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Help Retirement Plan Sponsors With Notice Delivery Requirements

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What You Need to Know

  • Notice requirements hit plan sponsors hard from August through November.
  • Outsourcing is a way to make things better.
  • You could get the attention of an employer by connecting the employer with a good administrative services provider.

There are five key moments in the year that can grow your employer retirement plan business.

Those moments are the periods when plan sponsors are thinking about:

  1. The annual census.
  2. Compliance testing.
  3. Production and auditing of the Form 5500.
  4. Preparing and sending required notices.
  5. Measurement and planning.

Advisors and third-party administrators, or TPAs, bring much to the table throughout the year, but these five moments represent key opportunities to partner closely with clients and bring them peace of mind.

I’ve written earlier about opportunities you have to talk to employers about the annual census, compliance testing and issues related to the creation and auditing of Form 5500 filings.

The period when employers are creating and sending required notices is another critical moment that offers advisors the chance to opportunistically sell and provide support, expertise and attention for current and prospective client relationships.

This window of opportunity to reach out to business owners lasts from August through November.

The Burden

Delivering required participant notices can be an arduous and time-consuming task for plan sponsors.

For many small and midsize plans, delivery of participant notices is an especially significant administrative burden.

Unfortunately, plan sponsors can face penalties if notices are not sent on time or contain incorrect information.

Advisors can help lessen this burden, while strengthening business relationships, by connecting clients with a reliable partner that can deliver those annual required notices.

Going through a checklist of key plan administration duties, including participant notice administration, is a great way to evaluate how much time and money plan sponsors spend on tasks that could be outsourced.

These are some of the most time-consuming and burdensome notice-related duties:

  • Documenting the process.
  • Deciphering the requirements, including the deadlines.
  • Creating or modifying notice templates.
  • Preparing for electronic delivery of notices or mailing the notices through the Postal Service.
  • Printing and mailing notices, if applicable.
  • Sending notices to current or former employees who have a balance.
  • Monitoring e-delivery opt-outs.
  • Tracking and responding to undelivered notices.

Help clients delegate these required tasks. Give them greater peace of mind and protection from liability.

This is also a great way to set yourself apart by aligning with the right provider partners.

With this level of support, advisors can help clients comply with regulations and ease their stress through best practices and due diligence.


Katie SheligaEkaterina “Katie” Sheliga, MBA, AIF, CPFA, is the national accounts sales director at The Standard and a registered representative at StanCorp Equities Inc.

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