Blog : March 01, 2022

What's the next chapter in your retirement planning story

Mark Sokol
Head of Vanguard Retirement Plan Access
Change sits still for no one—especially at Vanguard Retirement Plan Access.

Hello! I'm Mark Sokol, the new leader for Vanguard Retirement Plan Access™ (VRPA). You can look to me to continue on the course set by my predecessors and the VRPA crew. We will stay true to our mission to experiment, disrupt, and innovate in the small-business retirement plan space. You see, as long as small businesses in America remain underserved, VRPA stands ready to find ways to correct this imbalance and help everyone find opportunities to secure their financial well-being.


I'm no novice at the pursuit of financial well-being. I've been with Vanguard since 1996, starting as a sales executive in Vanguard Institutional Investor Group, which over time has led me to holding several different leadership roles—a principal in Vanguard Financial Advisor Services™, the head of distribution for Latin America and the Caribbean, and, most recently, the head of Consultant Key Accounts.

Vanguard Retirement Plan Access in 2022

I have the honor of kicking off VRPA's second decade of service. We will further intensify our commitment to refining and developing solutions that respond to the diverse needs of plan participants in retirement plans under $50 million in assets. These include:


  • Easy administration. We'll work with you to design a streamlined and easy-to-administer plan that simplifies fiduciary compliance.
  • Transparent pricing. Our pricing will correspond with the number of participants in a plan. This also means no asset-based fees. What's more, investing costs are included in the expense ratios of the funds in a plan.
  • Flexible investments. We will continue to expand our wide range of investment options, which include our robust lineup of funds and nonproprietary options. For plans with less than $2 million in assets and no advisor relationship, non-Vanguard funds are available through self-directed brokerage accounts or an optional third-party fiduciary service.
  • Business resources. VRPA—in part through our strategic partnership with Ascensus—will handle all those burdensome administrative and recordkeeping duties that often slow the pace of financial outcomes and plan services. We'll also be a go-to contact for participant education, networking, and fiduciary updates.
Follow the research
While I hope you benefited from reviewing How America Saves 2021, Small Business Edition, Vanguard's research team takes an even deeper dive into the value of the advisor with the Vanguard Institutional Advisor's Alpha® report. Available now, this research provides detailed recommendations to financial professionals to help them better serve retirement plans. We are very excited about what this report's application can mean for advisors trying to up their game.
Join us. The best is yet to come

I don't think I'm being a Pollyanna when I hold on to the belief that if we work together and open the doors wide for everyone to pursue a better financial future, we all can achieve it. Through the application of our expertise, the latest technology, and personal commitment to a goal, I also believe that the distance to a successful outcome can be shortened.


Know that when you align yourself with VRPA, you'll be working with people focused on collective success. And while our goals are for the long term—and our allegiance to a particular strategy may be tested from time to time—we expect to cross that finish line together and all be the better for it.


  • For more information about Vanguard funds, visit or call 800-523-1036 to obtain a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information about a fund are contained in the prospectus; read and consider it carefully before investing.
  • All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.
  • Retirement plan recordkeeping and administrative services are provided by The Vanguard Group, Inc. (VGI). VGI has entered into an agreement with Ascensus, LLC, to provide certain plan recordkeeping and administrative services on its behalf.
  • Ascensus is not affiliated with Vanguard Marketing Corporation, The Vanguard Group, Inc., or any of its affiliates. Ascensus® is a registered trademark of Ascensus, LLC.