Pacific Premier Trust Review: Navigating Your Self-Directed IRA Options

Choosing the right custodian for your self-directed IRA can be daunting. This Pacific Premier Trust review evaluates their service offerings, compliance track record, and fee structure, alongside actual customer insights. Discover if Pacific Premier Trust aligns with your investment needs and whether the costs associated with their services offer real value to investors.

Key Takeaways

Understanding Pacific Premier Trust Services

A diverse investment portfolio including real estate, private equity, and precious metals at Pacific Premier Trust

Based in San Francisco, California, Pacific Premier Trust, formerly known as PENSCO Trust Company, offers a unique approach to retirement savings. The company’s expertise lies in the management of self-directed IRAs, a type of retirement account that allows investors to include alternative investments beyond traditional stock and bond options. Led by CEO Steven R. Gardner, Pacific Premier Trust has been acknowledged by various finance industry entities as a top-performing institution in the United States.

Their success is largely attributed to strict compliance with IRS rules, ensuring their custody services meet all legal requirements for complete security.

Service Overview

Pacific Premier Trust’s service offering revolves around the management of self-directed IRAs. These IRAs are not limited to traditional investments but extend to alternative investments such as real estate and private equity. This opens up a world of opportunities for clients who wish to diversify their investment portfolios. In fact, the company’s expertise in handling alternative investments is one of its key differentiators in the industry.

Alternative Investment Opportunities

Clients are significantly attracted to the alternative investment opportunities provided by Pacific Premier Trust. The company’s expertise in administering self-directed IRAs enables clients to diversify their investment portfolios by including alternative, non-traditional assets. This not only provides clients with a broader range of investment options but also helps mitigate risks associated with market volatility.

Compliance and IRS Regulations

Pacific Premier Trust places a strong emphasis on compliance in their operations. Notably, the leadership team includes directors such as Barbara S. Polsky, who has a legal background and expertise in compliance matters. This ensures that the firm’s services are consistently aligned with IRS regulations, providing peace of mind for clients who entrust their retirement savings to Pacific Premier Trust.

Fees and Cost Structure at Pacific Premier Trust

Client dissatisfaction with fee structure at Pacific Premier Trust

Despite the unique services offered by Pacific Premier Trust, understanding the related costs remains crucial. Clients who transitioned from Pensco to Pacific Premier Trust have reported increased fees. Unfortunately, this increase in fees has been accompanied by a perceived decrease in service quality, leading to discontent among clients.

We should examine the details of the fee structure, its comparison with industry standards, and the money involved.

Account-Related Fees

For accounts with balances up to $1 million, Pacific Premier Trust charges an annual fee of 0.30%. While this fee might seem reasonable at first glance, it’s important to understand that the actual cost will vary depending on the account balance. Higher account balances will result in higher fees, which could take a significant bite out of your investment returns.

Comparison With Industry Standards

Compared to other industry players, Pacific Premier Trust’s fee structure stands out due to its percentage-based model. While some competitors offer fixed-fee models, Pacific Premier Trust charges 0.30% for accounts up to $1 million. This means that clients with larger account balances could find themselves paying significantly more in annual fees than with some fixed-fee custodians.

Hence, when selecting a custodian for your self-directed IRA, evaluating fee structures in relation to account size is paramount.

Hidden Costs and Notes

Some clients have also reported challenges in comprehending the fee structure of Pacific Premier Trust, suggesting a transparency issue. Furthermore, some clients feel that the fees charged by Pacific Premier Trust are disproportionately high compared to the services received. When choosing a self-directed IRA custodian, it is crucial to consider this factor carefully. Your decision will have significant implications for your investment strategy.

Client Experiences and Reviews

Mixed client reviews for Pacific Premier Trust

Client experiences can be better understood through reviews and testimonials. Pacific Premier Trust has a diverse range of client reviews and ratings available on several different platforms, including Google, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Yelp. These reviews paint a mixed picture of the client experience at Pacific Premier Trust.

Positive Testimonials

Despite some negative feedback, there are documented cases where clients have reported satisfaction following successfully resolved issues with Pacific Premier Trust. These positive reviews often highlight the company’s commitment to customer service and its efforts to rectify issues promptly.

Criticisms and Issues

On the flip side, Pacific Premier Trust has received low ratings on platforms like BBB and Yelp. Common criticisms include:

These issues have led to dissatisfaction among clients and highlight areas where Pacific Premier Trust could improve its services.

Overall Satisfaction Rating

With a diverse range of feedback, Pacific Premier Trust’s overall satisfaction rating stands at 2.3 out of 5 stars from 183 total reviews across various platforms. The ratings suggest that client experiences with Pacific Premier Trust are mixed, with some clients expressing satisfaction while others report significant issues.

It’s important to keep in mind that every client’s experience is unique and may not reflect the average experience.

Technology and Account Management Tools

Robust digital platform and mobile app for account management at Pacific Premier Trust

The management of self-directed IRAs heavily relies on technology. Pacific Premier Trust offers a robust digital platform that allows clients to access account information and perform various transactions in real-time. Additionally, the company provides a mobile app, offering clients the convenience of managing their accounts directly from their smartphones.

Digital Platform Features

Pacific Premier Trust utilizes software such as Salesforce and SEI for managing internal operations and client communications. However, there are reported deficiencies in the current digital tools, which do not adequately meet the specific needs of various departments within the company.

