Massachusetts deferred compensation plan wins national honor

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The Massachusetts deferred compensation Smart Plan has received the 2020 leadership recognition award from the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators.

Smart, an acronym for Save Money And Retire Tomorrow, originated in 1977. It is a voluntary 457(b) governmental defined-contribution plan available to all state and participating municipal employees.

The association’s award recognizes excellence and innovation in retirement plan design, participant education, technology, and/or effective communication methods in government defined contribution plans.

The plan is a retirement savings program available for Massachusetts state and municipal employees. Eligible employees can save and invest before-tax and after-tax dollars through salary deferrals into an array of low-fee investments options.

State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg said the Smart Plan team is committed to assisting and providing economic security and opportunity for Massachusetts public employees. In December, plan assets rose to $10.06 billion from $4.5 billion in 2009.

Plan resources include newsletters and online seminars that include topics, such as asset diversification, active vs. passive asset investing and stress management.

“Our Treasury has done a great deal of public outreach,” Goldberg said at the time. Goldberg is president of the National Association of State Treasurers.

The plan now has more than 109,000 full-time employees and 178,000 part-time employees with active accounts.

“The Smart Plan’s mission is to provide a predictable financial future for our state’s employees,” Goldberg said. "This award is a welcome recognition for the hard work done at Treasury to ensure a secure retirement is a reality for all who contribute.”

The active choice open enrollment plan with an auto-increase option “helps new employees make an informed choice to begin saving for retirement early in their careers and at a rate that will have a material impact on their overall retirement benefits,” said David Lynch, executive director of the defined contribution plans.

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Commonwealth of Massachusetts Deborah Goldberg Public pensions