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Jennifer Bogus, Vanguard (Photograph by James Rajotte)
2019 Service Stars  | Individual

Jennifer Bogus

She guided the client through a complex merger of retirement plans due to an acquisition.
  • Recordkeeper Company
  • Client
    Leidos Inc.
  • Client Industry
    Aerospace and defense
  • Client Headquarters
    Reston, Virginia
  • Plan Assets/Participants

BIO: Jennifer Bogus has been project manager, implementation services department, at Vanguard, in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, for the last five years and has been with the company for 15 years.

As a project manager, Jennifer Bogus is frequently asked to help her firm’s largest clients maneuver such challenges as merging retirement plans because of an acquisition. This was the case with Leidos Inc.

The merger was significant—it doubled the number of active participants and was more in-depth than a straight merger. Bogus says, “The conversion piece included payroll programming updates, and Leidos made plan provision changes to its existing plan, already at Vanguard. It was like three projects in one and was one of the more complex projects I have worked on.”

In Leidos’ case, the company it acquired included union and nonunion employees. Bogus, who has served Leidos as project manager for five years, notes that she worked closely with the Vanguard administration team to coordinate the closing of two outside retirement plans and a migration to the existing platform. “We transferred the union people over to create a brand-new plan for them under Leidos,” she says.

The changes that Leidos wanted to make in the existing plan included offering after-tax contributions, in-plan Roth conversions, and severance and after-tax withdrawals, Bogus says. The entire project took a full year, with the new plan going live in December 2017.

To keep everything in order, Bogus created a project plan and a schedule of times by which everything needed to occur during the conversion. “The reason we were successful comes down to communication,” she says. This meant “continually updating all of the stakeholders, answering questions to make sure everyone was on the same page and setting realistic expectations. At every step of the way, everyone knew where the project stood.”

Beth Pattillo, director, retirement programs, at Leidos, says it was Bogus’ steady direction that kept the train on the rails. “Throughout all of the extensive changes and meetings held with multiple Leidos teams and vendors, Jennifer kept clear objectives and held people accountable to established time frames,” Pattillo says. “She also provided exceptional project status reports, keeping me and my team fully involved.”

Lee Barney

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