Skip to main content

Establishing a High Performing Investment Committee for Corporate Retirement Plans

Survey participants’ responses in our Retirement Survey Report varied widely as to how often their investment committee met to discuss different kinds of retirement plans. However, most participants generally met on a quarterly basis, particularly so with regard to 401(a) profit sharing plans (78%), 401(a) money purchase plans (75%), and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) 403(b) plans (59%). By contrast, 29% met semiannually to discuss 401(k) plans—versus 57% who met quarterly—with an additional 26% meeting semi-annually to address issues related to ERISA 403(b) plans.



Only 11% of survey participants said their investment committee reviews 401(a) profit sharing plans annually. Similarly, 20% of investment committees for 457 deferred compensation plans also review their plans annually. This is in keeping with general best practices, which encourage investment committees to meet at least annually and, ideally, on a quarterly basis so critical issues and questions can be addressed in a timely manner. A number of respondents said they meet routinely to review non-ERISA 403(b) plans.

Except in limited circumstances (church plans and governmental plans), plan sponsor involvement with non-ERISA 403(b) plans should be limited so as not to violate the safe harbor provisions applicable to these plans and trigger ERISA coverage. Generally, non-ERISA 403(b) plans should not be an agenda item for retirement plan investment committees. Responses regarding type and frequency of activities performed by investment committees varied significantly. The most common responses were as follows:
  • develop or review investment policy statement annually, 43%;
  • maintain committee meeting minutes quarterly, 55%;
  • develop or review committee bylaws annually, 49%;
  • benchmark fees annually, 49%; and
  • evaluate plan investments quarterly, 46%.
HBS recommends investment committees conduct routine, regularly scheduled meetings and address the following topics:
  • develop or review the investment policy statement annually;
  • maintain committee meeting minutes every meeting;
  • develop or review committee bylaws annually;
  • benchmark fees every meeting; and
  • evaluate plan investments every meeting.
If you have any questions about establishing an investment committee, or would like to speak with an advisor, please get in touch by calling (800) 388-1963 or via e-mail at hbs@hanys.org.

Popular posts from this blog

COVID-19: Retirement and Benefit Plan Resources

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, we are closely monitoring news and updates from top sources. We’ll be updating this section as new developments unfold. Here are several key articles and links to help plan sponsors and administrators navigate the COVID-19 impact to retirement and benefit plans: Retirement Plans 4 Key CARES Act Provisions for Retirement Plan Sponsors Markets React to Coronavirus   Important Considerations for Retirement Plan Sponsors during the Coronavirus Pandemic In Fed We Trust Participant Education Services: Timely Help from a Safe Distance CRDs 100% Taxable for New York State and Local Income Tax Purposes in 2020 IRS Permits Remote Notarization of Participant Elections   Employee Benefits CARES Act Expands Health Coverage Rules Understanding the Historic $2 Trillion Stimulus Package Employee Compensation and Benefits During Closures and Furloughs DOL Clarifies Exemptions to Coronavirus Paid Leave Laws Small Business Exemption to

Coronavirus-related distributions 100% taxable for New York state and local income tax purposes in 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27. Under the Act, participants affected by the coronavirus may be able to take distributions in 2020 of up to $100,000 from an employer-sponsored retirement plan or an IRA. Although allowing these distributions from a qualified retirement plan is optional, we have seen that a number of employers have chosen to amend their plans to permit such distributions. The Act provides that coronavirus-related distributions will not be subject to the mandatory 20% withholding nor the 10% early withdrawal penalty (for those younger than 59½) that would otherwise apply.

HANYS Benefit Services names Noah Buck president

Buck brings 20 years of retirement and benefits industry experience to leadership role of boutique advisory agency  Rensselaer, NY July 14, 2022— HANYS Benefit Services announced today Noah Buck has been appointed president. Buck steps into the advisory agency’s leadership role at a time when organizations are seeking expert retirement and employee benefits guidance for fiduciary governance and employee engagement. With HBS since 2019, Buck had most recently served as interim president and was previously vice president of client relationship management. Before joining HBS, Buck was a principal in Milliman’s employee benefits practice. He earned a Bachelor of Science in management science and information systems from Penn State University and a Master of Business Administration from SUNY Albany. "I’m honored to be leading a team that is passionate about making sure our clients are meeting their organization’s and employees’ needs,” said Buck. “A focused approach to retirement and