AGC Houston 401(k) Plan Reaches $350 Million In Assets

Annual Plan Review Meeting For Members Highlights Milestones

“Our job is not to make employers and employees investment experts; our primary role is to offer AGC members a low-cost 401(k) retirement plan that alleviates the trustee and audit concerns as well as the fiduciary responsibilities,” stated Robert Brann, R. W. Baird & Co., Inc. as he welcomed AGC Houston members at the 401 (k) plan review meeting on August 27, 2019. The annual event is designed to provide an overview of the plan and to hear from service providers, fiduciaries and plan trustees. 

Brann also announced to the group that on July 9, 2019, AGC Texas Building Branch adopted the AGC Southwest Chapters 401 (k) plan. “For other Texas AGC building chapters, it means that their members will now have the opportunity to access the multiple employer plan.”

On hand were plan participants including representatives from Transamerica Retirement Services, Pinnacle Financial, Hannis T. Bourgeois, Dimensional Funds, AGC Houston and Louisiana AGC. “When the Multiple Employer Plan merged with Louisiana AGC in 2013, it represented 60 companies and 4,400 employees,” said Michael Demouy, Operations Manager, Louisiana AGC.  “We are very excited to be able to say that today, our plan represents over 100 participating companies and $350 million in assets!”

Demouy explained that because of the plan’s continuous growth, the expenses associated with managing the plan decreased in 2019. “The great news is that we are seeing a five basis point decrease in expense. Employers and their employees will receive this savings as a credit beginning January 1, 2020.” 

One of the major benefits of the 401 (k) plan is that there are trustees in place – an advisory committee composed of AGC Houston and Louisiana AGC members – who oversee its management. Paul Oliver, W. S. Bellows Construction Corp. and 401 (k) Committee Chair talked about the group’s role. “Our committee is made up of AGC member firms as well as investment and third party administrators. Our function is to manage the fiduciary responsibilities as trustee and administrator. Our due diligence is to ensure that we review the services under the plan and document and communicate them to all participating members.” 

“Because of this, your management team is neither taking time to hold meetings for plan participants nor having to monitor its administration,” added Bob Bacon, TAS Commercial Concrete, 401 (k) Committee member. “The other great thing is that your employees are in direct contact with either R. W. Baird or Transamerica for all of their investment needs and support. Transamerica offers free webinars throughout the year on a wide variety of topics designed for participants. There are no plan participant fees and employers do not have any audit or record-keeping fees.” 

“Whether your plan represents $400 or $38 million, you’re benefiting from group pricing, which makes the Southwest 401 (k) plan extremely competitive,” added Brann. The plan’s average balance is $43,700 and the average participant’s age is 41. 

At the meeting, each attending plan participant received a customized presentation book pertaining to their company’s portfolio, which Brann referred to as he explained its contents.

Among the topics discussed was an overview of the auditing process that was led by Kyle Cook of Hannis T. Bourgeois.  “We specialize in auditing construction firms and work directly with the AGC Southwest Chapters 401(k) Plan participants,” he stated. One of the valuable benefits this presents for the participants and the employer is that periodic audits are done regularly to manage risks and demonstrate that fiduciary duties are met. “We also review loan distributions, transfers in and out of the plan and prefer to do all communications and transactions through the Transamerica portal, which makes the audit process easy,” Cook said. 

“One of the best company benefits is that the annual book they receive from us can be handed to a Department of Labor representative, should they want to see how the plan is being documented,” stated Brann. “Every piece of information they needs is contained within these pages.” Brann said. Additionally, participating employees benefit through the webinars and the personal support Transamerica provides at no additional cost.

“In a time when employers are looking to attain and retain good employees, this plan is the type of benefit that many will find attractive,” stated Jerry Nevlud, AGC Houston President/CEO. “We are really excited and proud of this plan; we are saving participating members a total of $1.4 million in annual fees with prospects increasing next year as other AGC chapters sign on.”

To find out more about how your company can join this program, contact Stephen Ellsworth or Robert Brann at (713) 296-8066 or mep@rwbaird.com.