Q: We were considering doing a re-enrollment in our 401(k) plan before the pandemic hit. Should we go ahead this fall as planned, or wait until next year?
A: Sadly, our crystal ball isn’t working so we don’t know for sure what challenges may lie ahead. But the fundamental reason to do an investment re-enrollment has not really changed: some participants may be keeping their account balance in a fund that is ultraconservative or even in cash or an equivalent fund. They are therefore not able to benefit from a target date fund or your other carefully-selected qualified default investment account (QDIA). Re-enrollment may actually provide some fiduciary protection, because these cash or ultraconservative fund investors may suffer in the long run from low returns. By re-enrolling, you can move them into the QDIA, giving them the opportunity to affirmatively opt out if they so choose. Most probably won’t. When you do decide to go forward with the re-enrollment, be sure to communicate with participants to let them know why you are re-enrolling, and that they do have the opportunity to choose not to change investments