Rebecca Baird, Inderdeep Kaur and
Jennifer Schneiderman help complete
numerous plan integrations
RECORDKEEPER EMPLO YER: Aon Hewitt
TEAM MEMBERS: Rebecca Baird, Inderdeep
Kaur, Jennifer Schneiderman
TENURE WI TH COMPAN Y: A combined 46 years
BIOS: Rebecca Baird was the Cummins
defined contribution (DC) client
manager responsible for overall
client satisfaction, retirement
consulting, large-scale ad hoc
projects and service delivery.
Inderdeep Kaur was accountable
for operational performance
and coordinating ongoing service
delivery to Cummins. Jennifer
Schneiderman creates high level
analyses, coaches analysts and
reviews and approves all analyses,
system configuration, technical
documentation and testing for
CLIENT: Cummins Inc.
CLIEN T INDUS TRY: Manufacturing
CLIEN T HEADQUAR TERS: Columbus, Indiana
Over the past two years, Cummins Inc., a manufacturer of engines and other power-related products, has made numerous acquisitions, integrating most of the acquired employees into its own retirement plans. The process, which
is expected to continue, has sometimes meant dealing with multiple plans at one
company—e.g., separate plans for union and nonunion employees, each with a different recordkeeper.
“It’s been a huge project,” says Darlene Hamilton, North American retirement
specialist at Cummins. “It is mind-boggling, the number of things that need to occur
for an integration to go smoothly.”
Fortunately, recordkeeper Aon Hewitt has kept the integration projects on track.
“The Aon Hewitt team members were calm when we were ready to pull our hair
out,” Hamilton recalls. “The team at Aon Hewitt has done a really good job of keeping
us on task.”
Rebecca Baird served as Aon Hewitt’s defined contribution (DC) client manager,
working with Cummins’ plan during the completed integrations (she has since tran-
sitioned to a role as a solutions consultant in retirement and investment sales at the
firm). She was joined on the Aon Hewitt team helping Cummins by Lead Systems
Analyst Advanced Jennifer Schneiderman, as well as Inderdeep Kaur, then a benefits
operations manager and now a defined contribution (DC) client manager working
with Cummins’ plan.
Cummins completed 11 integrations in the past two years, Hamilton says.
Baird identifies a couple of the biggest complexities that were involved. First,
the sponsor and recordkeeper had to identify protected benefits—for both union
and nonunion employees at acquired companies—that needed to continue for those
employee groups when moved into the Cummins plan. Those included elements such
as distribution options and vesting schedules. Second, the sponsor and Aon Hewitt
needed to ensure that the latter received the large amount of necessary data from the
recordkeepers of acquired-company plans on schedule.
“Aon Hewitt put together a detailed project plan with tasks to do each week, and it
set up weekly Friday phone calls with us,” Hamilton says. “We’d go through the tasks
for the week—what had been accomplished and what still had to be done. And they
would talk to us about what tasks were coming up in the next few weeks.” Aon Hewitt
also sent follow-up emails reiterating what Cummins staff members needed to do next.
“Every week, we provided them with a quick summary of the status of the project,
something that they could easily share with their leadership,” Baird says. “And we made
sure they knew exactly what still needed to be done and when it needed to be done by.”
The company likely will do one or more integrations by next year, Hamilton says.
“It’s a really massive project,” she says, “and it is not over yet.” —Judy Ward
FROM LEFT: Inderdeep Kaur,
Rebecca Baird and