1 How can a small plan get service and support?

Steve Cruz, Controller,
Valve Research & Manufacturing Co.

What I learned from my previous plan provider was that if you’re a small business, you’re on your own. We had a retirement plan with zero support. Our people weren’t contributing, and I assumed it was because our employees just couldn’t afford to save. That was true in some cases, but it wasn’t the whole story.

In the two years since Mutual of America became our plan provider, participation has increased by 74%; plan assets have more than tripled. Those are great numbers. There’s no doubt in my mind that the availability and service provided by the men and women at the West Palm Beach Regional Office have been crucial to the success of the plan. At the drop of a hat, I can have someone from Mutual America here to answer questions, face to face, which is really impressive.

When the Mutual of America representatives come in to meet with our employees, they always draw interest. They are constantly answering questions or enrolling people or helping employees raise their contribution rate, which is what we like to see. Money can be tight for our employees on the lower end of the pay scale. It’s nice to see that they’re willing to separate themselves from a percentage of their income to put into savings.

My dad was the impetus behind our switching plan providers. He’s a huge advocate for saving. He wants to see his employees have something to fall back on when they retire. Mutual of America helped us implement a safe-harbor plan with automatic enrollment and a 4% matching contribution, and now our people will be 100% vested from the start.

I can’t say enough about the Mutual of America staff in West Palm Beach. They are very knowledgeable and always there for me. If they’re in the area, they will stop by to see if I need anything and offer suggestions to make administering the plan easier, like integrating their online payroll system with our new payroll system. They’ve walked me through the whole process, so it’s been good. It’s been very good.

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Employees are more willing to enroll and be actively engaged in saving because they have a personal relationship with a local representative they can call and meet with privately.

Tyrone Golatt,
Executive Field Vice President,
Mutual of America

Mutual of America’s integrated approach to service is ideal for small to medium-size nonprofits and businesses because we start from the premise that our clients are not experts in retirement plans. When Valve Research chose to leave its retirement plan service provider and make the move to Mutual of America, our dedicated Regional Office team oversaw every detail of the transition process.

Our goal is to reduce the burden of plan administration so employers can focus on running their organization. The services we offer are what a larger employer would expect and at a very, very competitive price.

Mutual of America’s Regional Office structure brings local representatives within reach of every customer. When clients call, our local representatives know who they are — we know their employees, their plans and their organizational goals and challenges.

The same is true for our relationships with employees. Employees are more willing to enroll and be actively engaged in saving because they have a personal relationship with a local Mutual of America representative they can call and meet with privately when the need arises.

Unless employees understand their retirement plans and the features associated with them, they are unlikely to value them, contribute or manage their retirement portfolios appropriately. In-person meetings are the best way to motivate employees to make positive changes in their saving habits — across all age and income groups. Employers see tangible results when participation and contribution rates rise.