Our 3(38) Investment Fiduciary Solution

IRON’s comprehensive qualified retirement plan solution is designed to effectively shift a significant portion of the Plan Sponsor’s liability. The hiring of a 3(38) Investment Fiduciary alters the Plan Sponsor’s fiduciary responsibility as the liability now relates to the choosing and monitoring of a 3(38) Investment Manager.


IRON’s Added Value

CEFEX Certified
IRON is an ERISA 3(38) Investment Fiduciary that has received a CEFEX accreditation. Industry confirmation of our methods, processes and metrics is important to Broker Dealer firms and Plan Sponsors. Many ERISA attorneys caution Plan Sponsors that the hiring of an imprudent 3(38) Investment Fiduciary does not mitigate risk, it adds to it.

Plan Sponsor is engaged in a contractual relationship with IRON as the contractual fiduciary.

Fiduciary Processes
IRON creates a customized Investment Policy Statement that roadmaps the investment methodologies. Using proprietary methodologies, IRON selects a well-balanced and diversified menu of plan investments and monitors those investments in a defined timeframe. Replacement of fund options as necessary in accordance with the Investment Policy Statement.

Each plan receives a Quarterly Fiduciary Investment Review that details fund metrics, rankings at a plan level and actionable items for the next quarter.

IRON does not use proprietary products. Unless limited by platform options, we do not default a participant into a platform owned or sub-advised mutual fund. IRON is privately owned.

  • Some other 3(38)’s are owned by the platform that offers their service
  • IRON’s 3(38) solution does not use proprietary mutual funds
  • Some platform level 3(38) Investment Fiduciaries are required to use platform owned funds or sub-advised funds

IRON’s CEFEX Certified 3(38) Investment Fiduciary Solution provides added value to the Plan Sponsor, Plan Advisor and Plan Participant. Based on the Plan’s criteria, IRON ‘s differentiated value proposition sets us apart from the competitors.  Not all 3(38) providers are created equal; much of the competition is focused on the 3(38) fee with little emphasis on Investment Plan outcomes.


Why IRON Financial for Investment Fiduciary Services?

  • IRON is an ERISA 3(38) Investment Fiduciary that has received a CEFEX *accreditation
  • Differentiated deliverables as compared to other generic offerings


Thumbnail Image of Iron Financial's Investment Policy Statement (IPS)
Thumbnail Image of Iron Financial's Quarterly Fiduciary Report
Thumbnail Image of Iron Financial's Quarterly Participant Newsletter
 Thumbnail Image of Iron Financial's Fund Change Notice
  • Investment philosophy and processes that serve the Fiduciary interests of qualified retirement Plan Sponsors
  • Investment Policy Statement that reflects Plan Sponsor objectives and the interests of Participants


Circle chart of Iron Financial's Investment Process - Selection, Ongoing Monitoring, Replacement


Are You a Fiduciary?

Individuals become fiduciaries through appointment or function. The Department of Labor (DOL) defines what is covered investment advice under the rule. Covered investment advice is defined as a recommendation to a plan, plan fiduciary, plan participant and beneficiary and IRA owner for a fee or other compensation, direct or indirect, as to the advisability of buying, holding, selling or exchanging securities or other investment property, including recommendations as to the investment of securities or other property after the securities or other property are rolled over or distributed from a plan or IRA.

Covered investment advice also includes recommendations as to the management of securities or other investment property, including, among other things, recommendations on investment policies or strategies, portfolio composition, selection of other persons to provide investment advice or investment management services, selection of investment account arrangements (e.g., brokerage versus advisory); or recommendations with respect to rollovers, transfers, or distributions from a plan or IRA, including whether, in what amount, in what form, and to what destination such a rollover, transfer, or distribution should be made.

Under the final rule, the fundamental threshold element in establishing the existence of fiduciary investment advice is whether a “recommendation” occurred. A “recommendation” is a communication that, based on its content, context, and presentation, would reasonably be viewed as a suggestion that the advice recipient engage in or refrain from taking a particular course of action. A section 3(38) Investment Fiduciary can protect both the Plan Sponsor and the Advisor/Broker.


CEFEX Certified

CEFEX, the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, LLC, has certified IRON Financial, LLC, to the standard described in the handbook “Prudent Practices for Investment Advisors”.   IRON has been certified for Discretionary Investment and ERISA 3(38) Investment Advisory Services for ERISA Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit Plans.

CEFEX is an independent global assessment and certification organization. It works closely with investment fiduciaries and industry experts to provide comprehensive assessment programs to improve risk management for institutional and retail investors. CEFEX certification helps determine the trustworthiness of investment fiduciaries.

As a certifying organization, CEFEX provides an independent recognition of a firm’s conformity to a defined Standard of Practice. It implies that a firm can demonstrate adherence to the industry’s best practices, and is positioned to earn the public’s trust. This registration serves investors who require assurance that their investments are being managed according to commonly accepted best practices.

The standard describes how an Investment Advisor assumes the responsibility for managing a client’s overall investment management process, which includes the selection, monitoring and de-selection of investment managers, as well as developing processes to implement investment strategies and fiduciary practices on an ongoing basis.  The standard is substantiated by legislation, case law and regulatory opinion letters from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Uniform Prudent Investor Act (UPIA), Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) and the Uniform Management of Public Employee Retirement Systems Act (MPERS) in the U.S.  A full copy of the standard is available from the Centre for Fiduciary Studies at http://www.fi360.com/main/practices_sa.jsp and a summary can be viewed by clicking on IRON Financial’s on-line CEFEX certificate.

CEFEX, CENTRE FOR FIDUCIARY EXCELLENCE The Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX) has conducted a fiduciary assessment of IRON Financial, LLC. (the “Advisor”) to determine whether Advisor’s practices in providing investment advice to clients conform generally to the fiduciary standards of excellence (referred to as the Fiduciary Practices) as defined by the Prudent Practices for Investment Advisors (U.S. Edition) handbook as published by Fiduciary360 (fi360) (the Handbook).1 Compliance with applicable legal and ethical practices in providing investment advice to clients is the responsibility of the Advisor. The responsibility of CEFEX is to express an opinion on whether the Advisor generally conforms to the Fiduciary Practices in the conduct of its business based on our assessment. CEFEX conducted its assessment in accordance with the Consultant’s Assessment of Fiduciary Excellence for Investment Advisors (U.S. Edition) (the CAFÉ) prepared by fi360. The Handbook describing fiduciary best practices for investment advisors is available at www.fi360.com.



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