Each year, the editors of PLANSPONSOR have the opportunity to recognize retirement plan sponsors who, given the limitations specific to their plans, have excelled at improving these plans to better their participants’ financial health and retirement success.
The award finalists on the following pages, like all our previous contenders to be recognized for their plan, were nominated by their recordkeeper, adviser, legal counsel or themselves. From there, the plan sponsor takes the second step by answering a series of online questions. The answers provide a committee of PLANSPONSOR editors, acting as judges, with plan stats, details on how the sponsor improved its plan via plan design, and why it should be named a Plan Sponsor of the Year. Nominations are made in the fall, finalists are announced in January, and winners are unveiled in March.
The judges review the applications and select those plans that outshine the rest, in light of the breadth and depth of retirement programs available today. To allow for more accurate comparisons across plan types and sizes, the awards are given in nine categories: six segments of corporate 401(k); 403(b); public defined contribution; and total retirement outsourcing (TRO). At this time, it is unrealistic to include defined benefit (DB) plans as a standalone category, as these are most often part of an overall retirement program. For that reason DB plans are acknowledged as part of the TRO category.
We congratulate the finalists, profiled on the following pages, that make these programs possible. We feel privileged to have the opportunity to share their experiences with our readers.