Third Party Administrators

News & Analysis as of

An Employer’s “Recipe” for having a Great Retirement Plan

Every good meal needs a good recipe and every good recipe needs good ingredients. While many products out there have secret ingredients (Coca- Cola), others have secret ingredients that aren’t (that Big Mac special sauce is...more

Bells and whistles not being used is worse than having no bells and whistles

My wife will admit I am a dutiful husband. For years, I have been forced from sleep to stand online for Black Friday sales. One year, I stood on line at Sports Authority for the 5 am open to buy a treadmill. A treadmill is...more

The Fallout from Fee Disclosure continues

When I was fresh out of school and started my first job working for a third party administration (TPA), the paralegal that I was working with told me her experience with the retirement plan business that was pre-ERISA. Marge...more

Advisor's Advantage - November 2014

In This Issue: - How A Plan Provider Can Lose Clients in 7 Easy Ways - Being a long term Plan Provider can be a bad thing too - Advisors should help grow Client's assets - Be accountable as a Plan...more

Absent an Initial Showing That It Is a Fiduciary, Employer Is Immune from Breach of Fiduciary Liability Claim under ERISA in the...

In Moon v. BWX Technologies, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12525 (4th Cir. July 2, 2014), the Fourth Circuit rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims, determining that an employer’s failure to alert an employee...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review

Keep those Plan documents and amendments. You will always need them. Plan sponsors aren't the greatest keeper of plan records because as a plan fiduciary, they think they get too many reports, prospectuses,...more

ERISA Litigation Review

The courts have been busy in 2014, addressing a variety of issues in the employee benefits field in decisions that impact everyone from union travelers to ESOP fiduciaries. This advisory summarizes a selection of the 2014...more

Leap of Bad Faith: TPAs May Be Sued for Aiding Their Own Actions

Insurers have a duty to process claims in good faith, but sometimes they farm the job out to third-party administrators (TPAs). If the TPA fouls up, many states hold that the insurer is still liable—for its own breach of...more

Tales of a Former TPA Attorney

I was very lucky that when I started as an ERISA attorney in 1998, I worked as a staff attorney for third party administrators (TPAs) because it gave me insight and experience that I could never have gotten as an attorney...more

Government Issues New Rules for Religious Employers, But Health Plans, TPAs, and PBMs are still on the Hook to Provide...

The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires that non-grandfathered health plans make preventive care and screenings available to their members at no cost (i.e. no deductibles, coinsurance, or co-payments). The Department of...more

How Good the Advisor is often based on how well they play with other plan providers

What makes a good retirement plan financial advisor? Well it takes an attention to detail, an understanding of what the role to entails, and a dedication to the client. In addition, what I find is the way a good financial...more

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

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