To assure plan sponsors that the investment options in one of its 401(k) programs have been thoroughly screened and monitored, CUNA Mutual Group has formed a five-person committee to make it happen.
The Retirement Plan Services Investment Committee will provide research, analytical studies and monitoring to provide due diligence reporting behind every investment option available in the Choice 401(k) retirement program, the company said. CUNA Mutual said it has engaged Mesirow Financial to provide an independent review and certification.
The Choice 401(k) program uses a group annuity platform and offers more than 75 different sub-account choices from a variety of investment managers. Tom Eckert, CUNA Mutual vice president of retirement plan services, said "We want our plan sponsors to know that every investment option available in their plan has been thoroughly screened and monitored."
The committee will meet quarterly and will include CUNA Mutual executives:
Scott Knapp, director of investment strategy, committee chairman
Thomas Merfeld, senior vice president and chief investment risk officer
Scott Powell, managing director for general account investments
Christopher Copeland, vice president and corporate treasurer
Thomas Preusker, investment analyst for retirement plan services
In addition to traditional screens for investment quality and consistency, the committee has integrated behavioral screens into its analysis.
"The goal of a behavioral screen is to identify funds that make it easy for participants to decide to save, save enough, and achieve adequate diversification," said Knapp. "We're doing our best to encourage optimal decision making, which we believe is far more important than achieving eye-popping fund returns. This supports our outcome-based approach."