Third Party Administrators

News & Analysis as of

401(k) and 403(b) Plan Hardship Distribution Substantiation: What Will the IRS Be Looking For?

On February 23 and March 7, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued memoranda to examination agents addressing review of substantiation provided in support of safe harbor hardship distributions under 401(k) and...more

You’re Paying for That

The best third party administration (TPA) salesman I ever knew wasn’t happy with the typical GMC SUVs that he had leased in the past, so he wanted something more. After talking with the head of the company who he was very...more

Advisors Advantage - February 2017

How You Can Stand Out From The Crowd As A Retirement Plan Advisor. It would be a detriment to focus only on this stuff. There are lots of financial advisors who claim they handle retirement plans, but there are...more

Guidance to IRS Examiners on 401(k)/403(b) Hardship Withdrawals

Substantiation Requirement Clarified for Examination Purposes - Over the past few years, employers and plan administrators have frequently asked how hardship withdrawal requests can/should be substantiated from 401(k)...more

Referrals are about helping, not making you $$$$

The retirement plan industry is very close knit. Everyone knows who does great work and the few that don’t. Word travels fast about the good, the bad, and the ugly in this business....more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - February 2017

Why an Employer Should Sponsor A 401(k) Plan. Lots of good reasons. As an employer, a big reason for setting up a retirement plan is because it's an employee benefit and it can be used to recruit and retain...more

Read the plan document

Being an ERISA attorney for a couple of third party administration (TPA) firms when I first started helps you develop a sense of humor because there are too many people I was associated with who had absolutely zero training...more

Ask the TPA about their administrators’ training

If I want to get a new doctor or an attorney, I certainly want to know their background. Same with a financial advisor, I don’t want the next Bernie Madoff. When you hire a professional, you want to know their credentials....more

As a plan provider, make sure there are security processes in place

As a retirement plan provider, you have something to do with the retirement plan assets and may have some access to it as a third party administrator (TPA) or financial advisor...more

Some TPA Humor

I worked 9 years working as an ERISA attorney for a couple of third party administrators (TPA) and I always felt like I was a fireman because I put out a lot of compliance fires for our clients and sometimes, it was our...more

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal to a Michigan Tax on Health Insurance Plans

The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to hear the Self-Insurance Institute of America Inc.’s ERISA preemption challenge to a Michigan tax on health insurance plans....more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - December 2016

The Potential Liability of Participant Directed 401(k) Plans. There is a liability lurking there. As children, we were told the story of Jack and The Beanstalk. Jack sells a cow for some "magic beans" and his...more

Your Business Can Fall A Lot Quicker That It Rose

One of the business philosophies I learned while working for third party administrator is that it’s a lot easier to lose a client than to gain one. I know that first hand, seeing bad service that gets plan sponsors to fire...more

Is Your Advisor Knowledgeable About Investments, or Just a 401(k) Wonk?

I recently had a conversation with Lee Lyon of Lyon Investment Services, based in Jacksonville, Florida. Lee’s office is near downtown Jacksonville in a quaint area of town known as San Marco. Lee advises both...more

Dear Plan Sponsors, it’s about Reasonableness

Thanks to fee disclosure regulation and litigation against plan sponsors, plan sponsors are focusing on the costs of administering their plan. That’s great, but there’s a problem because of the focus. A study recently shows...more

Bundled providers going unbundled makes sense

Someone I know in the industry advised me again how a low cost index fund company was all of a sudden joining together with a well known third party administrator (TPA) in going after smaller plans because their bundled...more

Advisors Advantage - December 2016

A "Crystal Ball" On Life After The New ERISA Fiduciary Rule. We can see the future if we look closely enough. The Department of Labor's (DOL) new fiduciary rule that is going to go in effect in April 2017 is going...more

Recent Regulatory Actions Against TPAs

Recently, two state insurance departments took action against third party administrators in their respective states based on their failure to be properly licensed. These regulatory actions demonstrate the importance for TPAs...more

Coverage is always the biggest problem

When you look at the problems of retirement plans, one that gets short shrift is coverage and that is one of the pillar of qualified plans needed to be fulfilled in order to be a qualified plan. It’s a forgotten rule of...more

My opinion on Payroll Provider TPAs

If there is one opinion that I have that is argued about many times it is my two cents in the use of the largest payroll providers being in the Third Party Administration (TPA) business. Usually, the people who criticize my...more

It’s time to look at your books of business

Broker-dealers are certainly in a bind to comply with the new Fiduciary Rule and one aspect is sending disclosures to IRAs and qualified plans. This may be a good time for all type of plan providers such as brokers,...more

Advisors Advantage - November 2016

401(k) Plan Providers' Behavior To Avoid That Loses Clients. Things to avoid. Over the past 18 years as an ERISA attorney, I have some pretty weird reasons why retirement plan providers get fired. I'll never get the...more

Pointing to a zero revenue sharing world

When I first started in the 401(k) plan business in 1998, it was a boom time for the stock market and mutual funds. That got plan sponsors wanting daily valued participant directed 401(k) plans and that helped put almost an...more

Sometimes it’s about control

As a retirement plan provider, you meet a potential client and you just do so well in the meeting that you think there should be no way that you’re going to lose this prospect. Yet you get the call that a competing provider...more

Who is the biggest 401(k) Recordkeeper and what really matters

A few weeks back, I wrote an article about 401(k) hustlers you should watch out for and I mentioned the caveat of using a payroll provider as your 401(k)’s third party administrator (TPA). I posted it on LinkedIn and someone...more

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