The Pensions & Investments article of Sept. 20 covering the City of Los Angeles Deferred Compensation Plan ("L.A. City Council asking why trustees for DC plan hired Nationwide," page 36) contained significant errors and omissions, grossly mischaracterized Nationwide Retirement Solutions, and completely ignored the fact that Nationwide committed to a service, education and advice model that is far greater to Great-West's proposal.
Therefore, let me correct the record:
• The article makes no mention of the fact that Great-West chose not to pursue an appeal, despite availability of a direct administrative appeal process in the RFP.
• Great-West is based in Denver, not Los Angeles. The article portrays Great-West as a local company in comparison to "Columbus, Ohio-based" Nationwide.
• Your article implies that Nationwide alone used third-arty representatives and failed to mention that Great-West hired more than twice as many representatives to pursue its cause.
• The article implies that it is impractical for Nationwide to hold five meetings per working day. In fact, it is not only practical, but it is necessary to reach city employees, who work out of 921 different locations throughout the city. Nationwide has implemented a similar service model with great success in other large plans such as Arizona, Chicago and the State of New York. At issue should have been the Great-West service model that leaves 66% of the plan's participants with no fact-to-face representation over the five-year contract period.
Most importantly, the story failed to mention the reasons why the majority of the deferred compensation board members voted in favor of Nationwide, including:
• Superior financial and educational outreach for 100% of the current and retired plan participants;
• More than two times the number of local staff (11 in total) to service the plan and its participants, including the addition of two certified financial planners dedicated to serving retirees; and
• A comprehensive financial advice offering for the plan sponsor and participants
As the details of this case continue to emerge, Nationwide is confident that the truth will prevail, the majority vote will stand and the participants of the City of Los Angeles Deferred Compensation Plan will enjoy the delivery of superior education, service and advice.
Matthew A. Riebel
Nationwide Retirement Solutions