Growing up as a child, how many of you dreamed of becoming a 401(k) administrator or committee member? My guess NONE! If you’re like me, you probably didn’t even know that the position existed until you were thrust into it. Leaving you wondering to yourself, “What am I suppose to be doing with this plan and how in the world do I effectively manage it?” This blog will help you answer those basic questions and many more concerning your company’s benefit plans, specifically focusing on the 401(k).
I first developed a love for the 401(k) plan when I became a Junior Financial Advisor at Smith Barney (now Morgan Stanley Smith Barney). It was painfully obvious to me from the get-go that I was different from the average financial advisor that worked there; I was not a good ole’ boy from the south, I did not come from money and I did not have a parent that paved the way in the business for me. It struck me that most Americans are like me – we have to work hard for every dollar that we earn and we have to rely on “me, myself and I” to make it. This is where my passion for the 401(k) plan was born. The 401(k) plan, when used effectively, represents the greatest opportunity for any average hard-working American to grow wealth in today’s world. Thus, my passion for helping the average American worker was born.
The next phase of my career found me at DailyAccess Corporation, a third party administration and recordkeeping shop in Mobile, AL. There I learned the power of 401(k) plan design. Effectively using the right plan design provisions and understanding how those provisions can impact your plan participants is paramount to effectively managing your company’s 401(k) plan. DailyAccess also taught me that the plan must be in compliance before it can be anything else. Here I learned the power of plan design and essentialness of compliance.
Today, I am honored to be a team member of an amazing company, Grinkmeyer Leonard Financial, where we strive to empower all of the clients that we have the privilege of working with through positive, meaningful interactions. My one and only focus is to work with the plan sponsor to make your job easier, more effective and more fun. As Strategic Plan Coordinator, I will partner with you to do the heavy lifting for the plan and perform oversight. Now, I get to do what I love; partner with plan sponsors.
So to answer my question, “What am I doing here?” I would have to say, working with plan sponsors, just like you, to design, implement and maintain an effective 401(k) that serves the needs of your employee population. And hopefully through this blog and other communication, I can help you answer the question of what you are doing with your benefits plan as well.
Jamie Kertis, AIF®, QKA
Retirement Plan Specialist
Grinkmeyer Leonard Financial
1950 Stonegate Drive / Suite 275 /Birmingham, AL 35242
Office: 205.970.9088 / Toll-Free: 866.695.5162