PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 16

COVER STORY
Strategies to improve
a plan's governance
FOR PLAN SPONSORS, there are good reasons to put time and effort into
improving their plan's governance, says adviser Alex Assaley, managing principal
in AFS 401(k) Retirement Services in Bethesda, Maryland. " From a risk-management
perspective, ensuring you have a plan that operates in compliance with ERISA
[Employee Retirement Income Security Act] and all the rules and regulations is
incredibly important, " he says. " And the plans that have consistent oversight and
governance typically have a better participation rate and deferral rates, a higher
percentage of employees who are on track for their retirement, and lower fees. "
PLANSPONSOR asked Assaley and several other experts for the best steps
employers can take to proactively improve their plans' governance.
1
Follow best practices for committee meetings. ERISA does not require
that a plan sponsor have a committee or mandate any particular frequency of
committee meetings, says Julie Stapel, a partner in law firm Morgan, Lewis
& Bockius LLP, in Chicago. " We counsel clients that meetings should be frequent
enough that committee members, at any given point in the year, have a reasonably
good sense of what's going on with the plan, " she says. Most often, her clients
go with quarterly committee meetings; she has rarely seen a committee decide to
schedule regular meetings more often, she says.
It is not really feasible or necessarily advisable to reconsider a plan's investments
at every meeting, Stapel says. An approach that works for many committees
is, at three of the year's four meetings, to get a high-level summary from the plan's
adviser about investment performance and to learn about any changes with plan
investments on the watch list. The fourth meeting then includes: a " deep dive "
discussion of the plan's investments, covering one-year, three-year and five-year
BUILDING
STRENGT
16 PLANSPONSOR.COM September - October 2023
Art by Miriam Martincic
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PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023

INSIGHTS
PARTICIPANT ANALYSIS
RULES & REGULATIONS
UPFRONT
Building Strength
2023 Defined Benefit Administration Survey
2023 Best in Class 401(k) Plans
If the Goal Is Engagement
Upgrading NQDC Plans
When to Amend?
PRTs’ New Notoriety
Continuous Improvement
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - Cover1
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - FC1
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - FC2
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - Cover2
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 1
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - INSIGHTS
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 3
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - PARTICIPANT ANALYSIS
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 5
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - RULES & REGULATIONS
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 7
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 8
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 9
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - UPFRONT
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 11
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 12
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 13
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 14
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 15
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - Building Strength
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 17
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 18
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 19
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 2023 Defined Benefit Administration Survey
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 21
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 22
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 23
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 2023 Best in Class 401(k) Plans
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 25
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 26
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 27
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 28
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 29
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 30
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 31
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - If the Goal Is Engagement
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 33
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 34
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 35
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - Upgrading NQDC Plans
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - 37
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - When to Amend?
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - PRTs’ New Notoriety
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - Continuous Improvement
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - Cover3
PLANSPONSOR - September - October 2023 - Cover4
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