‘Gaming’ the pension plan journey

Last week we covered the history of the game and how it inspired the development of this year’s ASPPA Annual agenda. Let’s talk about how it will “play out” in October!

General concept of the game (series):

This unique game (series) has four levels (sessions) that the player (participant) must conquer (attend). It has been specifically designed to develop a solid foundation for planning consultants who wish to learn and provide comprehensive consulting services, and to provide insight into the entire consulting spectrum for those who aspire to become great consultants one day. . Undoubtedly, compliance testing is complicated and, unfortunately, there are no “distortion zones” in real life. Before we can face the final boss (the sponsor), we must master all the previous levels. The game will start at an earlier level than we typically see covered in conference sessions laying the most basic foundations for testing, and will progress to the final level, focused on the challenges of customer communications and the best practices for communications surrounding plan operations, potential decision points, and various changing situations available to/for the plan in a manner that enables plan sponsors to better operate.

Now, let’s take a more detailed look at each level of the game:

Level 01: Mathematics: The Ultimate Word Problem

To fully understand the tests, it helps to have a knowledge of the math and concepts behind the tests themselves. Therefore, the first level of the game will dive deep into the mathematics of the retirement plan. Admin systems do a lot of the heavy lifting, but the first tier will explain how to actually calculate things like an EBAR, Gateway Allocation, or Ratio Percentage – the basics we often take for granted. .

Level 02: Test: will you pass?

After mastering the math at Level 1, this next level is designed to help you apply the basics not only to run compliance tests, but also to better consult by recognizing how to achieve the most optimal results in different situations and how to evaluate and navigate the available options. To do this, you need to know what stages occur each year in a plan and here we will focus intensely on plan testing.

Level 03: Building blocks: development, design, maintenance and redesign of plans

In accordance with the progression, this session will use the building blocks of level 1 (the mathematics) and 2 (the test). While understanding math helps you recognize the best testing options, recognizing the best testing options will help you create a plan to capitalize on those options, allowing you to design, maintain, and redesign plans to consistently deliver optimal results.

Level 04: Say what? Communications with customers

The final level of this game will bring it all together with Client Communications. George Bernard Shaw once said, “The greatest problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished. To truly master the journey, you need to be able to communicate what you know in a way that plan sponsors can act on. This includes not only communicating options, but equally important, translating retirement speech for non-retired professionals, acknowledging misunderstandings and listening to questions that are not being asked. We don’t want you to fail when you’re about to turn the game around! Therefore, during this level, players will use role-playing scenarios to optimize customer communications for the best results on an ongoing basis.

Once you complete level 04, you will have mastered the latest and greatest new game: The Retirement Plan Journey!

See you at the ASPPA Annual 2022 – We can’t wait to take it to the next level with you! Log in and level up today at https://asppaannual.org/

Justin Bonestroo is the 2022 ASPPA President-Elect. Amanda Iverson is the 2022 ASPPA Vice President.


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