PLANSPONSOR - June - July 2022 - 31

BEST PRACTICES | THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS
Are these services in-plan or out-of-plan?
Important for plan sponsors to keep in mind when evaluating
third-party services is whether they are offered integrated within
the plan or outside the plan. There are pros and cons to each, but
the sponsor needs to understand the distinction.
" If it's in-plan, there's a fiduciary obligation [to review it],
while an out-of-plan solution may not have a fiduciary obligation
attached to it, " Swallow says.
When the recordkeeper brings in third-party providers,
the sponsor should ask it about its relationships with those
providers, plus do some due diligence of its own, says Wade
Dykema, director of sales at Alerus Retirement and Benefits in
St. Paul, Minnesota. " Don't ever take your hands off the wheel
completely, " he advises plan sponsors. " You have to ensure that
everything being brought to you is what you want before you
make it available in the plan. You have to stay engaged. "
Besides tools and education aimed at meeting employees
where they are in their financial journey, recordkeepers are
exploring new and different ways to connect with plan participants,
Swallow says.
Today's environment is different from that of a decade ago
when it comes to participant engagement, Swallow says. " Now it's
about finding other methods or ways to meet with participants,
whether that's in person, digitally or through phone or video. It's
looking to other media to deliver and interact with participants. "
Is this provider selling anything to plan
participants?
The answer to this question should be " no, " Dall says.
" Organizations should look for financial wellness offerings
that are engineered to not do anything other than provide
employee education, " Dall says. " Using education as an opportunity
to sell additional services distracts from the training and
decreases the likelihood that employees believe the educator is
working in their best interest. "
What is this provider's approach to cybersecurity?
Many third-party providers are taking advantage of technology
to deliver their services. While that has many benefits in terms
of the customization and integration of specific products, it also
potentially opens up participants and plans to new cybersecurity
concerns.
" Given that this has been a focus area for regulators, the
heightened importance and scrutiny [of]
cybersecurity will
continue to make this a growing area of focus for plan consultants,
clients and fiduciary insurance companies, " Swallow says.
The Department of Labor issued guidelines last year
outlining best practices for plan sponsors in evaluating all service
providers that have access to participant data, including thirdparty
providers. Those best practices include understanding the
provider's cybersecurity measures and processes.
" While recordkeepers may have the size and scale to invest
in a strong cybersecurity program, a smaller, third-party vendor
might not have the same resources, " Dall says. " If that thirdparty
vendor is receiving participant data from the recordkeeper,
a malicious actor might see that as a weak spot worth attacking. "
Besides to prevent hackers from accessing their plan's data,
sponsors should also ask recordkeepers about their plans for
disaster recovery and their backup procedures if a system goes
down, Dykema points out.
Is there a human element?
Despite the emphasis on technology, plan sponsors are still
looking for partners that also offer a human component alongside
innovative technology.
" Great providers marry that high-touch, personal-service
delivery model with robust technology that supplies participants
and the sponsor with the tools they need for success, " says Dykema.
Plan sponsors' desire for personal connection extends
beyond participant communications, Dall says, noting that sponsors
are placing a greater emphasis on service than in the past.
Because recordkeepers are often seen as an extension of the plan
sponsor's team, it is important that the parties work together well
to solve problems quickly.
" Everyone's patience is shorter since the pandemic, " Dall
observes. " So, if you have an upset participant, that person is getting
angrier faster, and that's not something plan sponsors want. They
want to make sure they have a responsive recordkeeper. "
Ideally, he says, that means there is one person they can get
in touch with who knows the account, rather than a call center
where the sponsor has to reintroduce itself to a different representative
with every phone call.
How will it integrate with the existing plan?
As companies continue to undergo digital transformation for
payroll and other human resource functions, any new products
or services must integrate with their existing systems. Some plan
sponsors prefer 360-degree integration-meaning the payroll
provider's and recordkeeper's systems communicate with each
other-while other sponsors are OK with 180-degree integration,
which allows for only one-way communication, Robinson says.
Will plan participants use it?
Even the most well-designed product or service will not move
the needle on retirement outcomes if the participants fail to
engage with it. Plan sponsors should think about their participant
demographics and the various groups' needs to make sure a
new offering is truly a good fit, Dall says.
" With five generations of Americans in the workforce, each
with different degrees of technology expertise, it's important
for technology-based solutions to be easy to use, no matter the
person's skill level, " he says. " When plan sponsors are evaluating
solutions, they need to keep in mind that, while fancy bells
and whistles can be exciting, it's more important that the technology
is easily understandable and accessible by your workforce.
Otherwise, they won't use it. " -Beth Braverman
PLANSPONSOR.COM June - July 2022 31
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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
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