David Klimaszewski discusses how to create a checklist for retirement plan committees in an article by PLANSPONSOR

PLANSPONSOR recently interviewed Culhane Meadows’ Dallas partner David Klimaszewski to discuss what committees need to consider for retirement planning.

Here are some excerpts from David’s interview:

GIVEN THAT THERE ARE so many considerations to weigh when overseeing a retirement plan, it is important for plan sponsors to have a checklist for their committees—whether the sponsor has a single retirement plan committee or dual investment and administrative committees—to cover in quarterly meetings. These meetings typically last between one and two hours.

There are two main areas that retirement plan committees need to cover: settlor, or administrative, functions and fiduciary functions, says Cliff Dunteman, a partner with Francis Investment Counsel.

A best practice, and a commonsense one at that, is to circulate an agenda to the committee members beforehand, says David Klimaszewski, a partner with Culhane Meadows. At the top of the meeting, it is common for the committee to approve the minutes from the previous meeting, Klimaszewski says.

Another key area that retirement plan committees need to discuss is participant data, including changes to participation rates, average balances and deferrals; maximization of the match; utilization of Roth provisions; and loans and withdrawals, he says.

Dunteman says that because there are so many topics for a plan committee to cover, it might set a calendar agenda for its quarterly meetings. The first quarter meeting, for example, could cover annual benchmarking studies where the committee takes a look at how its participants’ utilization of the plan compares to companies of similar size or industries, he says.

The second quarter meeting could delve into fees. The committee should ask itself if the fees are reasonable and have if they have been benchmarked through industry studies, requests for proposals (RFPs) or requests for information (RFIs), Dunteman says.

The committee could discuss audit results in its third quarter meeting, he says. “Most plan sponsors we work with have an annual audit,” Dunteman says. “It is a good idea for whoever coordinates that audit to report to the retirement plan committee.”

The upcoming education plan for participants for the next year could be the centerpiece for the fourth quarter meeting, Dunteman says. The committee can rely on resources from its recordkeeper and/or its consultant for this information, he says.

Retirement plan committees also need to discuss the performance of their service providers, Klimaszewski says.

The complete article can be found here.


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