What is a TPA?

Most companies retain the services of a third party administrator (TPA) to assist in setting up and administering a company's retirement plan.  There are many plan options an experienced TPA can discuss with you, such as a 401(k), Safe Harbor or Profit Sharing, among a few.  A TPA would help your company  design retirement plan documents based on your needs, ensure the plan is in compliance with all IRS non-discrimination requirements and prepare annual reports that are required by the IRS.  A TPA would also handle much of the day-to-day administration of the plan such as handling plan contributions and distributions to employees.  Not all TPAs are the same.

There are a few things to consider when selecting a TPA, those include:

•    the staff’s experience and qualifications
•    staff communication skills
•    plan design suggestions and implementation
•    document sponsorship
•    amendment capability
•    ability of the firm to represent your plan before the IRS and Department of Labor
•    problem solving abilities

TPA independence is also important because this may impact the quality of work and fees Incurred.  TPA qualifications to look for are CPA, MST, JD, ESQ, EA, QPA, QKA and CEBS,  to name a few.  ARS employs caring pension professionals that each have more than ten years of pension experience and have earned ASPPA Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) credentials plus CPAs, with MSTs and an enrolled actuary.  

How can a TPA help your company?

Retirement benefit plans can be an extremely technical subject.  The laws and employer requirements are an ever-changing process.  Hiring a TPA can usually be much more cost effective then trying to do the same work in-house, especially for smaller to mid-size companies.  Selecting a TPA to handle these tasks leaves your company with one less job to worry about.  A good TPA will help you analyze and determine what's best for your company's needs.  

Selecting the right TPA is paramount to the success of the plan.  In most cases, the bundled environment is not the best approach, since you cannot choose with whom you work, and whether they have sufficient qualifications to make ongoing plan recommendations.  

Most companies evolve, as does the Internal Revenue Code relating to retirement plans.  Most plans would be served best by a firm which specializes only in retirement plans, has no vested interest in selling additional services or investments, and which only cares about the success of the plan.

Here at ARS we pride ourselves in listening carefully to what your company's retirement objectives are and setting up a plan to cater to your needs.  To get an idea of what type of plans we can provide please visit our Creative Plan Design page.   If you would like to learn more about ARS and how we stand out from other TPA's visit our About Us page. If you would like to have one of our administrators reach out to you please send a message to one of our welcoming administrators and they will contact you to discuss how we can help your company meet its retirement goals.