As a plan administrator, it’s important to regularly evaluate your retirement plan. Not sure where to start? Here are 3 steps you can take to make sure your plan measures up.
1. Understand what is true about your retirement plan
How is your plan constructed? Designed? Administered? Managed? How is it really being used by your staff? If there is no plan in place at all, the reality is immediately obvious.
John 8:23 says that “Knowing the truth will set us free.” Freedom and life giving impact certainly starts with knowing the truth. It if further suggested that with Jesus’ help we can find our way to the total freedom promised by him during his earthly ministry. He sent his wisdom and insight to guide us. The reality that freedom truly can exist becomes real. Know the truth about your retirement plan.
2. Measure your plan against 3 relevant yardsticks.
What might those be? There are a number of different metrics that are relevant.
A. Does your plan connect your staff to God's perspective of retirement?
If your organization has both values and a faith-based foundation, it’s important to offer a faith-based perspective in your retirement plan.
How can a retirement plan reflect a faith-based perspective and support the values of your organization? Check out www.futurefundedministry.com for an overview of how retirement planning can be a continuation of your current and future ministry.
B. Does it measure up against competitive marketplace metrics?
Issues dealing with cost, investment selection and mix, retirement planning education and tools, ease of administration, and ease of use for each participant are some of the keys for a meaningful evaluation.
C. How well is your retirement plan truly working for you?
Does it work administratively? For your staff? A word of warning—the staff you should be concerned about is not the 10% of your staff who are investment knowledgeable and retirement plan pros. They will generally be ok with whatever plan you have. You should be concerned with the staff who are not engaged, know little, and may be scared of addressing the topic of retirement
3. Connect with a plan provider that’s right for you.
This is critical.
Intuitively, we all recognize that not having the right tools to do a job or having the wrong person in a leadership position can be disastrous. The same is true for retirement plan providers. Retirement plans come in all shapes, sizes, and descriptions. Among smaller or medium sized plans, insurance company providers are the most prevalent. Often this is because a friend, associate, or church member is in the insurance business and brings the solutions to the table they are most familiar with. We all recognize that this approach may not bring the desired results measured against any meaningful criteria.
In the area of investments, generally, the menu of options and the choice of investments is determined or significantly influenced by your “financial” representative. Their perspective may be limited, yet, their recommendation is followed due to a personal relationship with a member of your key board or staff.
So there you have it—3 key steps to impacting the future of your employees, staff, ministry team, and maybe even yourself. Put that process not only on your "to do" list, but make it a part of your strategic action plan, even yet this year.