Corporate DC $25MM – $70MM

Matrix Technologies

Plansponsor of the year winner icon WINNER
Maumee, Ohio
David Blaida
Chief Executive Officer
  • Plan
  • Total Plan Assets
  • Number of Participants
  • Participation Rate
  • Average Deferral Rate
  • Default Deferral Rate
  • Default Investment
    Custom target-date funds
  • Automatic Enrollment
  • Automatic Escalation
  • Employer Contribution
    100% up to 5%
  • Providers
    Recordkeeper: John Hancock; Adviser: Everhart Advisors
  • Financial Wellness Educators
    Everhart Advisors, John Hancock


At Matrix Technologies, Inc., a process-design, automation-and-information-system engineering firm in Maumee, Ohio, the operation of the retirement plan is a personal matter for the company’s most-senior leaders, including CEO David Blaida.

“Our leadership and internal 401(k) committee meets quarterly to review the plan activity and address any new business,” Blaida says, noting that the company’s chief financial officer, Daniel Pruss, proactively manages and monitors the plan on a monthly basis, supported by Lisa Behrendt, Matrix’s director of human resources, and other managers.

“The internal committee is always joined by our plan recordkeeper from John Hancock and our investment adviser from Everhart Advisors,” Blaida says. “They provide us with updates on the plan investments and any administrative activity, and they present new plan options to consider for adoption and ensure we are constantly benchmarking our plan against others. It’s an all-hands-on-deck effort, and in fact we have a wide cross-section of staff employees also engaged in our 401(k) committee.”

Pruss says this combination of a balanced internal team coupled with outside expertise provides great oversight and ensures the plan is taking regular action to address the needs of participants in a timely and responsive manner.

Formal documentation on all meeting activity and compliance is kept in excellent order, according to Behrendt, who says that outside of the regular benchmarking of fees, the plan also regularly seeks out formalized quotes to ensure effective cost compliance. Current expenses stand at 0.24% for investments, 0.07% for recordkeeping and administration, and 0.12% for the total advisory fee.

This degree of engagement and oversight has delivered a progressive and modernized 401(k) plan, Blaida says, pointing to its systematic distribution opportunities, its Roth and traditional 401(k) options, its safe harbor design, its loan continuation features and the availability of in-service withdrawals commencing at age 63.

Becky McMillen, a senior relationship manager at Everhart Advisors who leads the relationship with Matrix, says the plan is also impressive by the numbers. It features automatic enrollment at 5% of compensation, coupled with automatic deferral increases up to 15%.

All together, these features have resulted in a 98.2% participation rate and an overall retirement readiness score of 77.5% across the participant population. The investment menu is streamlined, McMillen points out, with 22 investment options and both target-date-style funds and model portfolios assembled in a custom manner by Everhart. With this in mind, she credits the Matrix team for being a willing and enthusiastic adopter of new ideas and emerging best practices—for example, the provision of retirement benefits to part-time workers.

“For some perspective, I’ve been here at Matrix for 32 years, myself, while the company is in its 42nd year of doing business,” Blaida says. “We know our retirement program is successful because there have been a lot of people who have successfully retired from [here] after a full career—across all levels of the organization. I just love to see that. It means we have retained people long enough that they could build a real career and reach a fulfilling retirement.”

Looking to the future, Behrendt says, Matrix sees the strength of its retirement benefits and overall compensation strategy as a major recruitment tactic. Like so many employers in the emerging post-pandemic environment, Matrix has had to reassess its pitch to current and potential employees, including offering new remote working arrangements.

“The benefits package is always being enhanced, and we make sure to spread this message,” she explains. Simply put, “the labor market is pushing us to increase compensation, which is only making our compensation and benefits stronger overall. Another policy to mention is that we believe people should become eligible quickly and that they should vest immediately. From the recruiting perspective, it’s a great draw to tell people they won’t have to wait those six months or a year to become vested in the retirement plan.”

McMillen complements Matrix for this commitment, noting that the firm also makes it a priority to ensure its workers can access one-on-one education and advice.

“Matrix is one of those clients that helps us improve as ‘the plan adviser,’ which is a rare and commendable feat,” she says.

John Manganaro

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