Though some employers may not think so, the truth is that in today's world 401(k) plans are subject to fraudulent activity and that the often-overlooked retirement plan can be the perfect place for it to occur. For example, in late 2017, several news outlets reported a scheme targeting individual 401(k) accounts.
Being a plan sponsor comes with a good bit of responsibility. You’ve taken the important step of hiring a third-party administration firm to help you navigate the myriad of processes that are required to keep your plan in compliance with applicable regulations. Below are a few helpful hints to keep your plan in compliance, avoid unnecessary corrections, and help to better serve your participants.
As a financial advisor, you will need to decide which TPA (third-party administrator) to partner with, when managing your client's 401(k) plan. As you are determining which provider to use, it is important to understand the distinct roles within the plan and how your partnership decisions could impact your client’s experience.
Maintaining a retirement plan for your employees is no easy task. At various points during the year, employers and HR departments field participant questions, help with enrollments, deliver notices and statements, and participate in the distribution process. However, an additional responsibility, and one of the most important, is the collection of data that is used for compliance testing and government reporting. Though all these duties are important, one task drastically affects the outcome of your compliance testing; accurate reporting of all employee information to your third-party administrator. Sound onerous? Not really.
The age-old debate of using a bundled vs unbundled model for a 401k plan has troubled plan sponsors for years. Try a Google search for “Bundled vs. Unbundled 401k“. Every provider and 401k resource seems to list the pros and cons of each model and then either promote their strategy or leave the plan sponsor with all the pros and cons, still wondering which service model is best for their 401k plan.