PA: How is your team/process/structure unique?
MHK Retirement Partners: MHK Retirement Partners is unique because of our “boardroom to break room” approach to engaging with our retirement plan sponsors and their employees. Our focus is not only on increasing participation and deferral rates, monitoring investments, consulting on plan design and hosting a fiduciary vault—but, most importantly, on why the retirement plans exist: income replacement in retirement.
Our boardroom services begin with a fiduciary training program that enhances the knowledge level of the sponsor in fiduciary roles and responsibilities, running a successful participant education program, benchmarking providers, as well as providing tools for success. Too often we find that most reasons a plan fails to succeed are due to the lack of knowledge and understanding of the sponsor’s duties. There is an assumption that simply having a plan, provider and adviser is enough to fulfill the duties of the sponsor. It is equally as important that plan sponsors recognize their responsibilities and are better equipped to understand and implement prudent processes to manage their liabilities and ultimately serve their fiduciary duties more effectively.
To make our investment committee meetings more efficient, and allow us to spend more time on plan success measures, we developed a customer-centric dashboard. This effectively tracks and benchmarks metrics related to plan fees, investment performance and plan design issues, as well as committee action items and participant success measures. Through this reporting mechanism, we shift the focus to the items that are most important to participant retirement success.
Our participant education and retirement-readiness programs make us truly unique. A plan sponsor can have the best plan design, investment options and lowest fees, but until the employees know how to use that program to replace their income needs in retirement, the plan cannot be successful. Our break room services team engages with participants through regularly scheduled on-site meetings, one-on-one meetings with advisers, direct participant contact programs and a dedicated participant services representative available through MHK’s participant service line.
We proactively schedule group presentations that are customized to the plan, to sponsor goals and to the company’s culture, using industry-specific imagery and focusing on the employees’ level of understanding. We feel the greatest impact is made with individual meetings; through these, we are able to help each person in his retirement planning at the individual level. It is important to focus on the reality of each employee’s retirement situation—including spouses and any assets outside of the retirement plan that the employee will use to generate income in retirement.
To do this, MHK uses a proprietary software called Standard of (k)™—or So(k)™—that helps develop an action plan to replace sufficient income throughout their retirement years. The program not only illustrates an assessment of the participant’s current outlook but allows our advisers to implement that plan with him by adjusting contribution rates, retirement age or lifestyle, driving the asset allocation back to his specific risk tolerance.
The one-on-one interactions supply participants with a projection of how long their savings will provide income in retirement. Through So(k)™, MHK is able to document each participant’s individual plan while allowing for the conversation to continue with each subsequent meeting.
Between individual meetings, MHK engages directly with participants through our Participant Outbound program. Because of this, we’re able to reach out to every employee and help participants stay on target to achieving their goals. Outbound is unlike other education outreach initiatives because it is customized to the individual and engages participants directly with an MHK adviser.
Through our boardroom to break room approach, MHK aims to set a new standard that gives plan participants the means to generate sufficient income throughout their retirement lifetime.
BUSINESS AT A GLANCE
Plan assets under advisement: $417 million
Median plan size (in assets): $4 million
Total plans under advisement: 65
Total participants in plans served: 7,956