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BMO Retirement Services White Paper: Better Benchmarking Is the Starting Point for Smarter 401(k) Plans

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Oct 22, 2014) - BMO Retirement Services today released a white paper entitled "BMO Defined Contribution IQ™: Participation and Contributions Rates." This is the fourth paper in this nine-part series that has been developed to help plan sponsors, along with their consultants, cost-effectively improve their company's 401(k) plans. The latest white paper highlights the importance of benchmarking participation rates and average deferrals, which are key gauges for sponsors wanting to ensure their employer-sponsored retirement plans are competitive within their industries and geographies.

To use the power of benchmarking intelligently, BMO Retirement Services underscores t he three important areas where sponsors can focus their efforts. These include:

  • Shortening eligibility and the need for plan sponsors to consider approaches beyond automatic enrollment.
  • Understanding the role matching contributions can play and how plan sponsors can more cost-effectively use their employer match to increase participant utilization.
  • Deciding between profit sharing and employer matching and how aligning the goals of the employer and the employee can also boost participation and deferral rates.

Within all of these areas, the paper suggests ways sponsors and their advisors can work cooperatively with their recordkeeper to improve each.

"From our 30-plus years of administering 401(k) plans, we have learned that sponsors and recordkeepers need to reach beyond the 'three autos' of automatic enrollment, automatic escalation and automatic investment options," said Todd Perala, series author and Director of Strategic Initiatives, Retirement and Trust Services, BMO Global Asset Management. "Being a good recordkeeper means being able to assess the demands each client faces. Only then can we offer the best solution -- one that helps the employer be competitive in their marketplace while also helping employees best utilize their retirement savings plan."

Mr. Perala added, "Plan design is certainly important, but employee participation and contribution rates can be significantly improved by setting goals that are both specific and realistic, and by instituting a focused participant communication plan."

To read the full white paper, visit:

For more information about BMO Retirement Services, please visit:

About BMO Retirement Services
BMO Retirement Services is an integral part of BMO Global Asset Management and a premiere, award-winning provider of retirement services. We have been recognized as a national provider of both defined contribution recordkeeping and defined contribution investment-only services by the National Association of Plan Advisors.

BMO Global Asset Management provides holistic, solution-driven services to our institutional and high-net-worth clients. With a 40-year legacy of fiduciary service -- and goal of promoting retirement readiness to our more than 500,000 participants in over 1,000 retirement plans -- our clients include retirement plans, Taft-Hartley funds, government and public funds, not-for-profit organizations and family offices. BMO Global Asset Management's commitment to service excellence has led us to be recognized by Pension & Investments as one of the Top 100 largest asset managers.

We are a part of BMO Financial Group (NYSE: BMO), a fully diversified financial services organization with CA$587 billion total assets and more than 47,000 employees as of July 31, 2014.

BMO Retirement Services is a part of BMO Global Asset Management and a division of the BMO Harris Bank N.A., offering products and services through various affiliates of BMO Financial Group.

BMO Global Asset Management is the brand name for various affiliated entities of BMO Financial Group that provide investment management, retirement, and trust and custody services. Certain of the products and services offered under the brand name BMO Global Asset Management are designed specifically for various categories of investors in a number of different countries and regions and may not be available to all investors. Products and services are only offered to such investors in those countries and regions in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. BMO Financial Group (NYSE: BMO), is a service mark of Bank of Montreal (BMO).

All investments involve risk, including the possible loss of principal.

Investment products are: Not FDIC Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value

©2014 BMO Financial Corp.

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Media Contacts:
Alexis Brown
(312) 461-6543