Accessing the Keys of an Effective Employee Retirement Savings Plan

Sean O’Connor, First Vice President/Retirement Benefits Officer

OConnorSAttracting and retaining skilled workers is challenging enough for any company. But for those who don’t offer a retirement plan, it’s even harder. It doesn’t have to be. With the right trustee, even smaller companies can afford a state-of-the-art retirement plan.

A Bank With a Plan

Full-service commercial banks, like Old Second, offer a range of benefit plan solutions to their business clients. While a company may not think to look to their bank for such services, those who do can find a sophisticated yet cost-effective solution, especially when it comes to their retirement plan.

As a community bank with a full-service trust company, we’ve served in a fiduciary capacity and as an asset manager for decades. It’s this wealth management experience that enables us to address the concerns that keep many companies from successfully offering a retirement plan benefit.

But, ultimately, our corporate plan clients’ success comes from our commitment to incorporating these five key elements into each of our plans.

OConnor-InfographicFive Key Elements to a Successful Plan

1. Communication that keeps participants engaged

An effective employee communications plan reaches each participant in a way that is most comfortable for them—whether that is Web based and interactive or through onsite meetings and customizable materials.

2. Investment options that accommodate all participants

Appealing across the range of age groups, lifestyle preferences and risk profiles of diverse workforces requires access to a variety of investments, including target date funds. A solid history of generating long-term results for clients also helps, along with an open architecture platform to suit each company’s investment needs.

4. The ability to fulfill fiduciary responsibilities

Business owners already wear too many hats. They need to be able to rely on a trustee with demonstrated experience in protecting and directing a firm to fulfill its fiduciary responsibility toward plan participants.

4. Administrative and compliance expertise

The right trustee will help with annual testing, discrimination limits and reporting. They’ll also provide timely and accurate record-keeping, on both a daily and balance-forward basis.

5. Dedication to cost effectiveness

While plan sponsors can’t control the performance of the securities markets, they can control how much they pay in plan fees. A trustee who recognizes this and works to contain costs—and for opportunities to reduce them—can add to participants’ returns over the long run.

As an experienced plan administrator, we work with each of our clients to develop a solution that meets the firm’s objectives. We can also analyze existing plans and recommend ways a company can improve participation and satisfaction. In many cases, we can also convert an existing plan into a new one with minimal disruption.

To learn more about how we can do for your company’s benefits plan, click here.


Non-deposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC; not a deposit of, or guaranteed by, the bank; may lose value.

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