In 2001, non-profit Baltimore Curriculum Project began offering employees a 403(b) plan and participation was about 20% of eligible employees, says Angela Scott, human resource administrator.
Baltimore Curriculum Project is a non-profit organization that operates and manages four neighborhood conversion charter schools in Baltimore City: City Springs School, Govans Elementary School, Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy. Scott says there are eight core employees in the main office in East Baltimore City, and there are other staff at the schools. Not all staff at the schools are eligible for the Baltimore Curriculum Project’s plan because they are hired by the school district and get benefits from the district.
In 2009, organization leaders wanted to improve participation. “The Board of Directors suggested we switch to a 401(k), so we searched for and chose a provider and started the 401(k),” Scott tells PLANSPONSOR, after which the participation rate did improve―to about 50%.
While moving to the 401(k) improved participation by eligible employees some, Scott says the plan provider did not offer access to employee account information, other than regular participant statements. In addition, Scott was still doing payroll set up of deferrals and filing the Form 5500 herself. “We started to wonder what we were paying for,” she says. Those involved with administering the 401(k) plan thought about the type of services it might benefit from—such as increased interaction from the provider with participants, and an easier to use back-end for the plan sponsor.
In 2015, one of the board members on the finance committee said his company was using small and medium-sized plan provider ForUsAll as its 401(k) plan provider, with great success. Scott says the plan committee looked into the provider and found it promising. After a Skype interview with people from ForUsAll, the plan committee decided that it wanted to switch its plan recordkeeping to the new provider.NEXT: The Plan Conversion