Be Careful Who You Pick As Your 401(k)'s TPA.
You need to be careful as a plan sponsor.

Unlike most law firm ERISA attorney, I had the great experience to start my career as an ERISA attorney as a staff attorney for a third party administrator (TPA), 20 years ago. It gave me the insight and experience that I could never have received as an attorney working for a law firm. Over the first 9 years as a TPA attorney, I was able to see the good, the bad, and the ugly of the retirement business, so that knowledge can be used to help my plan sponsor and retirement plan provider clients. I always compared myself to my late uncle who worked for a meat provision company who we trusted for advice on which hotdogs to eat, so I can tell you which TPA a plan sponsor should use. In my 8 years working for my own firm, I've also added some more TPA tales. This article is about some of the many things I saw with advice on what plan sponsors should be avoiding in using a TPA.

For the article, click here.
The Mission Impossible Of Being A 401(k) Plan Sponsor.
This post will not self destruct in 5 seconds.
 
When I was a kid in Brooklyn, our area wasn't wired for cable television until I was 17. So being reduced to around 7 UHF channels, there were times when there wasn't much to watch on television. Late Saturday afternoons, Channel 5 (now a Fox channel) used to show reruns of Mission Impossible. As a kid, other than the self-detonating message, the show bored the heck out of me. The film series that Tom Cruise started in 1996 that continues to this day with the sixth film that bowed out this summer stands on its own. However, for some reason, Mission Impossible and the Impossible Mission Force remind me of the responsibilities that you have as a 401(k) plan sponsor. This article will not self-detonate in 5 seconds.

To read the article, please click here.

Surely, A Plan Sponsor Needs An ERISA Attorney.
I am serious and don't call me Shirley.

Too many plan sponsors would rather eat fish on an airplane flight than they would call an ERISA attorney. Calling an ERISA attorney is always an issue if you've ever received a legal bill and were charged by the hour. That's why most of my billing is on a flat fee, but I still have trepidation from the plan sponsor being coaxed by the third party administrator (TPA) or financial advisor who referred me as if I was an actual dentist because dentists get a bum rap too. The point here is that while a plan sponsor may always fear a legal bill, they can't ignore their retirement plan problems because it won't go away. Surely, plan sponsors seriously need to call an ERISA attorney. I am serious and don't call me Shirley.

To read this article, please click here.

Keep That Beneficiary Information On File and Updated.
Avoid the Soap Opera.

a plan sponsor, it should be obvious that you need to keep all beneficiary forms on file and make sure they're updated. However, surprisingly, I have found many plan sponsors that are deficient when it comes to this form of recordkeeping.

As we all know with life, things change and family situations change. So that's why you should always keep the forms on file and make sure they get updated when circumstances change for the participants or just ask whether there needs to be a change at an enrollment meeting. Life can be a soap opera at times, but not having beneficiary forms on file or updated forms will create a soap opera when it comes time to pay out a deceased participant's benefit.


Don't pick a provider just because it's popular/big.
It's just another bad idea.

When picking a retirement plan provider whether it's a third party administrator (TPA) or financial advisor, don't pick a provider just because they're the biggest provider out there. Bigger doesn't mean better. As you see in high school, being popular also doesn't mean better either.

You should pick a TPA that is competent at what they do and that charges a reasonable fee. The number of plans under management or/administration may mean the provider is very good at generating business, but it doesn't mean they're good at what they do.

When someone says their TPA is better because all the plans they administer, all I point out is that Bud Light is the best selling beer in the United States. Does that make it the best beer? Of course not. Case closed.

Don't forget about that401ksite.com.
The 401(k) Site with it all.

Don't forget about that401ksite.com, the 401(k) blog site aith articles about 401(k) plans, plan sponsor and plan provider issues, and articles on pop culture that are entertaining and 401(k) free.

If interested in contributing or advertising, you know where to reach me.
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The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review, August 2018
, Vol. 9 No. 8

The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C.
ary@therosenbaumlawfirm.com
734 Franklin Avenue, Suite 302

Garden City, New York 11530

Phone 516-594-1557 

Fax 516-368-3780    


 

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