Member-exclusive benefit reduces cost and barriers
The New Hampshire High Tech Council (Council) has announced that it is now offering a member-exclusive 401k plan. The Council is one of the first tech organizations in the United States to offer members access to this new Multiple Employer Plan (MEP) 401k. The MEP 401k, which is managed by UBS Financial Services, Inc., gives members access to retirement savings with competitive investments, customer service from a national leader in investment services, and relief of fiduciary responsibilities of the day-to-day operations of the plan.
“We are very pleased to be able to offer this new benefit to our members and their employees. Council members can now offer 401k plans at a lower cost and with less administrative responsibilities than traditional 401k plans. In a competitive job market, this offering can also be a core differentiator for prospective hires,” said Toral Cowieson, chair of the New Hampshire High Tech Council board of directors.
Based on national data, the vast majority of small companies (under $5 million in annual revenue) do not offer 401k plans to their employees. According to Spark 401k Business Planning Index, 94% of companies believe that offering a 401k plan is key to recruiting and retaining employees, yet only 14% of employers nationwide offer these plans. The Council’s 401k plan provides a range of benefits, including cost savings on investments, no individual form 5500 reporting, the most fiduciary protection as allowed by the US Department of Labor flexible plan features (including Safe Harbor), Roth and profit sharing, and customizable 401k plan design options involving eligibility, matches and vesting schedules.
With the second lowest unemployment rate in the country, New Hampshire businesses face challenges with employee recruitment and retention – a major challenge for most small businesses whose benefit packages may not compare to those of larger organizations. The majority of the Council’s membership (75%) are considered small businesses and fall into this category.
The plan will be directly serviced by UBS Financial Services and local staff in the Concord office. The 401k provider is Slavic 401k, a company that has focused on providing multiple employer 401(k)s for more than 30 years. Membership associations such as the Council are permitted by the Department of Labor (DOL) and the IRS to offer a 401(k) to their membership. As a result, from a government reporting standpoint, the Multiple Employer 401(k) is treated like one large plan and is able to create efficiencies, fiduciary protection and expense reductions.
Employers that already have retirement plans in place are also encouraged to request a competitive analysis with the Council’s plan to ensure they are providing their employees with the most comprehensive and competitive plans available. For more information visit nhhtc.org or call 603.935.8951.