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Plan Committee Minutes Protect Plan Participants

Plan Committee Minutes Protect Plan Participants

Plan committee minutes can be invaluable to 401k plan fiduciaries for a variety of reasons. Every retirement plan fiduciary has likely heard that the 3 most important actions of a plan committee meeting are Document, Document, and Document! At the conclusion of a Plan Sponsor University (TPSU) Fiduciary Education Program held at the Stanford University, TPSU Founder and CEO, Fred Barstein spoke with Galina Karpinska, an experienced Human Resources professional who oversees the retirement plan at a mid-sized company.  Being a mid-sized organization means the plan, as well as the actions of each plan fiduciary, need to stand up to the scrutiny of a plan audit.  As Mr. Barstein points out if the plan committee minutes are not thoroughly documented it can be assumed that the many actions of the retirement committee did not occur.  Ms. Karapinski also discussed the benefits that payroll integration brings to a plan.

Full Transcript Here

Fred Barstein:
Fred Barstein with 401(k)TV. I just completed a TPSU program being held at Stanford University, and I’m here with Galena. Welcome, Galena. And she just attended the program. Okay if we ask you a few questions?

Galina K.:
Absolutely.

Fred Barstein:
Very good. So before we do, just introduce yourself, what your role is, and the size of your organization.

Galina K.:
I’m Galena, working in human resources for 12 years and working always for mid-size companies. So, it’s big enough to be subject to compliance but small enough to have a big admin team. And I am doing pretty much everything.

Fred Barstein:
You do everything yourself?

Galina K.:
Yes.

Fred Barstein:
You’re not alone. And so two things that you brought up that we thought was important, you said you are careful to keep minutes of the committee meeting. Why did you do that?

Galina K.:
Yes, when the plan becomes big enough to be subject to compliance to yearly audits, so that’s why you understand that you really need to be on a track. You really need to have quarterly meetings. You need to be sure that everything is running smoothly as it should go. That everything is done as should be done, compliance up to the deadline, reporting 55 audit. And revise where you are to see do you need to improve anything.

Fred Barstein:
Right, because if you don’t have the meeting minutes, they didn’t happen as far as the Department of Labor is concerned.

Galina K.:
Because, again, mid-size company, you always have a lot of everyday operations, which are keeping you; something that is not deadlined today, you put always on the side.

Fred Barstein:
Right. And then the second question that you brought is, payroll integration. And we know that’s really critical. But one of the questions, and sometimes people get confused to say, the only way you can do payroll integration is your payroll provider also has to be your record keeper. Is that the case?

Galina K.:
That’s not the case. Our payroll provider is not record keeper. We keep, in principal, as 401K platform. Why I did it? Firstly, to minimize human error. Specifically if you do not have your salary employees, you have a temp employees, you have hourly employees, whose deductions it’s different from payroll to payroll. Even if it’s sense. But the sense if you’re not properly invested in a bank it would create a lot of problems to your plan. So payroll integration has been very helpful to automated everything. It’s been a little bit; you need to be careful to understand how to implement it. Work with people to get what you want, but once it’s done, you could really start enjoying the benefits of just reviewing with Jill and approve it contributions so it’s very helpful.

Fred Barstein:
And again it’s your record keeper who’s stepping up and making sure that’s all happening and talking to your payroll provider right ?

Galina K.:
Yes.

Fred Barstein:
Very good. Final question, a couple of things you learned that you may wanna take back and implement when you leave the program.

Galina K.:
Yeah, I would definitely revise maybe more in the education of employees.

Fred Barstein:
Education?

Galina K.:
Yes, and to; we have a lot of people who contribute but it’s… you need to understand they need to contribute more.

Fred Barstein:
You can always do better.

Galina K.:
You can always do better, yeah.

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

Galina K.:
Thank you.

Fred Barstein:
And thank you for watching 401(k)TV, stay tuned.

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