PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 17

2021 PLAN SPONSOR OF THE YEAR WINNERS | BEST PRACTICES
Corporate 401(k) $25mm - $50mm
COFCO International USA
Chicago, Illinois
I
f plan sponsors need proof that their match is
a critical factor affecting participants' deferral
rates, they need look no farther than the 401(k)
plan of COFCO International USA, an agriculture
supply chain company, headquartered in
Chicago. The plan's 15.3% average deferral rate is
largely due to its qualified nonelective contribution
(QNEC) of 3%, plus a 50-cent match of all
that an employee defers-with no cap.
How this match came to be stems
from COFCO's formation: Two companies
merged-one with a 100% company match
with no cap, the other with a 3% safe harbor
contribution but no match, explains Sharon
Kacsits, director of human resources (HR)
North America at COFCO.
The effects of the match are profound, she
says. " It encourages some people to go all in.
Come January, suddenly I'll see some people
receive paychecks for zero dollars because they're
putting all of their money into the 401(k)-they
max out at the start of the year. Others make the
maximum contributions throughout the year.
" This is why we don't pair automatic enrollment
with automatic escalation, " she continues.
" Our 92.6% participation rate and [our] deferral
rate are amazing. We're very proud of what
people are saving. "
COFCO has also worked hard to streamline
the resulting complexities from the
merger, she says. " When I started with the
company, in 2018, we had three 401(k) plans,
two advisers and two third-party administrator
[TPA] companies filing our Form 5500. " She
brought in Benefit Partners Financial Group
to run a request for proposals (RFP), and the
firm helped the sponsor switch recordkeepers
to John Hancock, chosen for its participant
services and tools. " And we put together a pretty
strong retirement plan committee that, in our
quarterly meetings, continually discusses how
to improve the plan. "
Kacsits says Russell Warye, an adviser with
Benefit Partners, also helped COFCO improve
its plan design. " We're committed to the retirement
preparation of our employees, " she says.
In support of this commitment, the company
opens the plan to workers after their first 60
days of employment and starts contributing 3%
to the safe harbor plan on the first of the month
following their hire date. " Everyone is 100%
vested immediately, " she notes.
Warye, too, remembers the extensive
administrative streamlining that the plan
initially required. COFCO hired him the same
year as Kacsits, to help with the merger. Adding
to the complexities she mentioned, the company
was working from three locations and had two
separate investment lineups, he says.
" It was a big effort from all parties to pull
this together, but the company had some new
committee members who were motivated to
improve the plan for the participants, " Warye
recalls. " We were charged with the responsibility
to review the current plans, to complete a full
cost and service benchmarking evaluation, and
to then present our findings to the committee. "
After the foundation for a revamped plan
was laid, the committee earnestly worked with
Benefit Partners to institute several important
plan improvements, Warye says. These included
establishing a committee charter to formalize
the committee's work; offering committee
members annual fiduciary training; and implementing
an investment policy statement (IPS)
that coordinated with the adviser firm's investment
performance reporting program, he says.
COFCO then consolidated the investment
lineup and moved it to an open architecture platform
so the company could offer best-in-class
funds with zero revenue sharing, he says. This
lowered the average expense ratio for participants
by nearly 30 basis points (bps), Warye says.
And the company elected to pay the plan's
TPA and recordkeeper. " The only cost to
participants is the mutual fund expense ratios
applicable to the investments they select, "
Warye notes. -Lee Barney
Sharon Kacsits,
Director of Human Resources
North America
The plan's
15.3% average
deferral rate
is largely due
to its qualified
nonelective
contribution
of 3%, plus a
50-cent match
of all that an
employee
defers-with
no cap.
Finalists
Iowa Fluid Power
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
McGohan/Brabender
Agency
Dayton, Ohio
The Mentholatum
Company
Orchard Park, New York
More on PLANSPONSOR.com/
awards/2021-plan-sponsor-year
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PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021

2021 Plan Sponsor of the Year Winners
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
The Right Provider Team
For the Best Collaboration
2021 PLANSPONSOR Service Stars
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - Cover1
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - Cover2
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 1
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 2
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 3
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 4
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 5
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 6
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 7
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 8
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 9
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 2021 Plan Sponsor of the Year Winners
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 11
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 12
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 13
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 14
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 15
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 16
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 17
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 18
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 19
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 20
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 21
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 2021 Recordkeeping Survey
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 23
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 24
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 25
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 26
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 27
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 28
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 29
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 30
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 31
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - The Right Provider Team
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 33
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 34
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 35
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - For the Best Collaboration
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 37
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 38
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 2021 PLANSPONSOR Service Stars
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - 40
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - Cover3
PLANSPONSOR - June/July 2021 - Cover4
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/august_september_2021
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/june_july_2021
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/april-may_2021
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/february-march_2021
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/december-january_2021
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/october-november_2020
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/august-september_2020
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/june-july_2020
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/april-may_2020
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/february-march_2020
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/december-january_2020
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/october-november_2019
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/august-september_2019
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/june-july_2019
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/april-may_2019
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/february-march_2019
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/december_2018-january_2019
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/october-november_2018
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/august-september_2018
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/june-july_2018
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/april-may_2018
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/february-march_2018
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/december_2017-january_2018
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/november_december_2017
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/october_2017
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/september_2017
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