Exploring Corporate Retirement Plans in M&A with Courtenay Shipley

Jul 10, 2024

In this insightful episode of the DealQuest Podcast, I have the pleasure of speaking with Courtenay Shipley, the founder and chief planologist of Retirement Planology. With a unique blend of expertise in investment analysis, plan design, and employee education, Courtenay’s firm is at the forefront of consulting and advisory services for corporate-sponsored retirement plans.

Courtenay Shipley’s firm, Retirement Planology, specializes in consulting and advisory services for corporate-sponsored retirement plans, including 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans. Her firm helps companies manage fiduciary responsibilities and best practices to ensure these plans serve both the organization and its employees. With her multiple designations, including accredited investment fiduciary and certified exit planning advisor, Courtenay emphasizes the importance of retirement plans in attracting and retaining key talent.

Understanding the Role of Retirement Plans in M&A

Courtenay explains the intricacies of handling retirement plans in M&A transactions. She highlights the critical differences between asset sales and stock sales and the due diligence required to navigate these deals successfully. Asset sales typically leave retirement plans with the seller, while stock sales transfer them to the buyer, making thorough examination essential to avoid hidden risks.

Common Challenges and Solutions in Retirement Plan Management

Courtenay discusses common mistakes in retirement plan management, such as improper employee enrollment and payroll system mishandling. She advises outsourcing to specialists, like ERISA attorneys, for thorough review and proper handling of retirement plans. Ensuring accurate records and compliance is crucial to preventing future complications.

The Impact of Retirement Plans on Employee Retention

Effective communication and planning during M&A can significantly impact employee satisfaction and retention. Courtenay emphasizes the need for competitive and compliant retirement and health plans to ensure successful post-acquisition integration. Properly managed retirement plans can prevent employee turnover and dissatisfaction.

Current Trends and Legislative Changes

We touch on recent legislation, including the SECURE Acts, which aim to expand retirement plan coverage to long-term part-time employees. These changes are designed to increase retirement savings through employer-sponsored plans, which are more effective than individual IRAs.

Insights on Personal and Professional Freedom

Courtenay also shares her personal views on the significance of freedom, particularly the freedom of choice in spending time, both presently and in retirement planning. Proper retirement plans provide employees with choices and security, contributing to overall satisfaction.

Courtenay Shipley emphasizes the importance of anticipating potential issues related to retirement plans during M&A, maintaining compliance, and clear communication to ensure smooth transitions and employee satisfaction. Her insights highlight the need for expertise, preparation, and strategic planning in managing retirement plans within corporate transactions.

Join us for Episode 298 as we delve into the world of retirement plans and their pivotal role in mergers and acquisitions. Whether you're an entrepreneur, business leader, or simply interested in corporate retirement strategies, this episode offers valuable insights into navigating these complex deals.

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For an in-depth understanding of Courtenay Shipley’s expertise and the intricacies of retirement planology,  Listen to the Full DealQuest Podcast Episode.

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Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator, and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author, and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

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Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, deal-maker, and business consultant with more than 35 years of professional negotiating experience as a successful entrepreneur and attorney.


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