Ask the Key Questions

September 1, 2018
Man asking questions during a meeting

The administrative services offered by retirement plan providers can vary widely. While some may handle required participant mailings, for example, others may not — potentially leaving a gap that can expose an employer to risk, cost or additional burden.

Help your clients identify the support they need and the best value for their plan.

5 Questions to Ask Employers

  1. Are you aware of all required administrative tasks and participant notices?
  2. Do you have an employee on point for completing your administrative duties, including writing, printing and mailing notices?
  3. In the case of a DOL or IRS investigation or audit, are you equipped to provide documentation that all tasks were completed accurately and on time?
  4. Can you quantify the hours spent managing each of these tasks, and how does that translate into a per-hour HR cost?
  5. How much money are you spending on postage, printing and materials to fulfill these responsibilities?

The penalties for failing to manage these duties in a timely and accurate manner can be significant, and may include financial penalties or jail time.

Getting Participants to Pay Attention

For an East Coast-based cable company with employees in rural areas, having The Standard take on responsibility for fulfillment of participant notices has saved time, print costs and postage, according to the plan sponsor and their advisor. But more importantly, the employer says they have greater confidence knowing that employees are receiving required notices on time in their home mailboxes — helping them pay more attention to this important information.

Buffy Tucker, Relationship Manager, The Standard

3 Questions to Ask Providers

  1. Which ERISA-required administrative duties do you handle?
  2. How do you charge for managing these administrative duties?
  3. Do you accept full responsibility and make amends if the duties are not completed in an accurate and timely manner?

Partner With The Standard

At The Standard, we are committed to affordably supporting your clients’ administrative needs, shouldering certain fiduciary requirements. Our flexible administration solutions include management of the participant loan and approval process, fulfillment and delivery of participant notices, eligibility tracking and alerts, compliance testing and more. Standard Retirement Services, Inc. also can serve as a 3(16) Delegated Administrative Fiduciary, with our accountability expressed clearly in all contracts.

To learn more, contact your local service representative at The Standard.

We've Got You Covered

For many plan sponsors, The Standard’s ‘hold harmless’ language provides a great deal of comfort. When the plan and their advisor ask Standard Retirement Services, Inc., to handle fulfillment of certain required participant notices as a 3(16) Delegated Administrative Fiduciary, The Standard assumes full fiduciary responsibility to ensure those required notices are distributed in an accurate and timely manner — and we back that commitment in our written contracts.

Pat McGinnis, Relationship Manager, The Standard