Survey Finds More Sponsors Minding Governance Ps and Qs

November 17, 2005 ( - A new survey has found that 85% of plan sponsors now have a written investment policy statement (IPS) indicating a continuing focus on improving the process for plan oversight.

The survey also found that most plan sponsors understand explicit fees of their plans such as billed recordkeeping fees, compliance reporting, and fund expense ratios, according to a news release.

However, most don’t understand the revenue streams received by service providers through revenue sharing. Sixty-eight percent of responding plan sponsors did not know what their service provider received in sub-transfer agent fees, even though this is a major component of recordkeeping revenue, according to the announcement. Plan Sponsor Advisors, LLC and Grant Thornton, LLP conducted the survey

“Plan sponsors are gradually becoming more attuned to the need for detailed oversight of their benefit plans. They are realizing that they can’t simply rely on their service provider. They have to take an active role in the operation of the plan,” said Donald Stone, President of Plan Sponsor Advisors. “At the same time, many plan sponsors are realizing that this is a pretty complicated area and that they may not have the information or training they need to make proper assessments about the plan, its investments and operational issues.”

In administrative issues, automatic enrollment is quickly gaining traction. Twenty-two percent of plan sponsors indicated they have adopted it and another 36% say they are considering it. The survey also found that only 48% of plan sponsors were sure they were meeting the requirements to be 404(c) compliant, while 71% want to.

The survey also found that 56% of plan sponsors have conducted an operational review to determine whether their plan was being administered in compliance with their plan document, according to the poll.

To receive a copy of the survey, send an email to: .