PLANSPONSOR Webinar Series

Plan Progress

PLANSPONSOR’s Plan Progress webinar series is designed to help you develop better or more advanced plan governance and design, with the goal of improving outcomes for retirement plan participants. Each month, the editors of PLANSPONSOR and industry experts will engage in discussions about strategies to improve plan design, communications, governance and compliance. Join us and push your plan forward.
Missed one? No worries. All past webinars are available to watch on demand by checking its corresponding box on the register form.
MAY 28
12:00 p.m. EDT
Reframing Employee and Retirement Plan Participant Communication
Regular communications keep employees engaged with their retirement and financial wellness benefits, encourage them to make the right decisions and help them feel more financially secure.

Perhaps no time has shown the importance of communicating to employees and retirement plan participants through various mediums as has the time of social distancing and shutdown orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Labor (DOL)’s final rule on electronic disclosures means we are entering a new phase of employee and retirement plan participant communications.

Join PLANSPONSOR editors and retirement industry experts in a webinar where you will learn:

  • What’s included in the DOL’s final rule for electronic disclosures to retirement plan participants; and
  • How to re-evaluate communication to participants in light of the DOL rule and considering data analytics, participant preferences and multimedia campaigns.
Percy Lee
Associate Attorney
Ivins, Phillips & Barker
Megan Yost
Vice President and Engagement Strategist
Segal Benz
Rebecca Moore
Managing Editor, Digital
JUN. 30
2:00 p.m. EDT
The Road Ahead for Plan Sponsors
As the coronavirus, economic downturn and market volatility wreaked havoc, many employers probably didn’t spend much time focusing on their retirement plan in early spring. Now, as businesses start to welcome more employees back to offices and plants after the immediate pandemic crisis begins to subside, plan sponsors will need the help of their recordkeepers and retirement plan advisers to get their plans and participants moving forward again.

To start regaining momentum, sponsors can perform several steps that examine multiple areas of plan management. Join PLANSPONSOR, industry experts and a plan sponsor to review what plan sponsors should evaluate once their operations start ramping up again, including:

  • Reviewing current data to learn how participants’ financial health has fared;
  • Examining how the plan’s target-date fund (TDF) family held up to market volatility and figuring out if it needs to be re-evaluated or if sponsors possibly need to make some hard decisions;
  • Weighing a 2021 match reinstatement;
  • Evaluating your financial wellness program; and
  • Taking stock of the roles of your recordkeeper and adviser.
Sponsored by
Harry A. Dalessio
Head of Institutional Retirement Plan Services
Prudential Retirement
Mary Ann Edwards
Total Rewards Manager
JTEKT North America
Keith Gredys
Chairman and CEO
Kidder Advisers, Inc.
Rebecca Moore
Managing Editor, Digital
JUL. 30
2:00 p.m. EDT
Mid-Year Investing Review
Knowledge is power, and that is especially true for your retirement plan investment committee. This year, we’ve seen an especially volatile market and extremely low interest rates. What does this mean for investment committee decisions?

Join PLANSPONSOR editors and retirement industry experts in a webinar as they discuss:

  • Performance of equity and fixed income investments in the first half of the year and what is expected in the second half;
  • Investment types that are needed in your plan or target-date funds (TDFs) for participants to create/have proper diversification; and
  • Meaningful metrics to use for monitoring and selecting/deselecting investments for your plan.

Panelists will also touch on how environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing fits in retirement plans, and attendees will be given an opportunity to ask questions.
Eric W. Bailey, CFA
Principal and Financial Adviser
Peter Essele
Vice President, Investment Management and Research
Rebecca Moore
Managing Editor, Digital
AUG. 20
2:00 p.m. EDT
Distribution Options for Employees
Retirement plan participant decisions about taking distributions from retirement plans can have long-term consequences. This is true whether they are determining if they should tap into their retirement savings to meet a short-term financial need or whether they are at the end of their careers determining how to translate their savings into income for life.

As with savings decisions, participants take cues from plan sponsors when it comes to distribution decisions. For example, just as implementing automatic deferral escalation shows participants they should increase their savings over the course of their careers, not allowing hardship withdrawals sends the message that savings designated for retirement should remain untouched. Communications to participants are also important to help them make the right decisions.

Join PLANSPONSOR editors and retirement industry experts in a webinar in which you will learn:

  • What changes have been made to hardship withdrawal and required minimum distribution (RMD) rules under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act;
  • How to determine whether to offer hardship withdrawals and loans in your plan, including whether to offer coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs) and higher loan amounts under the CARES Act;
  • What distribution options may be offered in your plan to help retiring participants create an income stream for life; and
  • What elements to include in communications about different distribution types to help participants make decisions that will not hurt their retirement outcomes.
Carol Buckmann
Co-founding Partner
Cohen & Buckmann P.C.
Robyn Credico
Defined Contribution Consulting Leader, North America
Willis Towers Watson
Steve Vernon
Research Scholar
Stanford Center on Longevity
Rebecca Moore
Managing Editor, Digital
SEP. 29
2:00 p.m. EDT
Staying on Track With Fiduciary Responsibilities
This has been an atypical year in which retirement plan sponsors have seen regulatory deadlines and requirements delayed or relaxed. But just because someone offers you leniency doesn’t mean you should take it if you’re able to comply with the norm.

It has also been a year of distraction, in which some tasks may be forgotten. Errors commonly seen by regulators may be even more common this year. But, no matter what else has changed, plan sponsors’ duties as fiduciaries of their plans and for participants has not.

Join PLANSPONSOR editors and retirement industry experts in a webinar as they discuss:

  • IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) guidance on delayed deadlines and when plan sponsors should use the relief;
  • Common errors to avoid and how to get back on track if necessary; and
  • A review of necessary actions and deadlines to comply with provisions of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act.
Sponsored by
Sean Patton
Founding Partner
Westminster Consulting
Jeffrey M. Petrone
Managing Director
SageView Advisory Group
Brett Shofner
Accredited Investment Fiduciary
Work Plan Retire
Alison Cooke Mintzer
ISS Media
OCT. 29
2:00 p.m. EDT
The Importance of Social Security Education for Participants
According to the Social Security Administration’s website, Social Security will replace about 40% of an employee’s pre-retirement income after retirement, so it is an important part of retirement planning. To educate employees, plan sponsors must understand Social Security themselves.

Join PLANSPONSOR and retirement industry experts during a webinar as they discuss:

  • What plan sponsors need to know about Social Security;
  • How plan sponsors can offer Social Security education to employees; and
  • The importance of personalized Social Security planning for employees.
James Bremis, AIF®, CPFA
Senior Associate Planner
Sentinel Benefits Group
Kurt Czarnowski
Czarnowski Consulting
Rebecca Moore
Managing Editor, Digital
NOV. 24
2:00 p.m. EST
Preparing for Audits and Correcting Mistakes
Facing an audit of your plan by the Department of Labor (DOL) or the IRS can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be a terrible experience. There are things plan sponsors can do to have plans that are audit-ready.

Join PLANSPONSOR and retirement industry experts for a webinar in which you will learn:

  • What triggers an audit by the DOL or the IRS;
  • What documentation plan sponsors need to have on file to prepare for a successful audit outcome;
  • Common mistakes the DOL and IRS find; and
  • Options for correcting mistakes.
Rachel Faye Smith
Goodwin, ERISA and Executive Compensation practice
Jania Stout
Managing Director, Co-founder
Fiduciary Plan Advisors at HighTower
Rebecca Moore
Managing Editor, Digital
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