Trends are a fact of life any more, and the pace of change continues to accelerate. Whether fashion, music, or technology, being a trend setter seems to bring rewards. On the other hand, in the mundane world of employee benefits, being the first one on the bandwagon can bring risks. Actuaries often spend their entire careers trying to discern statistical aberrations versus the start of new trend lines. Following the wrong path in employee benefits can be dangerous, and in the extreme can lead to disallowed funding and even disqualified plans.
Frequently we are asked to take over administration of plans that are not “wrong” from a compliance standpoint, but which do not meet the objectives of the employer. Sometimes goals change over time, and plan features need to be modified accordingly. In more extreme cases the plan may have been designed on a platform comfortable to the designer but not well-aligned with the goals of the employer. Finally, some employers latch onto a new concept, only to find out it does not fit them well.
Regardless, a plan out of sync with company goals, risk tolerance, and personalities is bound to have problems sooner or later – whether in wasted dollars, unappreciated features, or compliance issues. If any of this rings true with you, we are eager to discuss possible remedies. Please contact us for more information.