Investment governance, retirement plan design, administration

As the retirement landscape continues to evolve, defined contribution plans are increasingly becoming a major source of retirement income for many working Americans. And that means employers are challenged to continually improve plans, deliver better outcomes, and encourage greater participation.

A complex environment, complex challenges

Do these problems sound familiar?

  • Desire to offer benefits that are not just competitive but differentiating in an ever-evolving space that includes short term (debt management, budgeting, savings) and long-term (retirement) financial needs.
  • On-going focus on managing risk to the organization while plaintiffs’ attorneys continue to mine for new lawsuits around fees, funds, and managed account.
  • Limited time and resources to deliver and monitor a complex array of administrative processes.

As a plan sponsor, you also must contend with a multi-generational workforce today. Your baby boomers have different needs than millennials and Gen X. Yet every baby boomer is not equally prepared for retirement, nor is every millennial challenged by the same financial obstacles. Most employees have a commitment to today’s career, but not today’s employer. And many simply don’t have the tools or resources to make the most of their income today or their savings in retirement.

So what if you could position your defined contribution plan to deliver more — more for your employees, and more for your organization through an enhanced design and delivery model that may improve your employees' retirement incomes and optimize your outcomes?

Top considerations for DC plan sponsors

This paper outlines areas of consideration for defined contribution (DC) plans sponsors in 2024, offering opportunities to align DC plan features, practices and investments with more personalized participant needs.

Build your plan on a strong foundation of investment governance

The governance of DC plans is complex and regulatory requirements have made plan oversight challenging. Employing best practices for holistic plan management can help. Well-run programs encompass ongoing monitoring that covers a broad spectrum of services, from advisory to fully delegated solutions and may include:
  • Investment guidelines & performance monitoring
  • Vendor benchmarking & oversight
  • Audit & compliance support
  • Timely manager appointment & fund transitions

Sound plan design focused on participant success

As a plan sponsor, you must address the needs of both the organization and your employees. An optimal plan design accomplishes both—maximizing the employer spend to the benefit of the employees, particularly key segments of the workforce. This lens requires placing a priority on improving participant outcomes. Successful plan sponsors manage key levers that are within their influence to:

  • Improve participant engagement
  • Enhance savings behaviors
  • Mitigate leaks
  • Maximize account growth over time

What can you do now to uncover opportunities?

Conduct a needs analysis

Consider conducting a needs analysis for your employees; establishing success metrics, increasing investment diversification and exploring financial wellness solutions.

Evaluate on a regular basis

Evaluate your DC plan design on a regular basis to ensure it stays relevant for your employees. Gather insight into employee needs through sensing and data analytics.

Review these areas

  • Participant needs analysis
  • Investment option utilization
  • Retirement preparedness
  • Design modeling

Leverage financial wellness to inform your plan

Financial wellness programs can help employees find balance and control over their finances for the immediate and long term. Through financial wellness programs, employees may:

  • Decrease their financial worries and distractions
  • Have greater satisfaction with their employers 

In addition, financial wellness programs may benefit employers by:

  • Having employees that are more focused, engaged and productive
  • Decreasing absenteeism and turnover rates by helping employees better manage their finances and monetary challenges

Our approach to financial wellness programs focuses on engaging employees throughout their careers and lives — well before retirement. We welcome the opportunity to share our methodology, which relies on data analytics to help provide insights into employee behaviors.

Blueprint for resilience

A solid governance framework should be the base from which all investors begin to forge their objectives, strategy and investment portfolio.
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