PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 2

publisher's note //
Greater Expectations
M
embers of the editorial team recently selected
this year's PLANSPONSOR Retirement Plan
Sponsor of the Year Award finalists. We look
for plan sponsors that offer strong plans, rely on best
practices in design, and couple those things with good
governance. This year, what I found surprising was how
many plans had yet to embrace automatic features-or
had only half embraced them, say by using automatic
enrollment but not automatic escalation.
As we go to the printer, the Securing a Strong Retirement Act-aka SECURE
2.0-passed the House in true bipartisan fashion (414-5). A provision of note is
that the bill mandates automatic enrollment, with automatic escalation, in new
401(k) and 403(b) plans. Although it provides grandfathering for existing plans,
I think the features' endorsement makes it hard to argue that those plans don't
need such design. After all, we know it works and that most people don't opt out.
But looking at the Retirement Plan Sponsor of the Year award entries, I was
also surprised by some of the advisers on the plans-for both good and bad.
Some plans were weaker than we liked to see-plans with extremely wellknown
advisers, who talk a lot about best practices. Plans I'd consider needing
improvement. Alternatively, there were amazing sponsors being incredibly
creative with how to engage their employees and inspire them to contribute
more. We also found many amazing and, until then, unfamiliar to us, advisers
behind those plans. I admit, seeing well-known adviser names attached to plans
that lacked baseline best-in-class plan design was disappointing.
Advisers' role is to help their plan sponsor clients think through what design
features will have the most significant impact on retirement readiness. The
biggest factor in success, besides access and enrollment? Contributions.
Deferral rate escalation and other plan features are discussed less regularly
than, say, investment benchmarks. Design isn't a regular topic for most advisers'
quarterly committee meetings. But I'd argue that it should be. While much
is made of fees and funds, how much money participants save in the plan-
through their own or their employer's contributions-is more critical to their
success than which target-date fund they save in.
I can only speak for myself, but as a judge across all our awards, I want to
hear from plan sponsors how their advisers get behind ideas that are more
creative than " adopt the best share class. " Quarterly review of the investments is
important from a due diligence and fiduciary governance perspective, but so are
the regular reviews of participant data and thoughtful changes to plan design-
including adding auto-features and implementing re-enrollment where lacking.
Our most recent PLANSPONSOR Participant Survey, as well as other surveys,
continue to stress how much trust employees put in their employer and the
advisers to whom they turn for guidance about their finances. I think plans
that auto-enroll low and then let the deferral rate stagnate are potentially less
helpful than doing nothing. When participants are automatically enrolled at
2% or 3% and not engaged into an escalation program, an implicit message is
that this is an acceptable amount to save.
Your plan sponsor clients know they need help. Consider that only
36.3% of all sponsors agreed that most of their employees will achieve their
retirement goals by age 65. Meanwhile, 59.4% agreed that their company " has
a responsibility to improve the financial wellness of " its employees. I think
advisers need to determine where each client fits into those statistics and how
they can increase the certainty its participants will achieve their goals; they
should be willing to suggest ideas for how they can help improve those workers'
financial health. It will be appreciated. -Alison Cooke Mintzer, Publisher
publisher: Alison Cooke Mintzer
Alison.Mintzer@issmediasolutions.com
creative director: SooJin Buzelli
SooJin.Buzelli@issmediasolutions.com
managing editor: Judy Faust Hartnett
Judy.FaustHartnett@issmediasolutions.com
managing editor, planadviser.com
John Manganaro
John.Manganaro@issmediasolutions.com
editorial staff: Rebecca Moore, DJ Shaw,
Karen Wittwer, Noah Zuss
contributors: Beth Braverman, Michael Katz,
Kimberly Lankford, Amanda Umpierrez,
Judy Ward
surveys & research: Angela Marinakis, Jackie Scott
design & production: Donna Bien-Aimé, Alanna
Jacobs, Samantha Yu
design contributor: Cherese Rambaldi
art contributors: Tim Bower, Andrea D'Aquino,
Taylor Dow, Laila Ekboir, Lorenzo Gritti, Nan
Lee, Philip Lindeman, OYOW, Julien Posture
(cover), Silver Orchid Photography, Ellen
Weinstein, Emine Yilmaz
strategy & operations: Michelle Lamison
commercial director: Rob Reif
Robert.Reif@issmediasolutions.com
advertising sales: Katie Bacon; Christopher Janos,
Meighan McGowan, Bill Murray
sales operations manager: Anthony Groccia
reprints: Michelle Judkins
Michelle.Judkins@issmediasolutions.com
conferences: Carol Popkins; Katie Campbell,
Rebecca Fahey, Lucille Velander
accounting operations: Mayrillane Bahi,
Ruth Fissaha, Ricky Kostik
technology operations: Darrell Cheng, Bhakti Patel,
Jigar Patel, Dexter Reaves
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president and chief executive officer: Gary Retelny
chief financial officer: Allen Heery
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PLANADVISER - March/April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANADVISER - March/April 2022

A Digital Divide
Staying Power
The Prospects of Staying Virtual
Another Retention Tool
Is It Time to Let Go?
The Evolving Use of RFPs
Best Interest Reasons For a Rollover
Guaranteed Lifetime Income
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - C1
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - FC1
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - FC2
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - C2
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 1
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 2
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 3
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 4
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 5
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 6
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 7
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 8
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 9
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 10
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 11
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 12
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 13
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 14
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 15
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 16
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 17
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - A Digital Divide
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 19
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 20
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 21
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 22
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 23
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - Staying Power
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 25
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 26
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 27
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 28
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 29
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - The Prospects of Staying Virtual
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 31
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - Another Retention Tool
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 33
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - Is It Time to Let Go?
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 35
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - The Evolving Use of RFPs
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 37
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - 38
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - Best Interest Reasons For a Rollover
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - Guaranteed Lifetime Income
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - C3
PLANADVISER - March/April 2022 - C4
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/industry_leader_awards_2022
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/march_april_2022
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/january_february_2022
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/november_december_2021
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/september_october_2021
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/july_august_2021
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/may_june_2021
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/march_april_2021
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/january_february_2021
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/november_december_2020
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/september_october_2020
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/july_august_2020
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/may_june_2020
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/march_april_2020
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/january_february_2020
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/november_december_2019
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/september_october_2019
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/july_august_2019
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/may_june_2019
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/march_april_2019
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/january_february_2019
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/november_december_2018
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/september_october_2018
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/july_august_2018
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/may_june_2018
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/march_april_2018
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/january_february_2018
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/november_december_2017
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/september_october_2017
https://www.planadviserdigital.com/planadviser/july_august_2017
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