Kevin Cradock Builders doesn’t just construct homes—the Boston-based, high-end home builder strives to make visions a reality. Paying close attention to detail, most everything the company touches is handcrafted in their 8,000 square-foot woodshop. While this may not always generate high-profit margins, for Kevin Cradock Builders, business is driven by a love of the craft.
In line with its design ethos, the company culture at the custom construction contractor is also intentional. Nancy Pinchera, business manager at Kevin Cradock Builders, doesn’t consider her team rank-and-file workers; she knows they’re real people with families, lives, and passions outside of work. Pinchera says it’s important to empower her team and help them grow, as well as remind them they’re part of something great. This includes providing them with excellent employee benefits. “They should hope of a bright financial future, ” she explains.
Building life’s foundations
The construction industry has largely been underserved by legacy 401(k) providers. Nearly 40% of employers in the construction industry with 20-49 employees don’t offer retirement benefits. Pinchera believes that artists, woodworkers, and other craftsmen should have access to retirement savings like those offered to workers in other industries and at larger businesses. “Our team deserves better than what the industry has historically provided,” she said.
While she had wanted to add a 401(k) plan for more than a decade, Pinchera expected retirement plans to be cost-prohibitive for a small construction firm. Plus, she had been personally discouraged by 401(k) plan administration, assuming that offering a plan would require prerequisite financial knowledge and hours of additional manual work. “Through my research and conversations with industry providers, I came away feeling overwhelmed,” she said. “I was unsure of what fees our company and employees would actually incur and the paperwork involved also seemed laborious and outside of my skill set.” As a plan administrator responsible for employee success, the idea of providing a plan that she couldn't even fully understand gave her pause.
Building a business and changing industry standards
It wasn’t until the company came across Human Interest that the possibility of a 401(k) seemed attainable for Kevin Cradock Builders. Since October 2018, Human Interest has made a 401(k) plan a reality for the company. As a busy HR professional and novice plan administrator, Pinchera appreciates that Human Interest manages the bulk of the plan’s administrative load. For example, when an employee leaves the company, Human Interest shares details about their 401(k) account, which helps reduce Pinchera’s offboarding tasks.
Kevin Cradock Builders included automatic enrollment and an employer match in its plan design. Pinchera claims that auto-enroll increases the chances of employees starting a plan. “It eliminates a step and keeps things equitable for all our employees, regardless of their amount of free time after work and other time constraints,” she said. “It just jump-starts the process.” As for the match, Pinchera says its benefits are twofold. First, matching dollars lower her employee’s taxable income. “It also sends the message that a construction company can offer traditional benefits packages as other areas of the employment sector,” she said. These efforts seem to have paid off: Kevin Cradock Builders has an 83% participation rate from its employees.
“The first time I saw the Human Interest website, I felt an immediate sense of trustworthiness. Everything just works."
Gaining trust through design and ease of use
Pinchera felt a deep sense of responsibility in choosing a retirement provider. “The first time I saw the Human Interest website, I felt an immediate sense of trustworthiness,” she said. Pinchera appreciates the simplicity of the participant dashboards—which provide employees’ oversight over retirement funds and plan performance—and finds the product intuitive and easy to use. “Everything just works,” she said. “This instills confidence and continues to build my trust in Human Interest.”
Pinchera claims her experience with Human Interest has been overwhelmingly positive. She’s grateful for the opportunities the 401(k) company can afford small businesses such as Kevin Cradock Builders—and hopes that others in the industry can have similar experiences.
This is a current client of Human Interest who was not compensated for contributing to this article. Read our full disclosures here.