Third Party Administrators

News & Analysis as of

Beer Distribution and the Bundled Provider TPA

In England, many of the top pubs are owned by British breweries because watering holes are an effective means of beer distribution. If a business can control the method of distribution of their own products, they can expand...more

Plan Sponsors Should Avoid Using Their Payroll Provider as Their 401(k) TPA

I stick to what I know, so I venture very little outside the retirement plan space. I do that because I believe it is less likely to cause trouble. The two largest payroll providers don’t follow that philosophy -- they are...more

As a Plan provider, saying sorry can go a long way

I worked for someone once who I thought was the biggest pain in the rear end and I think when I got older and started my own business, I finally understood where he was coming from....more

How a Plan Sponsor Can Avoid Being a Deer Caught in the Headlights

The term “deer in the headlights” explains the mental state of a person who shows behavioral signs that remind us of a deer subjected to a car’s headlights where the deer is in such panic that they show no motor reaction to...more

This is What a TPA Does and Why a Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Hire a Good One

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Deer Hunter. It’s a story about the Vietnam War and the post-traumatic stress disorder a group of friends from Western Pennsylvania who were drafted together and fought alongside...more

The needs of the Plan outweigh the needs of the Plan Provider

A family member once said: “there are a lot of yous (sic) and only one me.” That may not be the nicest and most selfless thing to say, but that’s something retirement plan sponsors should think when it comes to the needs of...more

Religious Freedom, Contraceptive Services, and The ACA: The Dilemma of the Self-Certification Provision

On February 21, 2014, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-to-1 decision, denied a preliminary injunction enjoining the federal government from enforcing the self-certification provisions of the Affordable Care Act...more

A Plan Provider Success Story

I always talk about my open door policy with financial advisors and third party advisors where I will help these plan providers out without me actively seeking their business. I kind of have that liberty because it’s my own...more

Risky Business: TPAs as Employers under the ADA

Last week, in Brown v. Bank of America et al., No. 1:13-cv-00367-JAW (D. Me. March 7, 2013), a federal district court in Maine refused to dismiss a Bank employee’s disability discrimination claims against a third party...more

Payroll providers TPAs and the King of Beers

I’m a beer snob and I’m proud of it. I like the taste of beer and I’m not going to waste my time, money, and calories on a mass-produced inferior product like Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors, and Miller. I would rather drink...more

The Trade Muddle: A Primer

Which comes first, TPP (the “Trans-Pacific Partnership”) or TPA (“Trade Promotion Authority”)? Alphabetically, and logically, TPA. Strategically, TPP. Politically, neither is likely to come at all. Nor, then, is TTIP the...more

“Toxic” TPAs a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Avoid Hiring

While most of the news about 401(k) plan fiduciaries and their responsibilities is about plan expenses, plan investments, and participant education, there is very little topic about the one issue that is important that most...more

The $550 TPA is no Advantage

When I was a kid, I remember my parents were shopping for a car and the sticker price had a base fee for the car with so many add-ons that I seriously wondered whether they would charge you for the steering wheel. As with...more

“Experienced” Plan Provider can mean a lot of things

I always talk about how plan sponsors need to work with experienced financial advisors, third party administration (TPA) firms, and ERISA attorneys on their plan needs....more

A Retirement Plan Sponsor’s Guide for Selecting Their Financial Advisor

When it comes to your role as a retirement plan sponsor, outside of hiring a TPA (third party administrator), the most important plan provider that you need to hire is a financial advisor. Unfortunately, like my favorite...more

A Simple Q&A for Retirement Plan Providers

When I was an associate at a semi-prestigious Long Island law firm, the goal was that I would start a national single employer retirement plan practice. I couldn’t have my articles published because the marketing department...more

Avoid the Retirement Plan Soap Opera by having Participants update their beneficiary forms

Yes, I will admit it, I love soap operas. My favorite show of all-time is Dallas and when I was a senior in high school and I was at home around 12:30 pm, I watched in succession, Young and The Restless, Bold and The...more

The Plan Checklist That Every Retirement Plan Sponsor Needs

While they don’t have a book called Retirement Plan Sponsorship for Dummies, they should. So in the interim, here is a checklist that plan sponsors should review that can help them develop good practices and avoid unnecessary...more

Two trains of thought for the new Financial Advisor regarding the Plan’s TPA

One of my least favorite sayings is: “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.” I detest it because it suggests complacency of something that is mediocre. It kind of reminds me of when New York City Mayor Ed Koch was running an...more

Advisors Advantage - January 2014

Things They Never Tell You as a Retirement Plan Provider. Stuff plan providers should avoid. I always say that whatever I learned as an ERISA attorney and the retirement plan business; I couldn't have learned...more

Judge Finds Illinois Insurance Department's Policy Prohibiting Offshoring To Be Improper Rulemaking

On November 27, 2013, the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois issued an Order in a lawsuit filed by the American Council of Life Insurers, Inc. ("ACLI") v Andrew Boron, Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance and...more

Future Threats That a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Be Aware Of

What was good yesterday might not be a good today. Asbestos was a great fireproof building material until it was found to cause asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma Thalidomide was a great drug for morning sickness until it...more

Don’t let Plan Sponsors get you out of your level of comfort

The law firm I started a few years back is actually more than 13 years old as it was a shell where I could offer legal services on the side while I did my normal day job. It was an experiment on whether I could go out on my...more

Things They Never Tell You as a 401(k) Plan Sponsor

When my wife and I bought our house, there were quite a few things that the previous owner forgot to tell us such as the fact they never bothered to pull the pipes from the dental office run by a previous owner 20 years...more

HHS and IRS Release Updates on the SHOP Marketplace, Fees, Taxes, and Payment Parameters

Before departing for the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday, the Obama administration released several new regulatory announcements and guidance relating to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new guidance delays...more

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