Enhancing the digital experience for Pacific Premier Trust clients necessitates improvements in software infrastructure and managerial communication.

Security and Data Protection

Security and data protection are of utmost importance in the current digital era. Unfortunately, specific information regarding Pacific Premier Trust’s security measures and data protection protocols is not readily available. This lack of transparency raises questions about the company’s commitment to safeguarding client data and preventing unauthorized access to client accounts.

Ease of Use and Accessibility

Though faced with some challenges, Pacific Premier Trust’s digital interface is user-centric, focusing on simplicity and navigational ease. Clients can access their account information, execute transactions, and review their investments through a streamlined online dashboard.

The company also provides tutorials to guide new users through the process of using the online platform, reducing the learning curve for managing self-directed IRAs.

The Team Behind Pacific Premier Trust

The Pacific Premier Trust team boasts an impressive array of experience and expertise. The Board of Directors is comprised of individuals with a diverse range of skills and experience in the financial and related industries. This diverse leadership brings a well-rounded approach to guiding Pacific Premier Trust and fulfilling the company’s strategic goals and client-service objectives.

Leadership Profiles

The executive team and board of directors at Pacific Premier Bancorp, which includes Pacific Premier Trust, exhibit diverse and comprehensive expertise in finance, business, law, and public service. Leaders like M. Christian Mitchell and Stephanie Hsieh, with their distinguished records of leadership in various sectors, contribute to the company’s strong leadership foundation.

Employee Insights

Beyond the pivotal role of leadership, employee insights provide a unique lens into the company’s culture and operations. Unfortunately, the Denver office of Pacific Premier Trust has received low ratings for its culture and values, indicating employee dissatisfaction with the company culture.

High turnover rates and a fast-paced work environment contribute to this dissatisfaction, indicating areas for improvement in the company’s human resources practices.

Commitment to Client Success

Despite these challenges, the leadership team at Pacific Premier Trust is committed to client success. The diverse backgrounds of the board members contribute to a strong leadership foundation that aims to fulfill the company’s strategic goals and client-service objectives.

This commitment to client success is woven into the fabric of Pacific Premier Trust’s operations and is evident in its approach to self-directed IRAs.

Protecting Your Investments

Several measures are implemented by Pacific Premier Trust to safeguard client investments. These include maintaining a robust insurance policy, undergoing annual audits, and employing risk management strategies.

Insurance Policies

Pacific Premier Trust maintains a robust insurance policy to protect client assets, including fraudulent transfer coverage. This insurance policy provides an additional layer of security for clients, ensuring that their investments are protected.

Audit and Compliance

To assure the integrity of financial reporting, Pacific Premier Trust undergoes annual audits from an independent accounting firm. These audits involve a comprehensive review of over 100 different data points, ensuring a thorough compliance check.

This level of rigorous auditing positions Pacific Premier Trust as a reliable custodian in the self-directed IRA industry.

Risk Management Strategies

At Pacific Premier Trust, risk management strategies are a key part of protecting client investments. The company employs methodologies and strategies informed by the extensive expertise of board members like George M. Pereira. These strategies are critical for safeguarding client investments against market volatility and other unpredictable factors.

How to Get Started with Pacific Premier Trust

Initial consultation for clients at Pacific Premier Trust

Wondering how to get started with Pacific Premier Trust? The process is quite straightforward: contact the company, fill out an online application, and submit the required documentation.

Initial Consultation

The first step towards opening a self-directed IRA with Pacific Premier Trust is an initial consultation. This consultation aims to address individual needs and goals, helping to prevent potential frustrations associated with choosing the wrong custodian or administrator.

Opening Your Account

Opening an account with Pacific Premier Trust requires the following:

Additional personal information such as employment status, financial details, and investment experience will also be collected during the account opening process.

From the time all required paperwork is submitted, it typically takes approximately 5-10 business days to have a new account opened, but once the process is complete, accessing your account takes just a few seconds.

Funding and Investment Process

Once the account is opened, funding can be done through transfers, rollovers from other retirement accounts, or contributions in adherence to annual contribution limits. This flexibility in funding options allows clients to take control of their retirement savings and invest in a diverse range of assets through their self-directed IRA.


In conclusion, Pacific Premier Trust offers a unique approach to retirement savings through its management of self-directed IRAs. While the company faces challenges in areas such as fee structure, customer service, and company culture, it also boasts strengths in its alternative investment opportunities, compliance with IRS regulations, and robust digital platform. As with any financial institution, it’s important for prospective clients to thoroughly research and consider their options before choosing a custodian for their self-directed IRA.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Pacific Premier Bank safe?

Yes, Pacific Premier Bank is safe as it is the 5th largest bank in California, with a B+ health rating.

What does Pacific Premier Trust do?

Pacific Premier Trust helps individuals gain more control of their retirement by holding real estate, private equity, promissory notes, and other assets. It is headquartered in Irvine, California and was founded in 1983.

Is pensco the same as Pacific Premier Trust?

Yes, PENSCO is now known as Pacific Premier Trust.

What are the fees associated with Pacific Premier Trust?

The annual fee for Pacific Premier Trust is 0.30% for account balances up to $1 million, with the total cost depending on the account balance.

What are the criticisms of Pacific Premier Trust?

Pacific Premier Trust has faced criticisms regarding customer service, lost deposits, administrative errors, and delayed transactions. These issues have affected the company’s reputation.