When you adopt The Architect 401(k) Solution, we become the Plan Fiduciary and most importantly, a full 3(16) Plan Administrator, as outlined under ERISA—transferring significant risk and responsibility to us to manage the day-to-day operations of offering and running a quality retirement plan for your employees.
As an adopting Employer, you will receive all the extensive and comprehensive benefits offered by a state-of-the-art, low-cost retirement plan for your employees. You will avoid all the headaches and hassles of administration and oversight, as well as reduce the risk of sponsoring your own plan.
The Architect 401(k) Solution takes over the day-to-day operations of your plan, as it relates to enrollments, notifications, administration and documentation, leaving more time for you and key employees to focus on business at hand.
As the Plan Administrator of The Architect 401(k) Solution, we will be completing and filing the IRS Form 5500, with your authorization. We monitor all the administrative functions, as well as provide service for plan provisions, such as loans, distributions, vesting, terminations and hardship withdrawals. We also make sure all employee notices are sent out, including Safe Harbor Notices, RMDs, Summary Plan Descriptions, Summary Annual Reports, and the new Annual Fee Disclosure with Benchmarking Notices. Another key feature of our plan is our Co-fiduciary, 401(k) Advisors, an industry-leading ERISA 3(38) RIA fiduciary.
Managing a retirement plan is no easy task, so allow us to simplify the process, operate with transparency and reduce the burden, while producing greater returns to address the following concerns:
- What is my fiduciary liability?
- How do I reduce my fiduciary liability?
- What if the Department of Labor comes knocking on my door?
- How often do I have to review my plan?
- Can I have someone manage my account every day?
- Are plan costs really that important in the big picture?
As a Plan Sponsor, you are currently responsible for the following list of time-consuming and arduous administrative tasks:
- Maintaining plan document qualified status
- Monitoring plan fiduciary issues
- Producing and maintaining an annual investment policy statement
- Determining eligibility
- Conducting and documenting enrollment and educational meetings
- Maintaining current enrollment packets, summary plan descriptions, QDIA Notices and explanation of expenses
- Administering hardship withdrawals
- Sending out Safe Harbor Notices and Summary Annual reports to Participants
- Assuming liability associated with being a fiduciary
- Selecting and monitoring the investment platform
- Reviewing and documenting investment returns, fees and expenses
- Replacing funds not meeting the "Prudent Person" standards
- Conducting frequent meetings to review policies and procedures
- Maintaining 404(c) compliance information
- Administering participant loans
- Sending out participant termination packages
- Administering distributions and rollover requests
- Benchmarking and analysis of providers and vendors every three to five years
Most common mistakes made
Contrary to common belief, most plan mistakes that occur have little or nothing to do with the investments or the investment manager, but instead, involve plan administration issues. Some of the top mistakes that occur are:
- Plan document not updated to reflect law changes
- Failure to follow plan terms
- Not using the plan's definition of compensation for deferrals and allocations correctly
- Employer matching contribution errors
- Not satisfying non-discrimination tests (ADP & ACP)
- Not notifying all eligible employees of their opportunity to defer
- Not complying with IRC Section 402(g)
- Not depositing employee elective deferrals in a timely fashion
- Not conforming to the plan document and IRC 72(p) for participant loans
- Hardship distribution issues
- Not making required minimum contributions for top-heavy plans
- Not filing a Form 5500 series return and not distributing a Summary Annual Report to all participants
- You are more likely than ever to be subject to a compliance review by the DOL
- The DOL has increased their number of auditors by nearly 1,000 to more aggressively enforce 401(k) compliance
- In addition to the DOL, employee complaints and inquiries are on the rise