CASE STUDY 2
The business had grown from a two person operation to a staff of over two hundred people. With a rapidly growing team and a need to satisfy their top-tier talent, the plan was amended to offer immediate eligibility to all participants. The company also adopted an auto-enrollment feature intended to streamline the on-boarding process.
A secondary challenge was the requirement for an annual audit. Under ERISA regulations, once a qualified plan surpasses 100 eligible participants plan sponsors are required to hire and outside vendor to execute the audit. Detailed census information, plan documents, payroll summaries and documentation of employee contributions are among the list of potential documentation required. How could the already time-strapped HR department tackle these new time-consuming challenges?
New employees join the plan at time of hire which allows them to maximize deferrals and take advantage of tax benefits and convenience of deferring a portion of their compensation into the company plan.
Providing consistent communication throughout the year to assist the trustees and HR staff is a way to stay current with ERISA compliance regulations; by ensuring all required fee disclosures are distributed, participant education meetings are conducted and the Investment Policy Statement is reviewed and updated. If an outside vendor needs to be hired, we would assist the HR staff in obtaining the CPA firm, review contracts, provide key compliance records and documents in coordination with the Third-Party Administrator (TPA) and assist the client throughout the duration of the audit.
We recommend being consistent with participant educational sessions to ensure the staff understands the benefit being offered and to instill the importance of long term saving. Our communication the TPA’s office and plan sponsor is ongoing regarding plan amendments, plan design and oversight of plan compliance. Reviewing plan expenses and comparing investment providers regularly ensures the plan is competitively priced and the objective of the plan is continued to be met. In turn the HR staff and trustees will be able to focus more time and energy on other areas of the growing business.
*These results are for illustrative purposes only and should not be deemed a representation of future results. Circumstances, solutions, and/or results are based on specific facts tied to unique client situations. Favorable results cannot be guaranteed even in a similar scenario. Each specific set of circumstances will differ depending on client needs and profile. Actual results may be more or may be less than those shown. Past performance does not guarantee future results. This assesment is that of the writer, and not the recommendations or responsibility of Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC or its representatives.