PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 19

Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year
Closing the Coverage Gap
Barbara Delaney, SSRBA,
A division of Hub International
Pearl River, New York
PLANADVISER: How is your team/process/structure
unique? How has it evolved? Where will you be in five
Barbara Delaney: I've been working with plan sponsors and
participants for over four decades. Our firm was one of the
first to bring 401(k)s to market in 1988. At that point, we were
manually filling out enrollment forms for each individual
with a choice of four funds and quarterly valuations. As the
401(k) market grew, we began to promote coverage for Americans
by introducing automatic enrollment, even before the
PPA [Pension Protection Act]. My goal is to emphasize that this
industry is ever-evolving, and we must continue to transform
along with it, even as we get tremendous resistance. I take my
role as a fiduciary to participants and sponsors as my overarching
responsibility. Increasing coverage through MEPs
[multiple employer plans], PEPs [pooled employer plans] and
other models, and better plan design features is imperative.
Our team is unique in how we keep a boutique-type
model, yet we now have the scope of a much larger organization
through Hub International. As demonstrated above,
we continue to be pioneers in our approach and never leave
a participant behind.
PA: As a retirement plan adviser, what do you take the
most pride in?
Delaney: We're proud of our success with our clients, which
average a participation rate of 95%-plus, with average deferrals
of over 10%. We're also proud of our client retention rate.
Many of our clients have partnered with us since the 1980s.
PA: What changes to your practice or service model are
you planning for this year or next?
Delaney: Here we sit in 2022 in a world that has totally
changed due to COVID-19,
the great resignation and,
my view, a total reset of values where employees are more
focused on work/life balance. The industry's biggest challenge
is providing access to a retirement plan through the
workforce. According to Lisa Kottler with Sallus Retirement,
today, only 600,000 employers offer a plan, yet 6 million
Closing the Coverage Gap Finalists
* Connor & Gallagher OneSource, Lisle, Illinois
* Steven Scott, Retirement Solution Group,
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
employers nationwide could offer one. In other words, we've
covered only 10% of the employer market in the last 45 years.
Recognizing this huge gap, in February 2020 we initiated a
feasibility study to analyze the opportunity of forming a MEP
for manufacturing companies through the National Association
of Manufacturers. NAM engaged a consultant and our
firm to form a working group of their member manufacturers
to get better coverage for the 30,000 association members,
40% of which have no plan. With the goal of providing
coverage to all, this January, we rolled out the National Association
of Manufacturers Multiple Employer Retirement Plan,
which will be offered to over 30,000 manufacturers.
Additionally, we have a MEP in progress with the German
American Chamber of Commerce that will offer startup
plans for new and existing chamber members on a national
level. We also collaborate with outside adviser partners and
just launched a startup for 12 McDonald's franchisees who
don't sponsor a plan. In summary, our goal is to solve the
coverage problem over the next five years.
PA: What challenges does the plan industry face, and what
role do you have in addressing them?
Delaney: There are several challenges the industry faces to
provide broad coverage to all Americans: simplifying governance;
reducing and/or relaxing timing for testing requirements;
providing seamless startup strategies using digital
services; reducing costs for startup plans; and getting
Washington to collaborate with us to accomplish the above.
The role our firm plays is being involved in NAPA
[National Association of Plan Advisers] in many ways. I have
served on the steering committee, the leadership council,
and the government affairs committee.
Our firm has also challenged the industry to re-engage
with participants to get better outcomes and enrollment.
PA: Why do you feel plan advisers should get involved
in expanding the defined contribution retirement plan
system to cover more types of employers and employees?
Delaney: If the adviser doesn't get involved and assist in
getting this done, the government will do it for us. Need I
say more? The biggest challenges preventing the broader
delivery of tax-advantaged retirement savings opportunities
in the workplace include costs, complexity and ease in plan
administration using digital resources and/or third parties.
The way to meet this challenge is to get advisers to focus and
commit time to this as part of their normal business plan. May-June 2022 | 19

PLANADVISER -May/June 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANADVISER -May/June 2022

PLANADVISER Industry Leaders Awards
Paving the Way
2022 DCIO Survey
Fool's Gold for 401(k)s?
Design and Stability
A Collective Effort
Cryptocurrency In DC Plans
Real Estate Fund Investments
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Cover1
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Cover2
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 1
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 2
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 3
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 4
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PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 9
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - PLANADVISER Industry Leaders Awards
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 11
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 12
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 13
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PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 19
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Paving the Way
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 21
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 22
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 23
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 2022 DCIO Survey
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 25
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 26
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 27
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 28
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 29
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Fool's Gold for 401(k)s?
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 31
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 32
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 33
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Design and Stability
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 35
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - A Collective Effort
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 37
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - 38
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Cryptocurrency In DC Plans
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Real Estate Fund Investments
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Cover3
PLANADVISER -May/June 2022 - Cover4