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Executive Decisions can Drive Success and Participation in the 401k Plan

Executive Decisions can Drive Success and Participation in the 401k Plan. The Plan Sponsor University (TPSU) held a Fiduciary Education Program in Denver, Colorado at the University of Denver.  Among topics discussed during the half-day TPSU Program was the benefit of having senior management engaged on the 401k Retirement Plan Committee.

At the conclusion of the TPSU Program, Fred Barstein, TPSU Founder and CEO, interviewed Jeff Schultz, Executive Vice President at a global building consultancy where they employ 225 building industry professionals.

The company executives recognize the benefit of having leadership and executive-level talent on the Retirement Committee.  This is evidenced by the organizations employee-retention statistics, recruiting efforts and the plan participation rate, at 98%.

Full Transcript Below

Fred Barstein:               This is Fred Barstein with 401k TV. Just completed a TPSU program here in Denver at the University of Denver and I am here with Jeff. Welcome, Jeff.

Jeff Schultz:                  Hello, Fred.

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

Jeff Schultz:                  Absolutely.

Fred Barstein:               Very good. Thank you. Before we do, just tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at your organization, number of employees.

Jeff Schultz:                  I’m Jeff. I work at Lerch Bates. We are a building consulting company, global. I am the executive vice-president there. We have approximately 225 employees currently.

Fred Barstein:               Great. Well, one of the things that we’re really advocating for at TPSU and 401k TV is getting senior management involved in the 401k plan. It’s great to have you and great that you could spend a half a day here. It sounds like your organization has senior management involved. Why are you involved and other senior managers involved in your retirement plan?

Jeff Schultz:                  Well, I know we made a good decision because in listening today, I heard a lot of people struggle with trying to get senior management buy-in.

Fred Barstein:               Right.

Jeff Schultz:                  That is one that we’ve avoided by our agreement. We have our director of human resources, our CFO, and one executive member as our committee.

Fred Barstein:               Right.

Jeff Schultz:                  That way it allows us not to spend a lot of time trying to convince senior management what the right thing to do is, because we have access to the data. We have access to the advice and we can figure out what’s the right thing to do for our employees.

Fred Barstein:               And how do you think that has helped in the retirement planning, having senior management engaged?

Jeff Schultz:                  Well, we have a very lucrative plan now, and we have gotten 98% employee participation, so I think by us all working together, we’ve managed to put together a plan that is attractive to help our employees for their retirement.

Fred Barstein:               And it probably helps with retention, doesn’t it?

Jeff Schultz:                  Absolutely. It’s a selling point for us, not only in retention, but in our recruitment, as well.

Fred Barstein:               In the recruitment. And you probably have pretty good healthy account balances, right?

Jeff Schultz:                  We have very good. Because we compare it to the peer statistics, and we’re very happy with not only our participation rate, but our savings rate.

Fred Barstein:               Great. Well, thank you. Final question. Just a couple of things you learned today you might want to take back.

Jeff Schultz:                  One of the things that I’d like to take back is working on our loan policy. That’s a little bit of a concern. And also the cybersecurity was very interesting today. It’s not something I’d really given it a lot of thought, so it’s a real problem today and something that we should probably be talking about.

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

Jeff Schultz:                  Well, thank you, Fred.

Fred Barstein:               Thanks for attending the program, and thank you for watching 401k TV.



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