Retirement Planning Made Easy: A Case Study
"My advice as you're looking at these plans is to take a look at all of the components of the plans. Many plans that have upfront costs are cheaper than the ones that don't."
As a fiduciary of a private school, selecting the right retirement plan is a critical responsibility to ensure that employees' financial needs during retirement are met. This case study focuses on Penny Rowe, the Director of Finance and HR at Westchester Country Day School in High Point, North Carolina, and her journey to find the best retirement plan for her school.
Penny researched various retirement plans and ultimately chose the Independent School Group Retirement Plan, a multiple employer plan (MEP), over her existing plan. This case study details the process Penny went through to select the Independent School Group Retirement Plan, the benefits of doing so, and how the plan helped her employees better prepare for their retirement.
SELECTING THE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL GROUP RETIREMENT PLAN
To select the Independent School Group Retirement Plan, Penny and her team researched various options available in the industry and considered the cost and investment options of each plan. They also enlisted the help of a former board of trustee member with experience in the investment industry. "After looking at the plans and the investments that were out there in each of the plans, we decided to go with the Independent School Group Retirement Plan, and we have been extremely happy with our decision," Penny explains. "My advice as you're looking at these plans is to take a look at all of the components of the plans. Many plans that have upfront costs are cheaper than the ones that don't." She adds that the transition from the school's previous 403(b) plan to the Independent School Group Retirement Plan was smooth and that the entire transition team was very professional and helpful during the process. "The transition went very smoothly. The monthly payroll file we send is very easy, and the transition to move funds from our former recordkeeper was a simple process too. We had a few individual plans to transition over, so it was a bit more complicated than some. But we partnered with an individual at Transamerica who is wonderful to work with, and it only took about 3 to 5 days with very minimal work on the employee side."
BENEFITS OF THE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL GROUP RETIREMENT PLAN
Switching to the Independent School Group Retirement Plan has brought numerous benefits to Westchester Country Day School. One of the most significant advantages is the reduction of the board's fiduciary obligations and liability. In Penny's words, "The administrative burden of running the plan has been greatly reduced, which is a benefit for us. And we've also been able to gain the expertise of the plan's partners that we wouldn't have gotten otherwise." In addition, the plan sponsor (MISBO) takes on the annual audit, which reduces the administrative (and cost) burden on the school. The plan also provides a range of financial education and planning services to help employees better prepare for retirement. The faculty and staff at Westchester Country Day School have been receptive to the Independent School Group Retirement Plan. Many have moved their funds to the plan.
Choosing the right retirement plan is critical to ensuring employees' financial needs are met for their retirement. The Independent School Group Retirement Plan offers numerous advantages for the school and its employees, making it a worthwhile consideration for any school looking to improve its retirement plan offerings. With its reduced fiduciary obligations, investment and service provider oversight, annual audit management, and customizable plan design options, the plan provides an excellent solution for schools looking to provide their employees with a solid plan. Visit indyschoolretirement.org to learn more. Sign up for a free information session or book a quick 15-minute discovery session to get your specific questions addressed. Contact Michelle Shea, MISBO Vice President, at firstname.lastname@example.org today!