Bethlehem, PA-based Just Born, which cooks up millions of bright yellow peeps each year, wants to shift new employees to a 401k, effectively no longer funneling new contributions to the multi-employer pension plan it participates in with 200 other companies.
The health of the multi-employer pension relies on new plan entrants to fund the pensions of retirees. If Just Born pulls out of the plan, the larger group’s financial foundation could be severely undermined. The company is trying to avoid paying a multi-million dollar required penalty for leaving a multi-employer pension plan. This would leave the door open for other employers to jump ship and redirect employees to a new benefits approach.
While this unfolding saga is taking place in the retirement arena, the risks and lessons for pooled insurance groups are not dissimilar. At the end of the day, a pooled group needs the continued participation of its members to remain viable and solvent. Attrition or lack of growth can significantly undermine the success of a pooled group, driving up costs and driving down service.
This is a risk unique to pooled groups. Benefits managers on the corporate side have their own set of challenges, but attracting and retaining members isn’t one of them.
Here are three ways pooled insurance groups can help ensure and maintain the health of their pool:
The pooled insurance group space is unique, and while it shares some of the same challenges and risks faced by conventional employer-provided plans, there are some significant differences. Growth and the health of the pool is one of them. But, there are others.
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