Some plan sponsor decisions are more consequential for members than others, but how should employers rank these decisions?

TD Greystone Asset Management’s Jafer Naqvi, vice-president and director of fixed income and multi-asset, and Nicole Lomax, associate in fixed income and multi-asset, will discuss these decisions at the 2019 Benefits and Pension Summit at the Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre on April 17.

“We love to get into our investment jargon and technical analysis, working with defined benefit sponsors, which historically were the bulk of assets in the Canadian pension space,” says Naqvi. “We’ve evolved the way we speak and talk and communicate to the market that way.”

Read: Why language matters in DC plan, investment communications: study

In the defined contribution world, investment managers are in conversation with different decision-makers than in the DB sphere, he says. “Often, you have a lot more human resources professionals that would be part of the decision-making process on funds and investments. And we also realize there’s a much more intimate interaction between investments in DC and other plan design features.”

The plan sponsor choices come down to three decision categories: plan design, investment structure and investment selection, says Lomax. “So under plan design would be things like whether a plan should implement auto-enrolment, what their contribution rate should be and maybe even the decision of a sponsor to increase their contribution rate for plan members.” 

Read: How Ontario’s pension regulation changes will impact DC plans

Within the investment structure, determining the default option is the most important decision, says Lomax, and some of the juicier topics are stemming from implementing investments. “This is where we address things like customization. This has been a big thing we’ve been seeing as clients ask, ‘Can you do this and is it worthwhile to do customization based on your demographics?'”

Taking a bird’s eye view of how these three factors influence retirement outcomes is key to shepherding DC members towards optimal outcomes, she adds.

To attend this session and other DC pension and benefits topics, register for the 2019 Benefits and Pension Summit here. The early bird special ends today!

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