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CASE STUDY

Profit-Sharing Made Possible: A Simple Solution for a Complex Plan

Industry

Industry

Consulting

Company Size

Company Size

5-10 employees

Location

Location

Colorado

Vestwell Products

Vestwell Products

401(k)

With a keen eye for innovation, Cory LaPlante, founder of Zendesk consulting firm LaPlante Management, built his company on the principle of thinking outside the box. Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Cory and his team of ten help businesses set up and optimize their customer service software.

When LaPlante Management’s employees began to ask about the possibility of adding a retirement benefit, Cory was on board. He began his search for a unique retirement offering that genuinely resonated with his company culture and reflected his commitment to his team's well-being.

The Challenge: LaPlante Management Needed an Out-of-the-Box Solution

Cory’s requirements were very specific: He wanted a retirement plan that would allow him to provide the same employer contribution to each of his employees’ accounts. “Regardless of what they make, I wanted everyone on staff to end up receiving the exact same amount,” he explained.

While his vision was simple, the execution was a little more complicated. “We needed a more complex plan than normal,” Cory said. LaPlante Management’s plan design would require profit sharing…with a twist. “I didn’t want a standard profit share where employees would receive contributions just once a year,” Cory explained. “I wanted to be able to give my employees something on a quarterly basis. It’s more tangible and meaningful that way.”

Cory knew exactly what he wanted for his company and employees. The only problem? Finding a provider that would be able to do it. “We went through a fairly thorough process evaluating a handful of other vendors. It came down to compatibility—could they do the kind of profit share plan that we want?” For most vendors, the answer was no. Vestwell, however, said yes.

You all were able to say yes to my plan and find a way to make it happen the way I wanted. Vestwell delivered where everyone else wouldn't.
Cory LaPlante, Founder, LaPlante Management

The Solution: A Flexible Plan Design for LaPlante Management’s Unique Vision

To pull off Cory’s unique plan design, LaPlante Management would need to involve a third-party administrator (TPA). TPAs are beneficial for businesses that need hands-on support and custom retirement plan designs. With Vestwell’s Flex product, LaPlante Management was able to seamlessly pair Vestwell’s modern, digital recordkeeping platform with the expertise of their TPA, FuturePlan by Ascensus.

“FuturePlan has been great. They met with me and wanted to understand what I was trying to accomplish. Once they understood it, they came up with a few options, and presented them to me,” Cory explained. “They gave me the pros and the cons, and, with FuturePlan and Vestwell, I was able to build the plan that I really wanted.”

In collaboration with FuturePlan, Vestwell was able to tailor a plan that perfectly fit LaPlante Management's vision. This partnership allowed for the creation of a unique profit-sharing component within their retirement plan, reflecting the company's ethos of shared success. With a combined proposal, consolidated billing, and Vestwell’s formalized partnership with FuturePlan, Vestwell Flex offered LaPlante Management a seamless experience despite the complexity of their plan.

I got the plan that I wanted, the way that I wanted it. It was a unique and somewhat odd request, and no one else could say yes the way that Vestwell said yes. That's a big deal.
Cory LaPlante, Founder, LaPlante Management

Streamlining Plan Administration and Boosting Participation

LaPlante Management chose a safe harbor 401(k) plan. This allows them to automatically satisfy certain compliance testing requirements, despite their complex plan design. Safe harbor 401(k) plans are deemed to pass tests such as the Actual Deferral Percentage (ADP) and Actual Contribution Percentage (ACP), which are otherwise required for traditional 401(k) plans. This simplifies the administrative process and helps LaPlante avoid penalties and other potential costs.

Cory also added an auto-enrollment feature with a 10% default deferral rate to the plan. He explained, “Having our team auto-enrolled was the advice of Vestwell and FuturePlan. I liked the idea! With retirement, you ought to be thoughtfully opting out instead of having to thoughtfully opt in.”

The Impact: Equal Contributions Equals Employee Satisfaction

LaPlante Management’s retirement plan has proven to be more than just a benefit; it's a reflection of the company’s culture. Through the unique plan design, Cory’s commitment to his employees shines through.

“I think a lot of times retirement plans are structured in a way that benefits the owner. I didn't want that. I wanted to be able to say to my staff that everyone is getting the exact same amount. And that’s the truth for our plan,” Cory said.

LaPlante Management’s employees have had nothing but positive feedback. “They love the plan,” Cory said. “It was a big deal. From a retention standpoint, some of my more experienced staff said that [not having a retirement plan] would have been a deal breaker. The fact that we now have one means I have been able to keep some of my best staff.”

With Vestwell Flex in partnership with FuturePlan, LaPlante Management was able to design a unique retirement offering that reflected their employee-first values. Cory said, “I have had such a smooth experience because from sales to implementation to getting a TPA in place, everyone was competent and kind all along the way. Starting a retirement plan was one of the easier things that I did all year.”

Conclusion

Cory’s out-of-the-box retirement plan helped him foster a culture of shared success. With Vestwell Flex, LaPlante management was able to leverage the expertise of FuturePlan, design a unique profit-sharing plan, and enjoy simplified pricing and billing that made the entire experience smooth and seamless.

For businesses like LaPlante Management that want to offer more than just a standard corporate retirement plan, partnering with a TPA can provide the necessary flexibility and customization. Vestwell Flex pairs our modern recordkeeping platform with the high-touch service that TPAs provide, empowering businesses to offer retirement plans that are uniquely aligned with their vision of success. Ready to get started? Set up time with a Vestwell representative here.


Vestwell is proud to support the LaPlante Management 401(k) Plan on our platform. Vestwell has also engaged LaPlante Management for limited consulting services. LaPlante Management did not receive any compensation for providing or related to this case study.

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