December Blog: CEO’s Perspective - Preparing for a Successful Future

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12.13.16 Staff Around the Christmas Tree 

Happy holidays! I hope your club had a successful year, and you experienced personal and professional prosperity this past year too! CMAA’s goal is to be your partner on your professional journey. With that in mind, your CMAA team is busy preparing for our 90th World Conference on Club Management and Club Business Expo. We recognize that a positive professional experience is linked to a happy and healthy personal life.

As we come to the end of the year, many of us conduct an inventory of our personal assets and set goals for the coming year. I do this every year because it helps me to focus on my happiness, health and fulfillment as well as ensures that I am providing the same for the others around me. Since the age of 25, I have included retirement planning in this annual inventory.

Two of my prior professional association positions were connected with Wall Street, and included work with retirement planning. When I came onboard here, I was very impressed by the CMAA-sponsored club benefit, which provides an opportunity for your club to better assist their employees with saving for retirement. The CMAA 401(k) Retirement Plan will be entering its fifth year of operation and should exceed $100 million in assets this coming year. That is impressive! Even more impressive is that many of our CMAA clubs have been able to mitigate their compliance and fiduciary responsibilities, and in many cases, reduce operational costs by using the CMAA plan. It is a program that I did an in-depth review of when I joined CMAA to ensure it was well structured for our members, and found our CMAA program to be excellent. The CMAA team and I have our own CMAA retirement savings with this plan. As a participant, it is something I monitor closely.

With the enactment of the recent Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule and the ever increasing operational and compliance concerns of providing a retirement benefit, the CMAA 401(k) plan provides an alternative to the traditional single employer plan. It allows clubs to come together as a community into a multiple-employer plan (MEP) to take advantage of larger numbers and reduced operational responsibilities. Our CMAA clubs are able to retain their individual club culture though flexible plan design by choosing to keep or enhance certain plan features such as discretionary or safe harbor match design, Roth contributions, loans, hardships, in-service distributions and vesting schedules. One of the design features of the CMAA 401(k) Retirement Plan is the ability to utilize a local or your current advisor, who is already providing an advisory service to your club. Educational programs and local client management relationships are available through our record-keeper, Empower Financial, the second-largest (based on total participants) US service provider!

CMAA’s focus on this plan is to serve your club needs. Due to federal regulations, all those involved are limited on what they can earn from the plan as intermediaries. Fees are disclosed and can be compared to your current plan. The benefit of CMAA’s plan is that by joining together as a CMAA community, your club may be able to save money in the administration of the plan and receive better retirement options. In addition, when providing your staff with a retirement plan benefit, we are required to continually offer educational opportunities. Those opportunities are provided by our ERISA 3(38) Investment Manager. They include: complimentary fiduciary reviews of your current plan as well as availability to answer your compliance, plan design and industry trend questions. Another important part of our CMAA plan is keeping you informed via white papers, webinars and in-person education. An upcoming World Conference session has been scheduled to discuss current retirement industry trends titled “The Effect that Behavioral Finance has on Participant Retirement Readiness.”

If retirement planning fits into your upcoming 2017 plans, the Club Resources section of CMAA’s website has general information to learn more about the CMAA plan, and contact information to speak to someone about your current club retirement situation.

Last month I asked you to consider a gift to The Club Foundation (CF) on the international day of giving at the beginning of the holiday season, Giving Tuesday. I would like to recognize the Metropolitan Chapter Foundation for answering that call and making a leadership donation in the amount of $50,000 for FY2017. Including this generous gift, twelve CMAA Chapters have supported CF with a combined total of $111,500 over the past two years. Thank you to the Carolinas, Evergreen, Florida, Greater Baltimore, Mid-America, New England, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Vicinity, St. Louis District, Texas Lone Star and Wisconsin Badger Chapters for their contributions to CF, allowing us to further our mission through scholarships, grants and research.

As I close for this month, I hope you will spend time reflecting on your 2016 journey and your 2017 personal and professional plans, and especially those around you who help contribute to your successes. CMAA is here to help. As we enter our 90th year, there are many things CMAA does to help you professionally, but also enrich your life personally. Please let us help you. I hope you and your family have a happy and healthy holiday season!

Until next month,

Jeff Morgan


Posted by Karen Woodie at 12/14/2016 05:55:45 PM