“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead.
1. Transporation and trucking, Southern Arizona.
Modernize and educate were the two objectives we had with this 100-year-old company. The retirement plan they had in place lacked the modern features our current workforce requires to make sound decisions, and it still carried the same level of fiduciary liability as it did since the plan was created.
Our approach, as always, started with educating the plan sponsors on how the retirement landscape has changed throughout the past 30 years. We explained the deficiencies and the liability that was being taken upon by the plan sponsors. The company knew they needed to modernize and they wanted to provide more tools to their employees. The problem was they didn’t know how.
We performed a cost analysis on the overall plan and found significant savings by switching payroll providers and third-party administrators.
From a processing standpoint, we brought in an integrated solution so that both the record-keeper and the payroll platform were cohesive. Participant changes on the 401k plan no longer necessitated going to the CFO as all processes were automated and streamlined.
The investments were re-organized to incorporate the best-in-class investment selections that drive positive retirement outcomes. Enrollment meetings and questions regarding the retirement plan were redirected to our office for support so that the plan sponsors were not at risk of offering financial advice to their employees.
We wanted to educate plan participants on the current retirement landscape. The employees of this company had never once met with a financial adviser to talk about their goals, their concerns and how their plan affected them.
We started by educating the employees about the importance of saving for retirement. Using live representations current to this company’s culture we relayed the information needed for them to make actionable decisions.
A significant number of this company’s workforce were primarily Spanish speaking employees who were never introduced to the concepts of retirement planning. Our one-on-one approach in both English and Spanish speaking languages meant that was no longer the case.
Our objectives now continue onward with quarterly educational meetings on all matters related to financial success.
2. Aerospace machining and fabrication, Southern Arizona.
Driving a successful retirement plan generally involves providing guidance and support to plan participants. In the end, if given practical, actionable advice, the action should result in better outcomes. Sounds easy, right?
It would have been if the guidance and support were provided. However; not having an actual plan advisor proved to be problematic for this particular company. The lack of a financial advisor meant that the plan went without prudential oversight for many years.
Our approach started with modernization. Modernizing the platform so that participants had instant access to their retirement plans instead of waiting for quarterly statements. It meant upgrading the fund line-up utilizing guided investments that were not only low in cost but also simple to understand.
The company also wanted to expand into having other additional future retirement benefits, whether it was via the usage of a company pension plan or an employee-stock-ownership plan. So we made sure their new platform had easy integration access to both criteria’s.
We followed up with incorporating financial education and literacy promoted on-site. We then continued to hammer home the message of retirement readiness through one-on-one elective meetings.
The approach was designed to educate a workforce that received minimal incentive to save for retirement other than it is a smart thing to do.
Our one-on-one meetings were designed to take a holistic approach toward the participant individual needs and build an actionable financial plan that was simple to follow. Our scope of planning was not just limited to investment advice but full-on financial planning such as tackling student debt, personal debt and saving for home ownership.
3. Communications engineering, Southern Arizona.
This particular company came to us with a long-standing 401k plan that was very high in benefits but had concerns with the attention provided from their existing plan advisor.
Our initial assessment found the following deficiencies: underperformance compared to national averages, higher than average cost, and lack of on-site participant financial wellness courses.
Our first order of work after being brought on was to modernize and deliver cost savings to the retirement plan. Our big picture approach saw a reduction in cost by approximately 1.2% overall.
We re-worked the fund line-up utilizing a blend of both passive and low-cost managed investment solutions. We pared down the investment fund line-up from an overwhelming 42 options to a more reasonable 18 possibilities. We did this because we knew that the participants were information overloaded with the broad fund selection. Participants didn’t need five different options in one category with varying levels of fees and performance.
Our second task at hand was to educate the participants on their overall retirement benefits package further. We did by using relevant examples that were relatable to the company workforce.
Our hands-on approach meant we were able to help project current retirement savings into retirement age and determine anticipated retirement income. We encouraged participants to further maximize their savings given the extended benefits and outlaid precisely how much more money they had by doing so.
With broad financial literacy messages coupled with individual holistic planning meetings, we were able to answer significantly many of the financial concerns that this workforce had and help generate individual retirement plans that promote financial wellness in their personal lives.