401(k) Upgrade Offers a Critical Solution

Credit unions need better fund choices, service, and fiduciary oversight in their retirement solution.

June 21, 2019

Credit unions and their employees continue to face intensifying challenges. With increasing fiduciary risk, market volatility, and employee retirement unpreparedness, the need for a 401(k) solution that can provide the due diligence, employee education, and user-friendly tools to help solve these problems for credit unions and employees is more critical than ever.

When Jim Kelly, president/CEO of Polish National Credit Union (PNCU) in Chicopee, Mass., started looking for a new 401(k) provider in 2017 for a simple reason. “We want the best financial services for our members and, equally important, the same for our employees,” he says.

Kelly moved the credit union’s plan to CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions in 2018. So far, he has been impressed.

“This has been a significant step in supporting the financial goals of those who work so diligently every day to meet the needs of our members,” he says.

Better fund choices, service, and fiduciary oversight were at the forefront of what PNCU needed in a retirement solution. Kelly says it was an upgrade in the investment, the ease of access and service to plan participants, administrative tools, fiduciary oversight, and compliance assistance.

Research indicates 68% of all U.S. credit union employees say they don't know as much as they should about retirement investing. That’s why Kelly also wanted a solution that gave his employees a greater ability to ensure they choose the 401(k) investments that meet their individual needs.

His employees needed access to clear, comprehensive, and convenient guidance. The new 401(k) plan allowed for PNCU to improve retirement education, plan participation, employee contributions.

Sherri LaPlante, PNCU’s vice president of human resources, says it was clear from the start that the new program would be successful.

“The presentation to employees by the CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions’ education specialist was lively and informative,” she says. “Employees were engaged, and many complimented the specialist on her presentation and knowledge. As a result of this presentation, some employees enrolled or increased their contributions right away.”

LaPlante also says CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions strived to make executing the plan effortless and easy for the credit union. She has been through more than one benefit plan implementation, and she knows they can take a great deal of time and effort for all involved.

“Each detail of the implementation was covered extensively, so we had a thorough understanding of the entire process,” she says. “Their staff was available at all times and addressed any questions we had immediately.”

Another benefit of the new 401(k) plan that has been especially helpful to PNCU is the BenefitsForYou website, which allows participants to manage their retirement accounts on any device.

“The resources and tools available to administrators are extensive, which helps us to assist our employees more effectively,” LaPlante notes. “Many features of the 401(k) plan are now electronic, which saves time and reduces paperwork. BenefitsForYou has made managing our retirement plan stress-free.”

To Kelly, this was the most important outcome of the switch.

“Our new CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions 401(k) plan features the tools everyone needs today in order to meet their personal retirement goals,” he says. “Convenience is paramount. Support and guidance are stepping stones to individual 401(k) management success.”

KARNAIL KOONER is a retirement sales specialist at CUNA Mutual Group. For more information about 401(k) plans, contact him at 800-356-2644, ext. 6657321.