FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Aunt Millie’s has announced it has been named 2022 Plan Sponsor of the Year by PLANSPONSOR Magazine. The annual award recognizes retirement plan sponsors that show a commitment to their participants’ financial health and retirement success. Awards are given in nine categories, based on company type and size.
Aunt Millie’s places a high priority on helping its employees plan for retirement. “As a family owned company, we operate on a foundation of respect and care for our employees, treating them as part of our family,” said Judy Bobilya-Feher, chief financial officer, Aunt Millie’s. “We focus on creating an environment where they can thrive and where they want to work for years to come.”
The average tenure at the company is 11 years, with many employees staying 25-30 years, making the Aunt Millie’s 401(k) plan the largest retirement asset for many of them.
The company began making changes to its retirement plans in 2012 to increase participation and gradually add more features. These changes included raising the company matching contribution percentage rates; implementing various “auto” tools provided in the retirement industry (auto-enrollment, auto-escalation, and auto-sweep); and allowing part-time employees to contribute. As a result, the company’s plans rose from 59% and 68% participation to 97.9% and 98.7% participation in just 10 years. Both plans have achieved strong retirement readiness scores, ranging from 79% to 83%, higher than industry norms. Retirement readiness is defined as being able to replace 70% of pre-retirement income.
“I am proud of the tremendous effort our retirement teams have made to ensure we’re taking care of our employees and ensuring they are preparing for retirement,” stated John Popp, CEO, Aunt Millie’s. “At Aunt Millie’s, our employees are family, and we want them to be able to fully enjoy their retirement when the time comes.”
Financial education is also a focus at Aunt Millie’s. “It’s more than building the 401(k) plan design, but also providing education to help employees financially prepare for retirement,” said BobilyaFeher.
The company conducted an education campaign in 2021 to encourage participants to review and update their beneficiary designations. Also, a video was developed to help new family members get acclimated with the plans and understand the value of preparing for retirement. Additionally, the Aunt Millie’s retirement committee receives fiduciary training annually, and strives to be current and relevant on increasingly changing industry trends.
Aunt Millie’s added its vice president of information technology to its retirement committee and benefits from having expertise in cyber security, digital media for communications, and technology for developing education programs for its retirement community.
Those interested in joining the Aunt Millie’s team can view open positions at www.auntmilliescareers.com.