Corporate Retirement Plan Advisors
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Offering a competitive benefits
package, including a top-notch 401(k) plan, is essential for your company to
recruit and retain top talent. Today’s workers highly value employer-sponsored
retirement plans: 88% of them say that an employee-funded retirement plan is
important to them. In addition, eight out of ten new hire candidates consider
retirement savings programs offered by prospective employers a major factor in
their job search decisions.
As a result, you should evaluate your
401(k) plan regularly — at least once a year — to ensure that it continues to
be the right fit for your business and employees. For example, if you find
during your review that you’re not satisfied with your current 401(k) provider
due to high fees, poor investment performance or a lack of service and support,
it may be time to consider changing providers. In addition, with many 401(k)
providers offering new technology and features, now may be a good time to see
if it makes sense to update your existing 401(k) offering by switching to a new
If you’re considering making a change,
here are five tips to help you evaluate your current provider. If you decide to
switch, we can help make the transition to your new one as smooth as possible:
#1 Before considering new 401(k) providers, carefully review
your existing one. Clearly identify why you’re unhappy with your current
plan provider and services, then determine the improvements you’d like to see
going forward. While your cons list for your existing provider may include “fees
are too high,” don’t let that be the only reason for switching. Comparing plan
providers based on fees alone doesn’t usually reflect the value you’re getting
for what you’re paying.
Instead of focusing solely on fees,
weigh your current provider — and any prospective ones in the running — based
on factors such as:
#2 Get familiar with the conversion process. Let’s say you decide to change plan providers. After you choose one, what’s next? An experienced provider should do most of the heavy lifting when transitioning your plan to their platform — called a conversion. To start, you’ll need to review and complete paperwork for your current plan to share with your old and new providers.
You can also expect:
#3 Take note of applicable fees. Your current provider may charge you a termination and/or surrender fee when you switch to a new one. These fees can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Call your existing provider to determine their termination and/or surrender fees in advance to avoid any surprises. Your new provider may also charge you to establish the new plan.
#4 You don’t have to stick
to your old plan design. Plan sponsors often
update their plan designs when switching providers. Most plan documents allow
changes to be made at any time, but keep in mind that there may be amendment,
regulatory or notice requirements you must meet before these changes become
effective. Also, be aware of any timing concerns — for example, investment
changes must be aligned with notice and blackout period requirements. Be sure
to touch base with your old and new providers to address any potential issues.
#5 Communicate plan
changes to your participants. When you
make changes to your 401(k), including switching providers, you’re legally
required to provide participants with a blackout notice that includes
You should also provide employees with information regarding any fund or plan design changes.
It may take some time to review your
current plan and switch to a new provider, if beneficial. Getting the support, and
features and investment options that are best for your plan and participants
will make the effort well worth it.
Need assistance? We can help you
create an innovative and competitive 401(k) offering to give you an edge when
it comes to recruiting and retaining talented employees. Contact us today to
receive more information!
 Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. 17th Annual
Transamerica Retirement Survey. “A Compendium of Findings About American
Workers.” December 2016.
 Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. 19th Annual
Transamerica Retirement Survey. “Employers: The
Retirement Security Challenge.” October 2019.
 Human Interest blog. “How to Change Your
401(k) Provider.” April 2017.
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