2021
Corporate 401(k) >$50MM–$150MM

Haldex Brake Products Corp.

FINALIST
Tonya Carlton
Manager of Compensation and Benefits
  • Plan(s)
    401(k)
  • Total Plan Assets
    $55.8MM
  • Number of Participants
    250
  • Participation Rate
    98%
  • Average Deferral Rate
    8.5%
  • Default Deferral Rate
    6%
  • Default Investment
    Principal Target Date Fund
  • Automatic Enrollment
  • Automatic Escalation
  • Employer Contribution
    100% up to 5%
  • Provider(s)
    Recordkeeper: Principal Financial Group; Adviser: Lockton Investment Advisors LLC
  • Financial Wellness Educator(s)
    Not applicable

Haldex Brake Products Corp., headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, is a manufacturer of brake systems for the global commercial vehicle industry, with a focus on safety, vehicle dynamics and the environment, the company says. It also focuses on caring for its employees, working to provide them with cost-effective benefits such as its retirement plan.

To promote saving in the plan, it provides a safe-harbor matching contribution of 100% of up to 5% of workers’ earnings, with immediate vesting at 100%. It also offers a Roth feature. Currently, the plan boasts a 98% participation rate—only six employees have declined to enroll—along with a deferral rate of 8.5%.

“We have many long-term employees with our company,” says Tonya Carlton, manager of compensation and benefits at Haldex; she, herself, has been with the company for 37 years. “We know how important benefits are to our employees, and we strive to ensure that all of them know about and understand the benefits we offer.”  

The company automatically enrolls its employees at 6%—helping them take full advantage of the company match, Carlton says—and automatically increases the rate by 1% annually up to 10%. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, last year, the company continued to provide full employer matching contributions.

In partnership with its advisory firm, Lockton Investment Advisors LLC, as well as its recordkeeper, Principal Financial Group, Haldex delivers annual education to its employees, whether one-on-one or online with Principal. The company used to offer on-site training, but the pandemic led Haldex to move to the virtual format permanently, a decision that has increased engagement, notes Mark Fry, a senior relationship manager at Principal, who has also worked with Haldex for 19 years.

“Hosting multiple virtual sessions and having participants log on at a time that makes sense for them has worked out better than what we’ve experienced from an on-site standpoint,” he adds.

Last July, Haldex went through a qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) refresh, in which the plan took advantage of “no-expense” rate level domestic index funds by sweeping all assets, unless the participant opted out, into the QDIA—an age-appropriate target-date fund (TDF). Fry recalls telling Haldex that the success of the re-enrollment process would depend on how well employees were educated.

As a result, the company hosted virtual education sessions that explained the target-date fund re-enrollment, and then followed up with participants individually through one-on-one meetings. “We did quite a bit of education with employees prior to coming out with [the re-enrollment], and we educated them on what their options were,” says Carlton.

Following the re-enrollment, 68.45% of plan assets remained in the QDIA, representing a 27% increase in TDF assets since before the refresh was done.

Looking beyond 2021, the company plans to offer a financial wellness program for employees—an idea it had previously evaluated but the pandemic had forced it to shelve. Carlton emphasizes how Haldex hopes to assist employees during all phases of their career, including when they buy a home or raise a family—not just when saving for retirement. “We’re definitely planning on identifying a program that we can get started in 2022,” she says.

—Amanda Umpierrez

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