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mauriceMaurice Burton, SVP, Human Resources

Maurice worked hard to create a paternal work environment and needs a dedicated team to improve employees’ experience with the retirement plan so they will take advantage of all the plan features as they pursue their retirement goals...

Company Overview:

Industry/sector: professional services - law firm

Number of employees: 62

Plan Assets: $14 million

Maurice Burton is a partner and senior vice president at a prestigious law firm. Over the course of his 22 years with the firm, he gradually transitioned from practicing labor law to managing the growing firm’s human resources department. Along with his partners at the firm, he is focused on maintaining the firm’s paternal workplace culture that recognizes the demands placed on the firm’s busy attorneys, associates and staff—from the long hours, to the pressures of preparing for court filings and trial dates.

As a father of three, it’s particularly important to Maurice to maintain an environment offering the kind of flexibility families need to pursue their goals, whether it’s time off to attend a child’s soccer game or deal with a family emergency, or access to the information and education required to make informed financial and retirement planning decisions.

Lately, Maurice is concerned that many employees are not fully utilizing the firm’s retirement plan and may not fully recognize the value the plan provides as an important part of their retirement savings program. While the firm provides a substantial profit-sharing contribution, the average deferral rate for plan participants and employee attendance at education meetings are both low. Maurice felt the quality of the employee communication materials and group participant meetings were contributing to the lack of plan utilization by employees.

Maurice asked 401(K) Prosperity™ for help. After conducting a full evaluation of the plan, including the employee communication and education process, we recommended the following:

  1. Conduct a request for information (RFI) to address high plan costs. While the plan’s investment platform and custodian were fine, the RFI process could be used to validate our belief that overall plan costs were high, providing the ability to negotiate a reduction in plan costs.
  2. Communicate the outcome as a good news announcement to garner employees’ attention and emphasize the many benefits and the overall value the plan provides.
  3. Interview employees to gain a better understanding of their opinions of the plan and the firm’s employee communication and education programs. Determine why employees are not attending voluntary meetings and validate Maurice’s concerns about the current approach to education.
  4. Engage employees attending group meetings by providing current and relevant information and topics chosen by the employees. Include market updates and financial planning sessions that provide employees with the tools and information necessary to develop an integrated strategy across all of their finances, not just their retirement plan holdings.
  5. Create a 401(k) Day, providing all employees with an opportunity to meet one-on-one with an experienced financial advisor to ask questions and discuss their personal situations in greater detail.
  6. Set benchmarks to help improve participation and deferral rates, aligned with the company’s goal to exceed its peer group industry averages in these areas.

Client stories may not be representative of the results of all clients and are not indicative of future performance or success.

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