Minimizing risk to maximize value for Plan Sponsors
Plan Sponsor and Employee Benefits Office are responsible for managing and administering a variety of critical duties. This often includes a total rewards program, compensation planning, payroll, health insurance, flexible work/life arrangements, employee training, and the sponsorship of benefit plans (DB or DC). Our Plan Sponsor Services evaluate, develop and improve each of these areas.
We have hands-on management experience with large recordkeeping, technology, strategic sourcing, and systems provider firm. Our Team Members who hold industry certifications including the AIFA (Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analysis) provide additional expertise and guidance.
Given the growth of excessive fee litigation and ever-changing regulations in the Retirement Plan marketplace, many plan sponsors and investment committees are increasingly concerned with their plan fiduciary/oversight practices. We mitigate these concerns through our Plan Healthcheck, Fiduciary Assessment, Conversion Services, and Technical Solutions.
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We work with Plan Sponsors to address a variety of critical competencies and practices:
We conduct a complete review of all components and processes involved in the annual lifecycle of a DC plan. These engagements average 8-10 weeks in duration, but may vary depending on the size of your organization, scope of review and the depth of analysis required.
1) Project Kickoff: Level set understanding of project objectives, scope, schedule, reporting, roles and responsibilities, as well as potential risks and issues associated with the project.
2) Plan Document Review: Review existing documentation including the plan document, amendments and policies providing the framework to determine if modifications are required.
3) Process Review: Identify all processes involved in maintaining the plan benchmarking against industry best practices and reviewing: Payroll Processing, Distribution Processing, Correction Processing, Trust and Custodial Reporting, Participation Notifications (plus quarterly reports), Contribution Processing and Limits, Loan Processing, Plan Sponsor Notifications, Fee Processing and Reasonability and 5500 Reporting & Audits.
4) Identification of Key Areas of Risk: Share findings and discuss components of greatest risk (people, processes and technology).
5) Create Strategic Roadmap: Develop the blueprint that addresses all components to ensure the roadmap can seamlessly integrate on time and within budget.
A full review of plan fiduciary and oversight practices to ensure prudent plan administration
Our Fiduciary Assessment includes:
- Fiduciary training for Plan Trustees and Investment Committees
- Reviewing plan products and services
- Investment choices and share classes
- Plan benefit performance reviews
- Assessing and selecting plan service providers
- Fee analyses for direct and indirect compensation i.e. revenue sharing arrangements and annuity wrap fees
Management and analytical services to assist Plan Sponsors or Recordkeepers
We help with the transition, conversion or implementation of new Recordkeepers or plan services. Our Conversion Services feature a comprehensive program management service tracking to and thru go-live. This includes Data Certification, Asset/Data Mapping and Reconciliation, Post Conversion Quality Audit, Participant Notices, Disclosures and “Blackout” Communications.
Our Team understands that converting your Retirement Plan to a new Recordkeeper can be a daunting experience – so we do the heavy lifting for you. Our support services act as an extension of your benefits department, working closely with the benefits plan administrator and supporting vendors to ensure each is working in sync, deliverables are met and the conversion is completed on time.
1) Business Requirement Discovery: Reviewing the plan administrator’s business and system requirements to establish a process that administers each requirement effectively
2) Creation or Review of the Client Conversion Plan
3) Employee Communication Review: Including Web and Voice content
4) Coordinate the Asset Transfer: Reconcile all funds mapped to the new investment vehicles
5) Conversion Audit and Post “Go-Live” Management: After the conversion, your Recordkeeper will ask you to sign off on the converted data. We recommend that this is handled by a Team member who understands both the business and system functions used by the Recordkeeper. We will verify and validate all data mapping.
Our Team ensures that participant assets are established correctly and we manage any residual action items until resolved. We enable your benefits team to focus on their duties giving you the confidence that your Retirement Plan is effectively administered upon conversion.
Plan Sponsors are at risk of exposure when new payroll, recordkeeping, administrative and/or vendor relationships are established. These changes often lead to heightened operational, financial and data security risks.
Our Technical Solutions are tailored to thoroughly review and mitigate these risks. We focus on specific areas of potential exposure including payroll integration, financial calculations, annual testing and compliance processes. Our Team develops and delivers specific, audible material artifacts per plan design. Plan documents that ensure compliance with DOL and IRS regulations are created as well.
Our Technical Solutions for Plan Sponsors include:
- Data Security Posture and Assessments
- Payroll Interface Documentation
- Vendor Management and Oversight
- SSAE-18 preparation for SOC 1, 2, & 3 Attestations
- ADP/ACP Testing
- 5500 Automation and Filing
- 1099 Reporting
Documentation, training, and education for Plan Participants and Beneficiaries
History of plan products, services and decisions that materially alter plan provisions
Plan investment choices i.e. diversity of available options and appropriate share classes
Frequency and nature of periodic Plan Participant benefit performance reviews
Selecting and assessing third-party service providers and fee arrangements