Using defined benefit thinking to achieve better 401(k) outcomes

Our goal is to enhance retirement security for American workers by using defined benefit (DB) thinking to achieve better 401(k) outcomes. 401(k) plans were originally intended to serve as a supplemental retirement savings plan. Unfortunately, many plans today continue to operate in the same fashion. We begin by “re-purposing” the 401(k) plan to a “retirement income” approach. We then apply many of the same concepts employed by institutional DB managers and hardwire those same concepts into the 401(k) plan to produce better outcomes for participants.


Drivers of Success

The 4 primary drivers of plan success are increased participation rates, determining appropriate contribution levels for every employee, professional portfolio construction, and formulating benefit payment strategies. Accordingly, we implement and execute in 6 key areas:

  • Strong institutional oversight and governance program,
  • Institutional plan design features,
  • Institutional quality fee schedule for administration and investments,
  • Institutional quality investment management structure,
  • Infrastructure resources aligned to support participant solution sets,
  • Institutionally scaled resources to provide access to longevity pooling.

Better Information
We provide plan participants with timely, relevant, personal and easy-to-understand information that motivates positive decisions.

Better Decisions
Our aim is to deliver the essential resources to each participant in order to facilitate appropriate funding and investment decisions to each individual’s circumstance.

Better Results
Surveys show that participants receiving this kind of help produce substantially improved outcomes compared to participants not receiving help.  How substantial? For a 45-year old participant receiving help could translate to 79% more wealth at age 65.

Our 401(k) Capabilities

Plan Performance Monitoring (Retainer Services):

  • Case study and plan assessment
  • Plan goal setting and strategic development
  • Plan design structure and technological resources evaluation
  • Investment menu design
  • Portfolio construction
  • Mutual fund / investment management selection
  • Performance monitoring and evaluation
  • Fee benchmarking
  • Participant group meetings

In addition, organizations often hire us to provide one-time project services including:

  • 401(k) Service provider evaluation and selection,
  • Restructuring service provider fee arrangements,
  • Research projects for special need situations,
  • Special Studies for due diligence support,
  • Second opinions to support objective decisions,
  • Problem resolution situations,