The Office of the Delaware State Treasurer on Dec. 5, 2022, announced that it is seeking proposals from qualified firms interested in providing program consulting services for the Delaware Expanding Access to Retirement and Necessary Savings (EARNS) Program.
Gov. John Carney (D) on Aug. 18, 2022, signed into law HB 205, the measure that creates the EARNS program.
EARNS is intended to be a public-private partnership that will encourage—but not replace or compete with—employer-sponsored retirement plans. It will apply to any person, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, or other entity that does business in Delaware—including a nonprofit with at least five covered employees that did business in Delaware during the previous calendar year—and has been in business in the state for at least six months in the immediately preceding calendar year.
What the Service Provider Will Do
The service provider selected will advise the Board and the Office of the State Treasurer (OST) on matters including the structure, design implementation, and administration of the program, as well as procurement, standards, best practices, marketing, distribution, and compliance.
Among the service provider’s duties will be the following.
- Act as a fiduciary to the program.
- Provide a timeline reflecting the particular services it expects to perform.
- Assist OST staff and the EARNS Program Board in developing program design.
- Provide relevant information, research, strategic advice, and recommendations to OST and the Board.
- Participate in the development of requests for proposals and the subsequent review, selection, contract writing, and contract negotiations for vendors.
- Assist the Board and OST with the recruitment and selection of an Executive Director for the program.
- Develop, or assist with the development of, regulations, disclosure language, operating procedures, risk management policies, vendor management policies, marketing plans, benchmarks, projections, budgets, and an implementation timeline.
- Help the Board and OST with programmatic issues and challenges.
- Provide additional guidance on investments and investment performance if qualified to do so.
- Provide a presentation to the Board with recommendations about whether to pursue an interstate partnership, which state(s) to partner with, and how to proceed with formalizing an agreement.
- Assist with public hearings and stakeholder meetings, as requested by OST or the Board.
- Attend all Board meetings and committee meetings unless notified otherwise by the Board.
- Upon request, present research, reports, and/or analysis at meetings, and respond to questions.
- Provide education and training to the Board and its committees.
- Assist, advise, and collaborate with the Board’s other contractors, including the investment consultant, program manager, and record keeper, as needed.
- Be available to consult with Board members and the Executive Director.
- Assist OST and necessary state personnel in structuring the technical and cost components of the RFP. Research issues as necessary to create the scope of work or assist the Board with making determinations related to it.
- Act as a subject matter expert to the Board and Evaluation Team.
- Develop and track metrics to measure performance and create reports on program performance.
- Develop reports with recommendations for Program structure, administration, implementation and operation.
- Provide analysis of the Program vendors using monthly, quarterly, and annual data.
- Conduct a market analysis and feasibility study.
The deadline for bid responses is Jan. 17, 2023.