Pandemic Preparedness and Response Statement
As a business division of Ascensus, FuturePlan has maintained a Pandemic Preparedness plan since day one. It is one component of our larger Business Continuity planning process.
Even before the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus in the United States, we proactively implemented action steps outlined in the Pandemic Plan to protect our business and clients from being impacted by potential disruptions that efforts to combat this situation could cause.
FuturePlan remains committed to providing plan sponsors, advisors, and our recordkeeping partners with the level of service they need and expect while also helping safeguard the health and welfare of our associates.
Following the parameters set forth in our Pandemic Plan, specific actions that have been taken include:
- COVID-19-Specific Risk Identification – Based on what we know about this pathogen and its spread, we have validated our plan based on risks that are specific to COVID-19. Our goal is to ensure that the nuances that this outbreak shows are accounted for, including its ability to be contagious before symptoms that could lead to mass clusters of infection present themselves. We will continue to reevaluate risks related to COVID-19 on a regular basis to determine if our plan needs to be updated.
- Information Technology – Prior to any governmental order, more than 97% of FuturePlan’s associates were set up to work remotely and continue day-to-day operations and services. We have taken additional steps to allow more of our staff to work remotely and will continuously evaluate our Information Technology infrastructure to ensure that we have the hardware and infrastructure in place to allow all critical functions to be completed effectively by associates.
- Workload Management Flexibility – Because FuturePlan is a national TPA, we are able to leverage operational sites across our geographic footprint that can support each other. We also conduct regular risk assessments to ensure that we can execute effective workload management processes, and are now taking extra steps—such as cross-training individuals on critical functions—to further strengthen our support system.
- Human Resources Evaluations – As with any pandemic, there could be a significant number of associates unavailable to work at any given time (although we fortunately have not seen that to date). With that in mind, our Human Resources team is working closely with Risk Management and Business Operations to ensure that work coverage is available for all key functions. We have also implemented restrictions on international and business travel, as well as large-group gatherings.
- Vendor Capabilities – We are working with vendors that provide operational support and those that are part of our hardware/software supply chain to ensure that service levels are maintained.
FuturePlan, along with all of Ascensus’ lines of business, will continue to monitor this evolving global health situation. Relying on Ascenus’ ERISA team for legislative updates, we will distill the information and share it as educational tools to help plan sponsors and advisors navigate this challenging time.