Guide to Third Party Administrators

Let Third Party Administration professionals make the most of your employee retirement plan

Third Party Administrators develop custom retirement plans for your business. Unless you own a large company with the appropriate personnel, you should hire a retirement plan TPA to handle your employee 401(k) plan. Their expertise helps ensure that your pension plan grows and provides a real benefit to your employees.

Take your time in selecting a 401(k) Third Party Administrator; you want to find a pension TPA with which you can establish a long-term business relationship. After all, you're talking about your employees' financial security. Expect to go through these phases when working with a Third Party Administrator:

  1. Consult with the TPA about your needs for tax-deferred plans and employee retirement and savings benefits.
  2. After the consultation, ask the pension TPA to provide you with a proposal of the types of plans suitable for your company. Ask to see all provisions, including penalties and vesting schedules.
  3. After selecting a 401(k) Third Party Administrator, they will get IRS approval of your plan, provide all necessary employee paperwork, and work with you to get your employees enrolled.

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Work with one of the larger, national pension TPA companies

You've probably seen insurance companies advertising their retirement plan services on TV. With a large company you get experience and expertise. However, you may also end up with a larger bill for plan administration.

Choose specialized retirement administrators

Some companies work solely in Third Party Administration. With one of these smaller companies, you often have more options in selecting a 401(k) provider.

Look for Third Party Administrators who do business in your state

The Internet makes it easy to locate a list of Third Party Administrators which are licensed in your state. You can do a quick comparison online and then call only those companies that offer the services you need.

  • Once your Third Party Administrator has all the paperwork for your plan, you should ask your company attorney to review all documents.
  • Don't think 401k TPA is only for large companies. Many retirement plan administrators work with companies with as few as 25 employees.

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