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What is a TPA?  Qualified retirements plans are subject to complex government regulations and must be reconciled each year.  A quality third party administrative service will provide the Plan Sponsor with reporting that shows compliance with these rules, and document the plan's operation for that year.  It is important to note that a "TPA" is not the Plan Sponsor.  The Plan Sponsor is the firm which maintains the plan for the benefit of its employees.  The TPA is a contracted service that helps the Plan Sponsor maintain the program within these rules.

What is unique about the EBS Service?  Our firm seeks to 1) provide maximum service for the lowest cost, and 2) render service to clients with a personal touch.  This does not mean that we are the cheapest service.  Instead, we try to provide clients with the best service possible, under fees that are both reasonable and affordable.  We never forget that our business practice does impact the future of real people.

What Type of Plan Should Our Firm Have?  The answer to this question depends upon many factors.  Included are goals, needs and budget parameters.  To answer this question specific to your firm you should contact us and be prepared to discuss your goals and needs, as well as how much money you would like to have contributed to the trust fund by the firm (if any).  In summary, the unique needs of your firm will determine which program is best for you.  You should call us for a discussion on this concern.

You claim to provide a quality, comprehensive service.  What does this mean?  Most of our competitors offer a "Testing & Forms Service".  Under that service the TPA simply provides ADP/ACP Testing, and prepares a 5500 primarily by using statements from the investment provider / record keeper the plan employs.  Conversely, our service reconciles transactions of the plan year and issues a comprehensive report which includes an account valuation detailing member accounts after reconciling transactions are made.  This report is provided with individual statements for distribution that detail the person's account after adjustments are made.  To provide this report we need need to fully reconcile the trust!  This is in addition to the materials provided under the Testing & Forms Service defined above.  In summary, you get more for less under our service.

What aspect of plan administration should Plan Sponsors be most concerned about?  While general compliance should be considered paramount, we suggest that benefit distribution processing should also be carefully monitored.  Too often a plan sponsor will come to us with problems that stemmed from a practice of "distribution on demand".  Remember, a qualified retirement plan is not a bank savings account from which members can take money whenever they want.  When monies can be paid is, in fact, an issue of basic plan qualification. 

What new developments should small businesses consider at this time?  This, of course, depends upon the unique situations your firm faces.  There are many to consider given the impact of the new Pension Protection Act.  If we need to define one new change that most firms should consider, we would suggest the new combined plan deduction limit when a firm uses both a defined contribution plan and a defined benefit plan.  This change has created a new opportunity for business owners to truly maximize the impact of retirement savings for themselves, given the right conditions.  To determine if this change could benefit you, give us a call.