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401k Plan Retirement Committee Has Employee Retirement on Course

401k Plan Retirement Committee Has Employee Retirement on Course

401k Retirement Committee actions can make a company retirement plan better by improving outcomes for participants. At the conclusion of The Plan Sponsor University Program held at the University of Memphis, in Memphis, Tennessee, Fred Barstein, Founder and CEO of The Plan Sponsor University (TPSU) interviewed one of the program attendees, a Director of Financial Services. The program attendee, Drew, is also a Retirement Plan Manager and Trustee.  Drew’s company employs approximately 60 employees.  The organization’s 401k Retirement Committee includes a team of senior managers who take their fiduciary responsibilities quite seriously. The 401k Retirement Committee schedules periodic meetings which include the plan’s Third Party Administrator (TPA) and the retirement plan financial advisor.  Every meeting includes the review of Plan Investments, the Watch-list and Plan revisions.

Full Transcript Here

Fred Barstein:
This is Fred Barstein with 401kTV at the University of Memphis. Just completed a TPSU program, and we’re here with Drew. Welcome, Drew.

Drew:
Thank you.

Fred Barstein:
Okay if we ask you a few questions?

Drew:
Sure.

Fred Barstein:
So why don’t you tell our audience a little bit about yourself and your organization?

Drew:
Sure. So my name’s Drew. I work for a company. It’s about 60 employees. I’m the director of finance services as well as a default human resources, 401(k) plan trustee manager, all of the above.

Fred Barstein:
Swiss army knife.

Drew:
That’s right.

Fred Barstein:
So one of the things you talked about is how every year, or periodically, senior management meets with their advisor and the TPA.

Drew:
Correct.

Fred Barstein:
What do you guys talk about?

Drew:
So when we get together, we have our, like you said, senior management, our TPA, plan advisor, our plan sponsor, representative. So we get together and basically we review our plan. We review the investments in the plan. We review the changes that we foresee may need to be made in the plan. We discuss the performance of the investments. We have a score card that we go over of the investments. Investments are placed on a watch list based on previous performance.

Drew:
From there, we discuss whether there are changes that need to be made in investment options. This past year, we actually made three investments. We moved out of the plan, added four based on our collaborative conversation there.

Fred Barstein:
Sure.

Drew:
It feels like, getting that senior management there, really helps to get them involved.

Fred Barstein:
Are they all on the committee then?

Drew:
Yes. Yes. So we have our CEO, one of our VPs, the ones that really make the decisions in the organization.

Fred Barstein:
Right. Right. So as a result of that, do you feel like you have a better plan because you got senior management-

Drew:
Yes. Yes. Anytime you get senior management involved, get them hands-on, it makes you feel like you take more ownership. It makes the employees feel like we’re doing our due diligence as fiduciaries watching out for them in the plan. So it’s really helpful having senior management involved.

Fred Barstein:
Great. And then, final question, a couple of the things that you learned and picked up today.

Drew:
Yeah, so going back, one is definitely want to review the plan documents, make sure we’re doing everything that we say that we’re going to be doing. One is auto enrollment. I think that would be good, something for us to look at, as well as auto escalate. We have employees that have made their decision to defer, and it’s just been the same for years and years. I think if we introduce that auto escalate, I don’t think we would have much pushback, and it would benefit us and our employees at the same time.

Fred Barstein:
[crosstalk 00:03:09] would win.

Drew:
That’s right.

Fred Barstein:
Yep. Great. Well, thanks for your time today.

Drew:
Thank you.

Fred Barstein:
And thank you for watching 401kTV.

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