Case study: Plan testing during a mid-year amendment
How does a complex pension plan not only pass nondiscrimination testing but also pass this testing in the future?
With a business strategy of expansion through acquisition, a chemical distribution company was facing the disruption and strain on resources of near constant merger activity. While the HR team recognized that every acquisition has unique challenges, the team needed a process that could be replicated and was flexible. They also needed an extra set of hands―a business partner that understood their organization and had the technical and practical knowledge to assist.
The company’s strategy was to bring each acquired organization “into the fold” in terms of HR policies and practices, payroll, and timekeeping, as well as benefits and other employee programs, as quickly and smoothly as possible. The objectives for the communication strategy for each acquisition were to:
Milliman’s expertise in compensation, benefits, and HR allowed us to jump in mid-stream and be of immediate value. Our communication consultants coordinated with HR, payroll, benefits, and corporate communications departments in addition to attorneys, other consultants, retirement plan administrators, insurance companies, and the HR teams from the organizations being acquired. We created:
Each communication piece, including the implementation plan, was designed to be usable (with modification) for the next acquisition. We developed multiple versions of key pieces to meet the needs of particular audiences.
The company continued to partner with Milliman on subsequent acquisitions. Having a robust strategy and set of materials to start from provided the team with a solid foundation so they could concentrate more on the unique details of each deal. Newly acquired employees had the information they needed to quickly understand their new benefits and make enrollment choices.