A successful retirement plan requires a team approach to address all the moving parts. Much like a cycling European Grand Tour stage race, each member of the team has one or two distinct and important roles. Moreover, everyone must pull together to help a retirement plan sponsor assemble a winning strategy that propels participants to a retirement readiness victory.
However, in this race, winning is not determined by who finishes with a yellow jersey. Instead, plan sponsors and their participants can be victorious. In essence, all the riders in the peloton win when they finish together. So, just how does this team approach work? Let's break it down by team role.
Team Director – You cannot get to the finish line without a strategy. The Team Director consists of you, the plan sponsor, your plan committee members, and your advisor. Together we create and oversee that strategy with an outline of plan objectives and goals, and with effective implementation and regular review/evaluation.
Leader – Much of the team effort is directed at helping the participant “win” by creating and growing a successful retirement savings plan. The plan sponsor is also a leader or winner since a solid retirement savings plan is often crucial for recruitment and retention, and can provide the employer with important tax benefits.
Lieutenant – In a cycling stage race, the lieutenant rides with the leader and provides assistance, particularly during demanding periods. Similarly, your advisor should help support and guide you throughout the “race” and navigate compliance and regulatory challenges. From offering a friendly wheel to providing psychological support, the lieutenant is a loyal supporter of the leader.
Domestique – Like the lieutenant, the domestique rides with the leader, often in front, to create a draft so the leader can save energy for the finish. A third party administrator should do much of this work for the plan sponsor and participant. While they may not have to fetch snacks to keep the team fueled, they should administer the plan so the participant understands the benefits and options, and can easily access account information.
Specialists – The plan provider, ERISA attorney, and accountant are also key support members of the team. They bring their products, servicing expertise, and specialized knowledge to the race. They may not win King of the Mountain or Sprinter titles, but their capabilities make them indispensible to the team.
While we may not be out on the road winning stage races, we are definitely a team that needs and relies on each other for success. Make sure you look to that team support to lead yourself and your participants to the finish line.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended as authoritative guidance or tax or legal advice. You should consult with your attorney or advisor for guidance on your specific situation.