Friday, 19 July 2019 07:06

SCRS Webinar Explains New MEP Retirement Plan

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On Thursday, July 18, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) hosted a webinar event to explain its new SCRS 401K Retirement Solutions program, featuring Angela Pickel, vice president of Retirement Services for TPC 401(k), and Scott Broaddus, CFP AIF, a partner at Virginia Asset Management.

According to SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg, “SCRS has partnered with an amazing team that specializes in helping small businesses establish the same high-quality retirement programs for their employees that you would expect working for much larger companies. Member businesses will benefit from our collective size to help keep costs low, and service and support that is second-to-none. SCRS member businesses that have already enrolled have saved on average 37 percent from their existing plans.” 


Schulenburg welcomed attendees to the webinar. Shortly thereafter, he defined the SCRS MEP Retirement Plan as a customized retirement plan solution created specifically for SCRS members and introduced the speakers. Pickel began by explaining that the increased focus on retirement solutions is due to the fact that 57 million Americans do not have access to a retirement plan through their employer, and of that group, over half work in small businesses. The reasons many small businesses do not offer retirement benefits are related to the high cost and perceived complexity.


In fact, Pickel shared, “High costs and complexity discourage small businesses so much that 71 percent of businesses with fewer than 50 employees don’t offer retirement benefits at all, citing ‘high cost’ as their primary barrier. 47 percent of companies with less than 100 employees do not offer retirement benefits. Many people do not have enough money saved for retirement, and as a result, many states have begun introducing legislation to require small businesses to offer basic retirement savings programs.”


Pickel went on to demonstrate the extent to which employees rely on their employers to help them establish retirement savings plans. Of those with a plan at work, 89 percent of workers over age 30 said they likely would not have saved for retirement without it and less than ten percent of employees without access to an employer plan actually start a retirement savings on their own.

She cited an AARP study that claimed, “Workers are 15 times more likely to save for retirement if a plan is offered through work.”


The SCRS Multiple Employer Retirement Plan (MEP) boasts low expenses and easy compliance for the professionally managed, tax-deferred plan that can be tailored to each employer with options such as employer matching, eligibility period, vesting schedule, Roth deferrals and more. Explaining how the SCRS MEP solution works, Pickel stated, “SCRS members join together to form one retirement plan; there’s strength in numbers. Having one plan document for the entire group simplifies the plan management and eliminates the need for much of the paperwork and responsibilities.”


“You adopt, we manage,” Pickel continued. “TPC oversees the plan compliance and adherence to selected plan provisions. Select fiduciary responsibilities are outsourced to us so that means less worry for you. Also, the time and effort on the part of the plan administrator are drastically reduced which allows you more time to focus on your business.”


Broaddus then spoke about what sets the SCRS MEP apart from other options. While he and the SCRS Board were organizing this benefit offering, he found that the biggest challenge to overcome for many shop owners who already have a 401K plan for their business is the idea of telling their current advisor they are considering a different plan, but he reminded them, “As an employer, you’re required to do what’s in the best interest of your business and your employees.”


The overall benefits of the plan include the investing power of members joining as one plan, which makes the plan less expensive with low admin costs, while maintaining expert administration and an approved alternative to state-run plans. For the owner, the plan provides fiduciary support and is customizable, flexible, easy to implement and compliant. It’s also easy for employees to sign up and they’ll have access to individual investment advice; as a side benefit, Broaddus expressed, “Employer support builds employee loyalty.”


Providing an example of how the plan works using compound interest, Broaddus demonstrated that the SCRS MEP advantage will generate over $150,000 more in retirement savings over a 30-year period.

He noted, “As the SCRS plan grows, the plan costs will continue to reduce for participants, but we’ve found that many business owners don’t actually know the cost of their 401K plan so we are offering a cost analysis to help shops determine if this is the right option for their businesses.”


In order to obtain a cost analysis, a shop needs to provide their list of plan investments and their 408(b)2 annual plan expense statement to receive an analysis within two business days. Requests can be made through the SCRS benefits site: scrsbenefitscenter.com. Broaddus and Pickel then spent some time answering attendees’ questions.


Schulenburg clarified, “While you need to be a member of SCRS in order to participate in the plan, you don’t have to be a member to shop the plan and decide if it’s a good fit for your business. We want any collision repair business to be able to compare the offers and explore the benefits before committing. This plan is situated to help small and large employers.”


“SCRS wants to enrich the lives of member businesses,” Schulenburg continued. “We see this as a way to unite the industry and keep more money in the hands of the shops. There are a lot of opportunities here for the collision repair industry and we encourage everyone to check out scrsbenefitscenter.com.”


The webinar is available to watch HERE