Category Archives: Defined contribution

Milliman adds International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 25, Marine Division, as a retirement services client

Milliman today announced it has added the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 25, Marine Division, as a defined contribution client. IUOE Local 25, Marine Division, covers approximately 2,000 participants in the dredging industry from Maine to Florida.

“We chose Milliman because of their long track record of full fee transparency and their independence from investment management,” says Jerry Abell, Business Manager for Local 25. “Milliman has experience administering multiemployer plans and provides our trust office the support and assistance to bring the best retirement plan and service to our members.”

Milliman will provide recordkeeping, compliance, and communication services for the IUOE Local 25, Marine Division, Annuity Plan. ICS is the independent investment adviser providing consulting services for the plan and assisted with the recordkeeper search.

We’re gratified that Milliman’s independence and objectivity played a decisive factor in IUOE Local 25’s retirement services selection process, and we look forward to a long-standing relationship with the union and its members.

For more information about Milliman’s employee benefit services, click here.

Bitcoin considerations for retirement plan sponsors

Bitcoin is a digital “currency” or cryptocurrency not tied to a sovereign or bank. It is mainly a tool for transactions (purchase of goods, payment of services), and the number of bitcoins is governed by the blockchain technology that underlies its use.

Bitcoin is most popular with people and institutions on the leading edge of technology, and a large number of investors, rather than the everyday consumer. Very few businesses currently accept bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as payment, but cryptocurrencies are being used by a small number of companies and may be used more often in the coming years.

In this article, Milliman’s Charles Hodge discusses bitcoin and whether it is an appropriate investment vehicle for retirement plan sponsors.

Milliman receives PLANSPONSOR award for excellence in Defined Contribution Survey

Milliman is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a PLANSPONSOR Silver award for excellence in the publication’s 2017 Defined Contribution (DC) Survey. The annual survey catalogued nearly 3,500 responses from defined contribution plan sponsors nationwide, who were asked how satisfied they were with their providers. Milliman is one of three organizations recognized as a “Survey Standout” in the midsize ($50 million to $200 million) asset class market, having received 18 Best in Class Awards in this category.

At Milliman, we strongly believe in providing high-quality service and responsiveness to our defined contribution clients, and work hard to exceed their expectations, so we’re pleased and gratified to once again receive an award for excellence from PLANSPONSOR.

Across the three asset class markets for which Milliman qualified ($25 million to $50 million, $50 million to $200 million, and $200 million to $1 billion), the firm won a total of 45 “Best in Class” awards—which includes the Silver Cup for the midsize market—and five “Service Commendations.” “Best in Class” awards are based on a PLANSPONSOR-designated “net satisfaction score” tabulated from survey responses. Since 2012, Milliman has won 11 Gold, Silver, and Bronze Cups in the DC Survey.

For more information about Milliman’s employee benefit services, click here.

Searching for missing plan participants per the U.S. Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) all review whether retirement plans have paid their participants on time. Last year, the Philadelphia office of the DOL conducted a pilot program that recovered $274 million owed to missing plan participants. Because of this success, DOL offices nationwide added “missing participant search compliance” to their plan audits. Plans failing to locate and contact plan participants regarding unpaid benefits could be found in breach of their ERISA duty to act on behalf of participants. Before receiving a letter of inquiry from the local DOL office, plan sponsors should review the protocols used to locate and pay their plans’ list of unpaid participants.

How do the various agencies learn of unpaid vested participants? Any terminated plan participant with an unpaid benefit at year-end is added to a plan’s running list of unpaid participants, one time, via IRS Form 8955. Terminated participants include alternate payees and beneficiaries. The IRS shares this information with both the SSA and the DOL, each of which maintains a running list of unpaid benefits from a plan. Once a vested participant starts a benefit, or cashes it out, an update via Form 8955 informs the IRS, SSA, and the DOL. Depending on whether the plan administrator removed participants as they were paid, the agencies may have an inflated list of unpaid participants.

When is a participant’s payment considered late? Just before age 65, the SSA sends letters to participants informing them that they “may have a benefit from their former employer.” The IRS considers payments late after a participant’s required minimum date. The DOL, however, reviews a plan’s overall list of vested participants regardless of age. Based on the participant’s earliest retirement age, the DOL could determine that a plan sponsor is not notifying and then paying participants in a timely manner. Please note that beneficiary or alternate payee required start dates can vary due to either 401(a)(9) rules or the participant’s, not the alternate payee’s, actual age.

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Auto plan features produce uptick in DC plan savings and participation

Defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors can struggle with employee enrollment and participation. This was the case with one safe harbor-designed DC plan offering participants 100% matching contributions up to 4% of pay.

The sponsor eventually set a new goal to help employees save at least 10% of pay while taking advantage of the employer match. Milliman worked with the sponsor to attain its goal by implementing auto plan features to effectively increase participation and retirement savings for individuals. Consultant Kevin Skow explains how in his article “Automatic enrollment with auto increase, re-enrollment, and fee equalization.”

Mall of America selects Milliman for retirement services

Milliman has announced it has added Mall of America® as a defined contribution client. Mall of America is a privately held corporation located in Minnesota.

“We chose Milliman for their reputation as a trusted service provider that values their clients. Partnering with Milliman provides our HR team the support and assistance to bring the best retirement plan and service to our team members,” says Sue Amundson, Human Resources Director at Mall of America.

Milliman will provide recordkeeping, administration, communication, and compliance services for the Mall of America Employee Retirement Savings Plan. Channel Financial is the independent investment adviser providing consulting services for the Plan and assisted with the recordkeeper search.

Our mission at Milliman is to serve our clients to protect the health and financial well-being of people everywhere, and we strongly believe in providing superior service and value that exceeds our client’s expectations. We look forward to a long-standing relationship with Mall of America.

For more information about Milliman’s employee benefit services, click here.