2016 PLAN SPONSOR OF THE YEAR
Corporate 401(k) <$15MM

Dupuy Storage & Forwarding LLC

FINALIST

HEADQUARTERS:  New Orleans, Louisiana

TOTAL PLAN ASSETS/PARTICIPANTS: $11.2 million/206

PARTICIPATION RATE: 91%

AVERAGE DEFERRAL RATE: 5.72%

AVERAGE INCOME-REPLACEMENT RATIO: Not Applicable

DEFAULT DEFERRAL RATE: 3%

DEFAULT INVESTMENT: American Funds Target Date Retirement series

EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTION: Match of 50% up to 6%

ADDITIONAL RETIREMENT PLAN: Not Applicable

For the 206 predominantly blue-collar participants in warehousing and logistics company Dupuy Storage & Forwarding Corp.’s $11.2 million 401(k) plan, saving for retirement starts with money-management basics.

New Orleans-based Dupuy handles imported commodities in several ports in the southern United States. “The firm draws many of its workers from low-income areas in those cities,” says Karen Cameron, director of human resources. “At least 75% of Dupuy personnel are operationally ‘hands on’ as laborers, forklift or equipment operators, and truck drivers.”

Recognizing that many employees struggle with budgeting and debt, Dupuy implemented the SmartDollar financial-wellness program in September 2015. “We had been trying to find a way to help employees be financially stable, which includes saving enough for retirement,” Cameron says. Over the past several years, in its twice-annual employee meetings, the company has done presentations focused on “how to find money to save for retirement, and how—and why—to not use debt as a way to make ends meet on a regular basis,” she says. “However, these did not seem to make much impact. So we were motivated to find something that would.”

SmartDollar, founded by personal-finance expert Dave Ramsey, aims to help people take proactive control of their money. Dupuy employees voluntarily enroll and can access online budgeting and planning tools as well as educational videos featuring Ramsey that cover topics such as reducing debt. “It is not something you can go through in one sitting,” says Patty Daniels, senior finance analyst. “The videos are meant to be studied over a longer period of time, so it impacts their daily life more dramatically and permanently.”

The program explains specifically how to achieve financial wellness, Cameron says. It “provides very precise examples of how we all fall into the spending/debt cycle without saving,” she adds. Dupuy pays for the financial-wellness program, as part of its broader philosophy to pay for all plan administrative expenses.

For Dupuy, the SmartDollar program soon will give the company reporting on participants’ progress in improving their finances. “After a year passes, the program will be able to determine how many employees participated, the dollar value of increased savings, and the dollar value of personal debt they reduced,” Daniels says.

“It will also provide the change in employees’ emotions toward finances from when they first enrolled to the current time, based on a questionnaire that was part of the enrollment process.”

It makes business sense for Dupuy to see its employees on track financially, Daniels says. “For Dupuy’s employees to be financially stable in their personal lives means employees who are not stressing about current financial obligations or long-term retirement goals,” she says. “They can be more productive and work safer in their current job, as well as ultimately be more successful over their entire work career.”

Dupuy feels committed to long-term employment for its employees, Cameron says. “The firm tries to promote from within,” she says, “and always seeks ways to reward and encourage the notion that at Dupuy there are career opportunities, not just jobs.” —Judy Ward

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