Plan sponsors need their own Plan Provider All Stars

The Major League Baseball All Star Game was something I always looked forward, especially when my Mets were doing well in the mid-1980’s.  Since 1933,it has been the Mid-Summer Classic. This year it’s at my home ballpark Citi Field and the last time, it was in Flushing, it was across the way at the since demolished Shea Stadium in 1964 that the National League won on a Johnny Callison Homerun. Since it’s been 49 years since the Mets hosted an All Star Game, I took it upon myself to buy tickets for this year’s game in the possible likelihood that I may not be around the next time they host it.

The starters for the All Star Game (except for the pitcher) are selected by the fans through voting. Based on who is playing this year, I think fans picked it on merit. When I was a kid, there was a lot more popularity involved. My favorite player (until I met him) was Reggie Jackson and there were some years that Reggie’s numbers didn’t warrant a starting bid. In addition, the reserves are selected with a rule that each player must have been a representative. So I remember the years when John Stearns or Joel Youngblood were selected to the National League All Stars only because the Mets had to have one All Star.

When plan sponsors select plan providers, they need their own All Star team. Unlike the Major League All Stars, all selections must be based on merit. So picking up a provider just because they have so many plans (I’m looking at you payroll providers) isn’t a wise idea and neither is picking up a financial advisor just because he or she has a $1 billion under management. Picking a plan provider because their affiliated bank gave the plan sponsor a credit line isn’t a good idea either. Like a major league manager, plan sponsors need to evaluate all plan providers through a process to see who is the best fit for their plan. Just going with a big name isn’t a process; it’s a recipe for disaster if things don’t go right.

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