Account manager shows sponsor the ropes
of the industry
RECORDKEEPER EMPLO YER: MassMutual
TENURE WI TH COMPAN Y: Seven years
BIO: Terry Jackson, an account
manager, joined MassMutual
Financial Group in 1998. Since
then, he has held numerous roles
with the firm, today, focusing
on overseeing his plan sponsor
clients’ and ensuring these meet
CLIENT: Refrigerated Holdings Inc.
(formerly East Coast Warehouse
CLIEN T INDUS TRY: Refrigerated warehouse
and logistics services
CLIEN T HEADQUAR TERS: Elizabeth, New Jersey
CLIEN T PLAN ASSE TS: $7.2 million
CLIEN T PLAN PAR TICIPAN TS: 203
When Theresa Jacobs, corporate controller for Refrigerated Holdings Inc., joined the firm in 2011, she was tasked with the unfamiliar role of admin- istering a 401(k) plan. “I had no experience in that field whatsoever,” Jacobs
recalls. However, Terry Jackson, account manager with MassMutual Financial Group,
had been servicing the plan for a year at the time and extended a hand to Jacobs.
“He basically led me through the whole process,” Jacobs says. “The learning curve
was tough during the first year, but he was always there to answer all of my questions.”
She adds, “His response time is remarkable. You would think that we’re his only
client. Of course, that’s not the case, but he gets to know his clients on a one-to-one
basis and in turn provides an invaluable level of support and service. He’s been on our
account for years now, so he knows our plan administration well.”
Jacobs says Jackson’s commitment to the plan was exemplified one day when they
were both on vacation. Jacobs was made aware that a contribution file contained an
error. She phoned Jackson but learned he was out of the office. Before she had a chance
to reach out to his back-up representative, Jackson himself contacted her.
“To my surprise, he called me from his cell phone,” Jacobs says. When she
mentioned her understanding that he was on vacation, he said he had seen her message
and realized he could help her from home. “He did that for us,” Jacobs says. “To me, that
shows he goes beyond the 9 to 5. He is really committed to his clients.”
At the time, Jacobs thought the problem could have waited until both were back at
work, but Jackson insisted he take a little time to address it immediately.
She says he extends the same level of commitment and guidance to a new third-
party administrator (TPA) that Refrigerated Holdings began working with last year.
“[When they each started,] the plan sponsor and the TPA were relatively new in their
roles and with MassMutual,” Jackson notes. “We work with the client to accommodate
any special needs or reporting it may require.”
Additionally, his help navigating through the documentation difficulties that plan
sponsors often encounter is something Jacobs is especially grateful for. She says he
helped her administer safe harbor provisions, which the plan enacted two years ago—
audits; discrimination testing; and hardship withdrawals taken by participants.
“He understands the severity of the situation when participants must take hardship withdrawals, and the fact that people need those funds quickly, whether it’s due to
a possible eviction, or unreimbursed medical expense,” says Jacobs. She notes that he
stays on top of the paperwork, navigating it through the proper channels. “[ That] in turn
is appreciated by the participants,” she says.
“I get bombarded with calls and emails asking if we’re looking to make a change
in providers,” she says. “Although we’ve looked at others, we stay with MassMutual
because of the level of quality service we receive.” —Javier Simon