Survey Says: Money Saving Suggestions

Price chopper, the cover story in the July issue of PLAN SPONSOR offers insights into a variety of ways that plan sponsors can --and have-- benefited participants and the company's bottom line by paying attention to : the bottom line.

That runs the gamut from fee negotiation, greater use of online deliveries, bundling services — and sometimes just changing providers.

We asked our readers to tap into their experience and share their suggestions, tips, hints — and warnings on ways plans can save money.

Given the diversity of perspectives, we received the usual diversity of alternatives –which should make them all the more valuable to plan sponsors of all types and sizes.

Some readers outsourced services to save money — others took on previously outsourced functions for the same result. Bundling services was a popular suggestion, as was using passive investment alternatives. A signficant number had embraced some form of automation –largely the Internet/intranet –as a means to do so.

We were encouraged by how many sponsors are taking a serious look at not only how much they are paying ? but for what. Investment management fees, long a convenient way to “absorb” explicit charges seems to be a category for growing scrutiny in the future.


” We also added an incentive into our contract for a reduction in our per head fee based upon the level of usage of self service. As our participant’s reliance upon customer service representatives goes down so do our fees.”

“Plan Sponsors are the only voice that will protest high brokerage fees. Brokers and most managers have vested interests in keeping fees high, so don’t expect them to propose changes. The SEC is practically begging us to monitor and push down trading costs. Don’t just look at rates of return — look at costs to invest, also!”

“We have concentrated our money management with one provider, who is also providing trustee, check payment and many administrative services. The reduction in fees translates to a significant amount of “return” that our former managers just weren’t getting.”

Our favorite suggestion this week was easy ? it was simply ” Over the past year, we’ve saved money by beginning to read PLANSPONSOR! (seriously).”

All in all, the best strategy seems to start with understanding how much you are paying –and for what. The July issue has additional insights — and we encourage you to check it out at .