Fortified Decision-Making

Fortified Decision-Making

Defined contribution (DC) plan committees face increasing scrutiny on the myriad of decisions they make for their respective plans. During quarterly committee meetings, it’s no longer enough to run through an agenda of basic responsibilities; now, more than ever, leading plan committees recognize that they need to address all of the issues that they are responsible for, including emerging issues. As such, committee decision-makers need to strategically plan meeting agendas that cover both the micro job of looking closely at each issue affecting the plan today, and the macro job of ensuring emerging issues that may impact the plan in the future are considered over the course of the year.

With the help of the plan’s advisor/consultant and an ERISA attorney, committees should develop holistic meeting agendas that keep them informed and compliant. Since most committee members do not spend the majority of their time in the DC marketplace, they should regularly ask experts to describe new and emerging issues, and/or older issues that they may not have addressed, but should.

To begin the discussion, the checklist found below covers current and emerging agenda items that plan committees should consider over four quarterly meetings.

 Review minutes of last committee meeting and report on action items
 Quarterly and annual investment reviews
 Annual review of service provider operations and issues
 Annual review of investment policy statement (IPS)
 Annual report to board of directors
 Open items


 Review minutes of last committee meeting and report on action items
 Quarterly investment review
 Review of participant-related issues
 Review of participant disclosures and notices
 Open items


 Review minutes of last committee meeting and report on action items
 Quarterly investment review
 Report on legal changes
 Report on industry trends
 Plan design review
 Review of plan policies
 Review of participant issues and complaints
 Review of insurance and bonding
 Open items


 Review minutes of last committee meeting and report on action items
 Quarterly investment review
 Review of costs and compensation for service providers and plan operation
 Review of mutual fund share classes
 Report on revenue sharing
 Open items

Q1-Q4 Unscheduled Items
There are other issues that require a committee’s attention. However, not all matters need to be reviewed every year, and in other cases the issues are driven by events, including provider changes, 404(c) compliance, required plan amendments and amendments to service provider agreements.

This is an excerpt of BNY Mellon Dreyfus’s article Fortified Decision Making – Structure your plan committee meetings for success.

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