Conversation Toolkit

Writing investment policy statements

Topic overview

As fiduciary responsibilities change, documenting processes is more important than ever. An investment policy statement (IPS) can serve as documentation that a plan sponsor is prudently managing their responsibilities.

An IPS is a formal written document describing the procedures and processes that plan sponsors and other plan fiduciaries follow for selecting, monitoring and replacing the investments within their workplace retirement plans.

Use this toolkit to help your clients develop and maintain an IPS to manage their plans’ assets and mitigate fiduciary risk.

Is this relevant to my clients?

Individuals could benefit from these tools if they:

  • Maintain certain retirement plans:
    • 401(k) and other defined contribution plans
    • Defined benefit plans
  • Show dissatisfaction with the performance of the plans’ investments
  • Do not maintain plans at this time but are considering establishing workplace retirement plans

How to use your toolkit

  1. Schedule client meetings to discuss this opportunity.
  2. Email the Pre-Meeting Overview to your clients to set their expectations.
  3. Print out the Meeting Worksheet and review it together.


This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be used for the purposes of avoiding penalties and taxes. Columbia Threadneedle Investments does not provide tax or legal advice. Consumers should consult with their tax advisor or attorney regarding their specific situation.