Voya Financial is giving minority-owned businesses a break on retirement plan fees given the heavier financial toll these businesses have endured from COVID-19.
Through the end of June 2021, the record keeper is offering its Just Right Advantage, a program with a one-time fee credit to certified minority-owned enterprises that establish new retirement plans or retain the ones they have. Eligible employers include minority-, women-, veteran-, disabled- and LGBTQ-owned businesses.
The fee credit ranges from $500 to $5,000 depending on the size of the plan, and it can be used to offset plan fees for record-keeping and third-party administration services. The fee credit is also offered to the non-profit organizations serving minority businesses.
"We believe it's an important time to support the businesses and communities that have been most heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Bill Harmon, president of retirement corporate markets for Voya in Windsor, Conn.
The pandemic hit minority businesses especially hard due to forced closures and lack of access to relief funds, Mr. Harmon said, citing a Federal Reserve Bank of New York study showing that 41% of Black-owned businesses and 32% of Latinx-owned businesses shut down between February and April. In contrast, only 17% of white-owned businesses closed during that time.
Even before the pandemic, many owners of minority businesses faced challenges that limited their ability to grow, including "disparities in educational attainment, personal wealth and access to capital," Mr. Harmon said. "It's just the right thing to do."
To be eligible, entities must be certified for the program, while non-profit entities must be 501(c)(3) organizations. They must also adopt plan features to support increased participation and savings, including automatic enrollment, automatic escalation and the implementation of advisory services to help employees "stay on track with their goals through ongoing guidance and education," Mr. Harmon said. — margarida correia