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Michele Haley, Ascensus (Photograph by James Rajotte)
2019 Service Stars  | Individual

Michele Haley

She helped the plan sponsor with a voluntary corrective action to mitigate incorrect employer contributions.
  • Recordkeeper company
  • Client
    Duo Security Inc. (purchased by Cisco in October 2018)
  • Client industry
  • Client headquarters
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Plan assets/Participants
    >$10mm – $25mm/825

BIO: Michele Haley, a client relationship manager with Ascensus, in Dresher, Pennsylvania, has worked for the firm for 17 years and in the retirement plan industry for 32. She has a B.A. degree from Pennsylvania State University and manages around 35 large plans.

Eric Rosenberg, payroll manager for Duo Security Inc., a data security platform provider, says, “Michele Haley has been our plan contact as we grew from a small company to an international organization of over 825 employees in just a few years. During this hyper-growth, she has always been a phone call away to answer our questions, assist with one-off situations, and has been a critical component in ensuring our third-party annual 401(k) audits have gone smoothly.”

In particular, during the last year, Michele, a client relationship manager with Ascensus, worked closely with Rosenberg as Duo took a voluntary corrective action to mitigate incorrect employer contributions affecting a sizeable number of current and past employees, plus summer interns.

“We had no idea where to start in this process, and Michele was instrumental in taking us through it, step by step, ensuring we completed the actions in a timely and efficient way,” he says.

Part of the correction involved Duo automatically enrolling workers into its 401(k) plan upon hiring. The sponsor had been unaware its plan documents called for summer interns to be included. For 2016 and 2017, the two years the company employed interns, they were not auto-enrolled or invited to join the plan.

“Once the plan was large enough that we needed a 401(k) audit, it rose to the surface that our plan documents did not exclude the interns,” Rosenberg says. “The first thing we did was to amend the plan going forward.”

“When Eric presented these corrections to me,” Haley recalls, “I focused on quickly gaining a complete understanding of the plan failure. There were many participants involved, and it was important that the adjustments be processed on a timely basis.”

The correction was complex, both Haley and Rosenberg note. Some contributions had to be made, and some had been overstated and had to be removed. “We needed to calculate earnings,” Haley says. “The adjustment steps had to be communicated, organized and well-documented for audit purposes. We were able to complete the correction in about a month.”

—Judy Faust Hartnett

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