Database Helps Higher Ed. Plan Sponsors Benchmark Plans

PlanPilot, a retirement plan services consulting firm, is offering a new plan design database that supports higher education retirement plans.

Higher education plan sponsors have found it difficult to review their current retirement plan design and determine how it compares to the plan features contained in the plans of their peers, according to research by PlanPilot. Although there is readily available data for 401(k) plans, information specific to higher learning institutions has not been as easy to locate. To address this issue, PlanPilot has created a proprietary database of the plan designs for more than 250 higher education institutions spread across 40 states, which includes a variety of recordkeepers.

This database has been developed to help plan sponsors better understand how their plans compare against similar institutions. More specifically, this database contains information on elements of plan design such as:

  • Plan eligibility (both for age and term of service);
  • Eligibility waivers for individuals who have previously worked at another higher education institution;
  • Employer contribution formulas and levels of contributions;
  • Prevalence of mandatory employee contributions; and
  • Vesting schedules.

“It’s a tool that allows a higher education plan sponsor to compare their plan design in a much broader way than other measures that are known to us. As this plan design database is the first of its kind, we are confident that it provides a broader base for benchmarking than anything else out there,” says Mark Olsen, senior consultant, PlanPilot in Chicago.

PlanPilot partners with clients as a fiduciary to control the business risks associated with operating plans and to help deliver the benefits intended. PlanPilot is an investment fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Section 3 (21), working in this role for any plan in which they serve as an investment adviser.

More information about accessing PlanPilot’s data is available by calling (312) 221-8790.