As they once said in This is Spinal Tap, there is a fine line between stupid and clever. I can assure you that Michael McKeon who played David St. Hubbins in the movie and co-wrote it, was not in plan administration. Based on what I’ve seen when it comes to plan document drafting, the line fits just based on what I’ve seen.
The fine line between stupid and clever are plan provisions that are outside the box of normal administration. Complex provisions on eligibility, compensation, and vesting will lead to more errors than with provisions that are in the normal realm of plan administration. For example, eliminating forms of compensation for purposes of an employer contribution or salary deferrals leads to many errors, as well as unique eligibility provisions and entry dates.
There are so many normal choices for plan provisions, yet being unique and creative when it comes to plan document preparation isn’t a great feature. As I always say: keep it simple, stupid. Unique plan parameters lead to more errors and some errors will cost you to fix. Creativity isn’t a great trait when it comes to plan provisions.