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NAGDCA Note: A Guide to Plan Sponsor Education

NAGDCA’s website is a great starting point for public sector plan sponsors when searching for information and education, and there are many other free resources available online for informing and educating.

Best practices in plan sponsor education include:

  1. Understanding Key Issues in the Industry – NAGDCA holds periodic webcasts on material pertinent to plan administrators. NAGDCA members have access to the webcast archive, with helpful information from years past. The NAGDCA website also features written resources such as issue brochures and NAGDCA Notes, which provide information on current topics.
  2. Networking – A key feature of NAGDCA membership is the networking provided with other public sector plan administration professionals; opportunities for networking include the annual conference, the online member-only NAGDCA Network, and utilization of periodic surveys to review narrative overviews of the key areas involved in administering governmental defined contribution plans.  
  3. Staying Abreast of Regulatory and Legislative Updates – The Governmental Plans Updates, prepared by the IRS Offices of Employees Plan; Federal, State and Local Governments; and Indian Tribal Governments are brief summaries with links to other pertinent materials on the website. Current research will help defined contribution plan administrators be aware of trends in DC plans; in 2012, the Arthur N. Caple Foundation and NAGDCA published The Evolving Role of Defined Contribution Plans in the Public Sector, which can be read by clicking here.
  4. Making a Commitment to Ongoing Fiduciary Professional Development and Training – NAGDCA encourages plan sponsors to offer development and training services to their staff and trustee/board members.  NAGDCA is affiliated with the International Foundation for Retirement Education (InFRE), an independent non-profit organization that offers the Certified Retirement Counselor © certification program and the Retirement Plan Administrator professional development series. To learn more about InFRE plans, click here.

  5. Plan administrators should invest time and resources in fiduciary education for parties involved in administering the plan. Many resources on fiduciary education can be found for free on websites for the Department of Labor, Morningstar, PlanSponsor, and others. Other topics plan sponsors and administrators need to know include retirement plan design, investing, plan operations, and compliance and ethics. Plan administrators would also be served well to expand their knowledge of retirement counseling and participant education.

    For more information regarding Plan Sponsor Education, and other Best Practices,
    check out NAGDCA's Best Practices Guide at


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