PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 18

BEST PRACTICES | 2022 PLAN SPONSOR OF THE YEAR WINNERS
Corporate DC <$25mm
Forward Bank
Marshfield, Wisconsin
F
orward Bank, headquartered in
Marshfield, Wisconsin, puts moving its
community forward at the center of its
mission. The consumer-oriented bank provides
home loans, home improvement loans, consumer
loans and various commercial and agricultural
loans along with savings programs.
But to serve community businesses and
nonprofits is not the bank's only commitment.
It strives to keep its employees engaged and
committed to its mission, offering a generous
retirement plan along with additional, creative
benefits to show those workers that the leadership
cares.
" We're a firm believer that if you take care
of the employees, they'll take care of the rest, "
says Gwen Schnitzler, assistant vice president
and human resources director at Forward Bank.
The plan matches 50% of up to 6% of a
worker's earnings and provides a safe harbor
contribution of 3%. Participation is at 96%, and
deferrals average 7.9%. Additionally, " we've had
a profit-sharing contribution 10 years running
and have averaged around 3% to 4%, except
in the last two years, " Schnitzler says. " The
pandemic was very interesting in the banking
world, because we did really well throughout.
There were many factors that provided opportunities
for banking to do well. Therefore, in the
2020 plan year, our profit-sharing contribution
was 5.7%, and in 2021 it was 5%. "
To increase plan participation, the company
lowered the minimum eligibility age from 21 to
18 and now offers full-time benefits to its parttime
workers after their first six months of
service, Schnitzler says.
During the pandemic, the bank also
explored what it could do to help employees
guard their plan savings, Schnitzler notes. It
now provides several in-house benefits to help
employees if they need emergency money.
For example, the company runs a
completely confidential " pay it forward "
program, funded by raffles, fundraisers and
18 PLANSPONSOR.COM June - July 2022
employee contributions, which avails employees
of in-house support in a crisis. Over $40,000 is
currently in the fund account.
Jeff Janechek, a Cetera adviser, commends
the bank's commitment to the retirement plan.
" Forward has a very knowledgeable investment
committee made up of people within the organization, "
he says. " There are different skill sets
and levels of knowledge within the committee.
Some people have really solid investment backgrounds,
while others have more of a human
resources background. It has a really good
mixture of committed people. "
As the bank began to look to expand its
benefit offerings, it introduced a student loan
repayment program and a 529 college-savingsplan
match program, Schnitzler says. To help
employees set up their account, the bank gives
them access to one of its financial advisers.
" This is one of the great things about
working for a financial institution that
has a full-time staff of advisers, " says Scott
Wucherpfennig, vice president of investment
services at Forward Bank. " Every employee has
access to a financial adviser who will meet with
them, ... at no charge. "
" What impressed me most about the
bank-how it treated its employees-is how the
senior advisers run a financial planning report
on the employees as they become eligible to
participate [in the plan], and then periodically
they update it, " Janechek says. " It's meant to
help that employee feel comfortable financially,
not just about the 401(k) plan. It helps educate
that employee about other opportunities. "
The bank also has a program it calls " An
Evening on Us, " which reimburses employees
for doing something enjoyable with family or
friends outside of work, Schnitzler says.
" We talk a lot about work-life balance, and
we really want our staff to have a good one, " she
says. " We do this because, if you have good relationships
at home, that mindset will carry over
into work. " -DJ Shaw
Finalists
Sacramento Credit Union
Sacramento, California
Vinik Sports Group
Tampa, Florida
More on PLANSPONSOR.com/
awards/2022-plan-sponsor-year
Gwen Schnitzler, Assistant Vice
President and Human Resources
Director
" We're a firm
believer that
if you take
care of the
employees,
they'll take
care of the
rest. "
http://www.PLANSPONSOR.com/awards/2022-plan-sponsor-year http://www.PLANSPONSOR.com/awards/2022-plan-sponsor-year http://www.PLANSPONSOR.COM

PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022

INSIGHTS
RULES & REGULATIONS
UPFRONT
2022 Plan Sponsor of the Year Winners
By Extension
Talent Management
The Best Line of Defense
Under-the-Radar Plan Errors
FIDUCIARY FORUM
INSIDE ANGLE
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - Cover1
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - Cover2
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 1
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - INSIGHTS
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 3
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - RULES & REGULATIONS
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 5
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 6
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 7
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - UPFRONT
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 9
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 10
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 11
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 12
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 13
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 2022 Plan Sponsor of the Year Winners
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 15
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 16
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 17
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 18
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 19
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 20
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 21
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 22
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 23
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 24
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 25
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 26
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 27
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - By Extension
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 29
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 30
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 31
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - Talent Management
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 33
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - The Best Line of Defense
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 35
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - Under-the-Radar Plan Errors
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 37
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - FIDUCIARY FORUM
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 39
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - INSIDE ANGLE
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - Cover3
PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - Cover4
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/june_july_2022
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/excellenceawards_2022
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/april_may_2022
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/february_march_2022
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/december_2021_january_2022
https://www.plansponsordigital.com/plansponsor/october_november_2021
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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