Developing a successful 401(k) plan for a company is not an
easy task, but according to Donald W. Barden, Atlanta regional sales director
for retirement business at OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc., the leading plan
sponsors are the ones who understand the importance of a well-constructed
These plan sponsors recognize that a 401(k) program is more
than a mere financial product. “It’s a gift,” Barden says. “It’s meant to be a
Retirement is a point in a person’s life that presents the
luxury of deciding how to spend the day, Barden says. So, plan sponsors must
have the mindset that, through a 401(k) plan, the employer is helping the
employee get to that point and that luxury, he adds. “We are moving away from labeling.
If you label retirement as [starting at] age 65, you are creating an
environment for failure. Retirement is not a number anymore,” he says.
Instead of focusing solely on administrative details, such
as fees and funds, when designing a 401(k) plan, sponsors need to study the
sponsoring company: its demographics, culture and its benefits philosophy, says
Howard H. Daher, of Daher Capital Group LLC.