As companies grow and pension benefit needs evolve, technology must adapt to serve any new conditions that may arise. When it comes to managing defined benefit (DB) plans, however, many administration platforms continue to operate with dated, inflexible systems. Such models can create extra workload, generate unnecessary expense, and cause frustration among sponsors and participants alike. New web-based technology allows plan sponsors to choose when—and how much—to get involved, while providing immediate access to administration information with full transparency.
Multiple Inflexible systems cost unnecessary time and money.
- The problem: Managing today’s plans with platforms designed for bygone days can present a number of problems as rigid systems often comprised of antiquated components are unable to adapt to contemporary sponsor needs. This can cause seemingly simple plan changes to require costly, time-consuming implementation. Additionally, having to use multiple platforms for separate functions (i.e. participant front end, plan sponsor portal, etc.) increases costs and certain platform functions to become outdated, as other areas receive the large investment dollars.
- The solution: By using a platform designed for cash balance (CB) plans, sponsors are able to quickly and cost-effectively tailor platform functions to suit their unique needs. Access to benefit commencement dashboards; full view of DB administration and participant data; and access to reporting makes it possible to answer questions and resolve issues without having to reach out to a recordkeeper. With all platform functions built into the same platform, you can be confident all areas will remain up to date.
Limited access to pension data means limited control over your plan.
- The problem: Sponsors using platforms intended for traditional DB administration face limits to data accessibility. These systems were designed with third-party plan administrators in total control of data. Today, when managing the frequent changes of a CB plan, sponsors often need constant access to plan and participant information. The need to enlist administrator services on such a regular basis can be a costly model for sponsors where delays are common.
- The solution: When sponsors are provided complete access to all plan data, the resulting experience is one of complete control over plan management. This allows sponsors to improve participant engagement through comprehensive understanding of their populations, and relieves the costs associated with frequent administrator involvement.
Inexpert knowledge in call centers causes frustration for participants.
- The problem: The majority of call centers are staffed by representatives with little to no pension plan knowledge. This creates a customer service experience lacking in adequate support, which can overwhelm and frustrate participants.
- The solution: Online platforms intuitively designed for CB plans and participant self-service reduce the overall call volume. However, when questions arise, pension call centers should be staffed by pension professionals, preferably onshore. Our user-friendly, intuitive system is not only helpful to participants who want to maximize self-service capabilities, but also supports call center representatives in providing superior service. When inquiries are met with expert service, issues are swiftly resolved, resulting in satisfied participants and lower cost for sponsors.
So, how does your administration platform stack up? To learn more about how a platform designed specifically for CB plans can reduce your administrative burden, click here.