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Plan Sponsor Education is Important for Plan Success

Plan Sponsor Education is Important for Plan Success

Plan Sponsor fiduciary duties are not easily enumerated or defined.  Plan sponsor fiduciary duties associated with overseeing a tax-qualified retirement plan are unique to the role of serving as plan administrator. And the learning curve for serving as a retirement plan fiduciary is a steep one.

At the conclusion of a fiduciary education session held at Stanford University, in Stanford California, Founder and CEO of The Plan Sponsor University (TPSU), Fred Barstein, spoke with Rahul Upasani, Human Resource Executive of a Mobile Technology software firm with approximately 250 employees.  Mr. Upasani serves as the Plan Administrator of the company’s 401k retirement plan.  He discusses with Mr. Barstein, some requirements and restrictions associated with the Rollover process in retirement plans.

Full Transcript Here

Fred Barstein with 401kTV, here at Stanford University where we just completed a TPSU Program and I’m here with Rahul.


Welcome. Okay if we ask you a few questions?


Very good. You’re not sure, right? Anyway one of the things I wanted to … Before we do, tell us a little bit about yourself and the size of your organization and your role there.

Sure. So, I work with Branch Metrics, which is a SaaS based company, here in Redwood City. We have around 250 employees, and we are into mobile deep linking technology.

Probably growing?


Growing rapidly, right?


So, one of the things that we talked a little bit is, what you’d said. You had learned a little more about fiduciary.


What are some of the things you picked up?

Sure. So, it was very nice to understand like what exactly the fiduciary responsibilities as a plan administrator, or plan sponsor, I have. Basically, in the discussions during the class, I learned as far as rollover was concerned, 401(k) rollover, we can suggest to employees, but we cannot mandate to rollover because there are inherent risks and liabilities associated with that. We can definitely suggest, but we cannot mandate it. So, that was one of the important learnings.

And other aspects of fiduciary responsibilities, like what are do’s and what are don’ts. For example, having auto enrollment, it’s like a good do, so that we can achieve the objective of our 401(k) plan. But like, mandating employees to … like asking employees to make compulsory enroll or advising them on investments which I think carries risks and liabilities, so not to-

Be careful, not to do that.

Not to do that.

Right. And even though automatic enrollment is not required, but it helps to make a better plan. A better plan helps your fiduciary overall. Well, that’s great. So, a couple of things … I know you had a long list. Couple of things that you may want to take back and do when you get back to your organization.

Sure. So, first and most important thing which I learned from today’s session was about the education, importance of education to the employees about 401(k) and help them to invest for their retirement. I will be preparing an education policy because again, also it is related to fiduciary thing. I don’t want to risk my company’s officers or trustees in that. So, I will prepare an education policy, and try to design an education program for our employees so they understand about 401(k) and do the investments for their retirement. This is one thing.

Another thing which I definitely would be doing is reviewing our menu of the investment, and working with our advisors and partners to do the benchmarking and making sure that we not only are in compliance as far as the benchmarking is required, but we also offer value to our employees in terms of investment options.

Very good. And you also are going to do an RFP for your auditor, for your CPA auditor.


Which I think I hadn’t heard of that before, but it’s a great idea.


Well, great. Well, thank you for your time today. Thank you for attending the program, and thank you for watching 401kTV. Please stay tuned.



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