The best designed plan can fail to meet the needs of your employees if it is not managed effectively. Cowden Associates, Inc. can perform a complete operational review of all aspects of a defined contribution plan to determine if plan designs are efficient and meet the objectives of the plan sponsor. Executing a rigorous assessment of the 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan’s administration, we answer questions like:
- Do operations follow the plan provisions?
- Are plan documents, enrollment forms, SPDs, and other communication materials current and clear?
- Are the plans in compliance with all required testing and reporting?
- Has the plan sponsor optimized all available pathways to accomplish their objectives?
Operational Review: Sample Tasks
- Review of the current vendor’s administrative, recordkeeping and trust services.
- Analysis of the current service and support structure of 401(k) vendor, including compliance testing.
- Review of the plan document to determine if design changes are warranted in:
- Safe Harbor Requirements
- Automatic Enrollment
- Alternative Matching
- Hardship Provisions
- Loan Features, etc.
- Review of the quality and effectiveness of employee communications and investment education.
- Analysis of the capability and usability of the vendor website and voice response unit from participants and plan sponsor perspective.
- Review of the vendor technology platform and backup/disaster systems.