Aon Broker Megan Nichols Recognized as a 2019 Employee Benefits Power Broker

Megan Nichols, FSA, EA
Associate Partner
Aon, Independence, Ohio

Megan Nichols, Associate Partner, Aon

Megan Nichols has a knack for saving clients money. Take Giant Eagle for example.

The supermarket chain in Western Pennsylvania froze its $200 million defined benefit plan at the end of 2016 — but still faced high annual administration costs and premiums to insure the plan.

Nichols realized that a lot of those fees stemmed from participants with relatively small benefit values — so she separated those with $5,000 or less and offered them a lump sum payment or enrollment into a 401(k).

That move alone saved the company $4 million. Soon the plan went from 75 percent funded to nearly 100 percent funded and achieved a reduction in estimated future cash contributions by $6 million to $8 million over the next 10 years.

“She’s always very responsive and knowledgeable with a high level of professionalism,” said Janice Talerico, vice president, Total Rewards and Chief Diversity Officer at Giant Eagle. “If I wanted someone on my team, I’d pick Megan.”

For another client, she led the effort to terminate their $1 billion pension plan, meaning that 16,000 active and terminated participants were offered a lump sum payout in 2018 — giving the company access to roughly $275 million of surplus assets.

Nichols helped ease the process with her impressive communication skills and knowledge of the business.

“She’s really relatable to folks, whether it’s a financial person, benefits person or a layman,” said the company’s director of retirement and savings plans.

All 2019 Power Broker Winners

2019 Employee Benefits Power Broker Winners and Finalists

What is a Power Broker?

A Risk & Insurance Power Broker® is an individual who stands out among their peers for the exceptional client work they delivered over the past year. While brokers play many key roles in the insurance industry and risk profession, a Power Broker® award recognizes problem solving, customer service and industry knowledge.

Our goal is to broadly recognize and promote outstanding risk management and customer service among the brokerage community.

Who selects the winners?

Power Brokers are selected by Risk Managers based on the strength of the testimonials they provide to a team of 15 Risk & Insurance editors and writers.

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