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401k Retirement Plan Committee Meeting Topics

401k Retirement Plan Committee Meeting Topics

401k retirement plan committees face challenges at every meeting.  401k retirement plan committees want to do what is best for the plan participants but that is not always an easy task. What happens when not all of the employees are aligned?  How can a 401k retirement plan committee work through multiple age groups among the plan participants?

At the conclusion of a TPSU fiduciary education session held at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, The Plan Sponsor University Founder and CEO, Fred Barstein, spoke with Britney, Director of Operations at her firm which has an international presence.   In the role of Director of Operations, she oversees Facilities, Human Resources and Information Technology Systems for approximately 240 employees in the United State.

Employee tenure at Britney’s company fall primarily in two different groups – many have been with the firm in the range of 10 to 15 years.  Another group is in the range of 5 years or less with the firm.  See how the 401k retirement plan committee is working to help all employees with the concept of automatic enrollment into the 401k plan.

Full Transcript Here

Fred Barstein:
This is Fred Barstein with 401k TV. I am here in lovely Minneapolis where we just completed at TPSU program at the University of Minnesota. And I’m here with Britney. Welcome, Britney.

Britney:
Thank you.

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

Britney:
Absolutely.

Fred Barstein:
Okay. Before we do, let our audience know a little bit about yourself and your organization.

Britney:
My name is Britney and I work for a company that has about 225, 250 employees here in the U.S. and then we have also have employees internationally as well. My … What I do for my company is I am the Director of Operations. So I have Human Resources, IT Systems, and Facilities that work under me.

Fred Barstein:
Okay. And so Britney, you talked a little bit about your organization is considering doing automatic enrollment and there’s some debate going on. So give us a little history with that.

Britney:
There is. Our company has a long tenure with some of our employees. Our tenure is either 10 to 15 years and more, and then some 5 and under. Our company has gone through some rapid growth. So because of that rapid growth, we want to look at auto-enrollment to bring up our employee contributions and getting them involved in our 401k. Our legacy employees are not probably wanting to have that auto-enrollment turned on-

Fred Barstein:
Right.

Britney:
… and have that taken out because they’ve been there for 10, 15 years and if they wanted to enroll, they would have.

Fred Barstein:
Right.

Britney:
But as a company, I feel that it should be something that we look forward to for all of our new hires.

Fred Barstein:
And one of the discussions we had is you’re not sure that that’s what the employees want, it’s what you suspect and what the committee thinks, right?

Britney:
Correct, absolutely.

Fred Barstein:
So maybe they do wanna be enrolled and they don’t know it or they haven’t said, but you’re just concerned, “Hey if they haven’t enrolled, maybe they don’t want it.”

Britney:
Correct. Because of our, I’m gonna say, 5 years and under, they’re younger individuals that come on and they might not be educated on our 401k, or what 401k is.

Fred Barstein:
Right.

Britney:
So helping them enroll in that and educating them I think would be a huge benefit and the auto-enrolling will do that.

Fred Barstein:
Right. And so the question is then the older, tenured employees. So what do you think the next steps are gonna be in terms of the debate over whether you should auto-enroll them or not?

Britney:
Our next steps are going to be we’re actually meeting next week to talk to our senior leadership and go to the board and talk about what the options are. Again, this has been a conversation for us for probably three years.

Fred Barstein:
Yes.

Britney:
I really truly believe because of our growth, that we will be able to get the auto-enrollment involved and get it started at our company.

Fred Barstein:
And even for the tenured employees.

Britney:
Even for the tenured employees because we would be able to step through that. I don’t think we should stop progress because of a group that may not grasp it-

Fred Barstein:
Right.

Britney:
… and we’re guessing.

Fred Barstein:
Right. And even if someone opts out they may be saying, “Not ever, just not now.”

Britney:
Correct.

Fred Barstein:
And by auto-enrolling, you’re making them take that action to say, “No, I don’t wanna do that.”

Britney:
Yep.

Fred Barstein:
Final question, a couple of things you learned or heard today you may wanna try to take back?

Britney:
I learned more about maybe how to position this topic with our board and how to maybe get a better buy-in, a better perspective from other industries and other companies, what they’ve done. And how they were successful at doing that and bringing our rates … excuse me … our percentages up for the company enrollment.

Fred Barstein:
All right. Good. Well, thanks for your time today.

Britney:
Thank you.

Fred Barstein:
And thank you for watching 401k TV. Stay tuned.

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