Since this is my final blog in my “So You’ve Frozen Your DB plan – Now what?” series, I’m wondering if you are humming any songs in your head yet? Any guesses on what song I’m connecting these blogs to? I’ll give you two hints. Hint #1 – Sir Paul wrote it.
As I’ve been discussing, there are generally three steps a plan sponsor can consider when winding down their frozen defined benefit (DB) plan (that’s your #2 hint!). Today, I’d like to discuss the third step – develop an asset allocation strategy.
There are generally three steps to terminate a defined benefit (DB) plan. Today, let’s take a look at the first step– evaluating the cost.
Step 1– Evaluating the cost of terminating a DB plan
The cost to terminate a DB plan is generally more than the cost to fully fund a hard frozen plan. Many plan sponsors don’t realize this. A common question I hear is “My plan is 100% funded under IRS rules. Why isn’t it sufficiently funded to terminate?” Sponsors may also not have made minimum required contributions for some time which could leave them under the impression their plan is funded enough to terminate it.
Different rules apply when determining plan termination liability. Plan sponsors can incorrectly assume if their plan is 100% funded from an ongoing perspective they are at the point that they can terminate the plan with no additional cost.
If you’ve spent the last six months cold calling a list with over 1,000 names pulled from a database (i.e. all benefit plans with $X in assets, $X participants, in the state of Y) – we should talk.
You’re vertical cold calling – moving down a list, using the same pitch, maybe with a little too much selling and not enough information, and checking names off after the call, never to talk again. Odds are you sound the same as the other nine advisors who called the “decision maker” already this year.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s good to have a large pool of prospects. But when it comes to cold calling – a good way to “warm” it up is by thinking horizontally.