses that accept appointment as a Plan Administrator, offer investment advice, manage investment funds, perform recordkeeping, and provide third party administration services to retirement plans may request consideration to become a sanctioned FSMA vendor by registering at this link.

Not a member?