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401k Plan Participants have Great Questions

401k Plan Participants have Great Questions  

401k plan participants have many questions when they enter the retirement plan for the first salary deferral. In most cases, new employees do not understand the concept of tax-deferred savings.  All of these questions need to be responded to and answered. At the conclusion of a TPSU program held at held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Fred Barstein, Founder and CEO of The Plan Sponsor University (TPSU), met with Whitney, an HR Generalist and plan sponsor.  Whitney wears many other hats in the organization, in addition to Human Resources and overseeing the 401k Plan. She fields all plan-related questions from the staff of 12 who participate in the 401k plan.  Fortunately, the company has found a way to leverage their retirement plan advisor to help in responding to some of the 401k plan participants.

Full Transcript Here

Fred Barstein:
Fred Barstein with 401k TV, just completed a TPS U program outside of Philadelphia at Villanova University and I’m here with Whitney. Welcome, Whitney.

Whitney:
Thank you.

Fred Barstein:
Is it okay if we ask you a few questions?

Whitney:
Sure.

Fred Barstein:
Okay, great. But before we do, just tell us the size of your organization and your role.

Whitney:
Sure. So we have a relatively small organization, just 12 employees, and I handle all the aspects of HR, plus. That’s it.

Fred Barstein:
Very good. Well, one of the things you brought up, which I’m sure is a common question and issue, is people in your place come to you and ask questions and you may not have all the answers because how could you afford to be a 401k expert. Right? You’ve got a lot of jobs to do. So what do you do?

Whitney:
So I will say working for a smaller employer, the employees still want the same things that bigger employers offer and so adding in a 401k, just trying to be attractive to potential employees is one of our goals and so we really do rely on our vendor partners to help us with the answers when we don’t have them.

Whitney:
Obviously, I want to be the first line of defense and so educating myself on what’s going on and having some preliminary answers is a goal of mine, but that’s pretty much it.

Fred Barstein:
Do you use an advisor on your program?

Whitney:
We do.

Fred Barstein:
So you leverage that advisor to do that?

Whitney:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Fred Barstein:
Well, that’s great. Yeah, because, I mean this is a complicated thing and it’s probably helping you with your own retirement, right?

Whitney:
It is of course. Cause you get the, you get the answers first so you’re like, all right, well let me check my stuff and go back and get that employee back in here so I can answer his or her question.

Fred Barstein:
Very good. So final question, maybe something you’re going to go back and implement what you learned today?

Whitney:
I love the concept of auto enroll because it is something that, it’s out of sight, out of mind but if we can get our employees on their way in while they’re thinking about it and just get the kind of pre-setup so that when they’re eligible, they’re right in the plan, that’d be perfect.

Fred Barstein:
And escalation too?

Whitney:
Yes and considering escalation as well.

Fred Barstein:
Peanut butter and jelly, right? Auto-enrollment without auto-escalation is like peanut butter without jelly.

Fred Barstein:
Well, thank you for your time today.

Whitney:
No problem. Thank you.

Fred Barstein:
Thank you for attending and thank you for watching 401k TV. Please stay tuned.

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