Client Stories | February 1, 2019

Protecting Your Pension Plans From Start to Finish

Your people will depend on their defined pension plans for decades of retirement living. Make sure you know how to build and maintain ones that last.

Journey consulting

Journey consulting as part of successful DB pension plans

A defined benefit pension plan is like your most important houseplant — if you treat it with the care and maintenance it deserves, it will flourish. But neglect it and you’re left with a withering, decaying testament to the failure of your management skills. But unlike the ferns around your home or office, much more is riding on the viability of your DB pension plans — namely the future of your people’s retirement.

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How we'll help you

Journey consulting works by taking a long-term, holistic look at your DB plan and helping you with the following:

Data maintenance: You can’t make good decisions about your DB plan based on inaccurate, out-of-date data.
Plan design: We make sure the benefits still make sense for your current population.
Asset strategies: You’ll never have to worry if your fund’s investments match today’s market.
Partial risk transfer: We’ll help reduce costs and risks associated with vested terminated participants.
Plan termination: When it’s time to move participants onto annuities, we’ll help you figure the best way to do so.

A success story for journey consulting

One way our journey consulting has helped in the past is with a client wanting to tweak its pension formula.

The issue

When the client attempted to execute the planned change of its pension formula, it quickly realized that it lacked a coherent system of data collection and that the key people in HR responsible for maintaining it had left the company.

Our solution

With data cleanup as our priority, our pension data experts outlined an agreed-upon plan. Our team worked on-site to gather copies of all records and cross-check each employee’s history. The data cleanup and new calculations were segmented into pre and post plan-design changes. The team set up tools to recognize legacy plan accruals and simplify post plan-design calculations. This meant HR staff could easily update information and produce accurate benefit calculations in a more efficient manner.

The result

The client felt assured that the change in pension formula would help control costs going forward and the data cleanup was essential in order to achieve those cost savings. Their initial concern was how long it would take to recoup the cost of the additional work and see cost savings. Our team analyzed the efficiencies generated from the use of the new tools and accurate data for calculations compared to the old approach and determined the client would recoup the fees within two to three years, generating significant savings per year after that.

The ease and speed of administration going forward was very well received by both the pension staff performing the calculations and the employees requesting the calculations  calculations that once took one to two weeks now could be produced the same day.

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