Help Clients Ease Their Administrative Burden

August 1, 2018
Administrative work

Your retirement plan clients look to you and provider partners to help ensure that they are fulfilling their fiduciary obligations, including their ERISA mandated administrative duties.

Your services are especially valuable when you have a clear understanding of provider service models, including who can take responsibility for certain aspects of plan administration.

Understand the Administrative Requirements

ERISA requires plan sponsors to manage a number of administrative duties within specific timeframes. Some of these responsibilities are:

  • Distribution of several annual participant notices, including Summary Plan Description, fund change, safe harbor, automatic enrollment and Sarbanes-Oxley blackout
  • Management of enrollment eligibility determination and alerts
  • Review and approval of loans, hardship withdrawals and QDROs
  • Filing of Form 5500
  • Ensuring loan defaults are done annually
  • Distribution of corrected contributions for failed ADP/ACP test
  • Distribution of RMDs
  • Review of plan annually for cash-outs

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.

Free to Focus on Greater Priorities

For a Chicago-based retail company with about 100 employees across the country, keeping up with complex and time-consuming ERISA administrative requirements was a challenge for the busy HR team. The plan’s advisor recommended Delegated Administrative Fiduciary Services from Standard Retirement Services, Inc. With The Standard now handling fulfillment of required participant notices — and assuming full fiduciary responsibility for their accurate and timely delivery — the HR staff has been freed up to focus on other priorities.

Bill Galanis, Relationship Manager, The Standard

Evaluate Provider Benefits

As you assess which provider is best aligned to support a client’s administrative needs, cost will probably be a top consideration. 

It’s important to look beyond the fee page of a retirement plan proposal, however. Evaluate the hard and soft costs a plan sponsor may face by doing the work, including labor, postage, and equipment or systems upkeep.

Help your clients save money by recommending a provider who offers enhanced administrative support. Look for a provider who can:

Ease Administrative Burden

Many employers do not have full-time staff dedicated to plan administration. Providers who offer administrative support can free up employees so they can focus on other priorities.

Improve Accuracy and Timeliness

Some providers have systems in place for managing and automating certain responsibilities, so they can be completed correctly and on time.

No More Printer Jams and Nine Extra Days

One employer in the manufacturing industry was internally managing thousands of pages of required plan participant notices. They didn’t have the right equipment to print, stuff and mail that kind of volume, and it was creating significant work for the HR director and her staff. The plan’s advisor recommended that The Standard take over fulfillment of all plan notices. Since then, the employer has saved time and money — freeing up at least nine days a year for their administrative staff.

John O’Keefe, Relationship Manager, The Standard

Get Participants to Take Notice and Act

Typically, provider-generated communications are up-to-date, in compliance, and written for employees to easily understand and act on.

Remove Emotion from the Loan and Distribution Process

A seasoned provider can handle participant requests for loans, hardship withdrawals and QDROs with privacy, efficiency and care.

Deliver Fiduciary Oversight and Protection

Some providers can serve as an ERISA 3(16) Delegated Administrative Fiduciary, completing certain plan administration responsibilities while assuming fiduciary responsibility for their accurate completion.