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Retirement Plan Basics

All qualified retirement plans consist of the same core components, which are required for every workplace retirement savings plan to operate.  It requires an employer to sponsor the Plan (Plan Sponsor), a trust company to hold the Plan assets (Custodian) and somebody to provide the basic accounting around the Plan (Recordkeeper & TPA).  But, in essence, all these parties must coordinate their efforts to enable employers to have transparency into the Plan and allow employees to interact with their individual accounts.

Nevertheless, the roles and responsibilities of these required players are very different:

401k Functionaries

Available Plan Prototypes

PEP: Auto-Enrollment 401k

This design will emulate the structure of the Auto IRAs that are mandated by the various State jurisdictions in which they have been legislated. The 401k Plans will generally be “deferral-only” plans that automatically enroll employees who meet the established eligibility criteria at four-percent (4%) per pay period. This structure will limit the ability of owners and highly-compensated employees (HCEs) to participate, due to the high probability of an annual compliance testing failure.

PEP: Safe Harbor 401k

This design will mirror the provision of the “Auto IRA” but require a minimum annual employer contribution, which is either structured as tiered “match” to all employees who actively defer themselves or a lower flat percentage to every eligible employee (regardless of their individual deferrals). This structure will enable owners and their HCEs to contribute up to the statutory maximums, without risking annual compliance testing failures.

Stand Alone: Complete(k)

This design will represent a traditional 401k Plan that includes the ability to determine auto-enrollment/escalation features and safe harbor provisions, as well as enable the employer to make discretionary profit sharing contributions attached to a vesting schedule. This structure will be generally reserved for pre-existing 401(k) Plans that are being converted from a predecessor provider, or who have matured to the point that they can afford to take the risk of annual compliance testing failures.

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We are not investment bankers, we are not brokers - we are retirement plan service professionals.  Our services have been designed to assist small businesses with adopting and implementing workplace retirement savings programs for their employees.  Our solutions are specifically designed to make the installation and management of employer-sponsored retirement plans easy and efficient for business owners.  We encourage you to explore how we make saving for a more prosperous retirement quick, convenient and easy!

Our Employer Solutions

  • Fiduciary Outsourcing
    Learn how our outsourced fiduciary solutions can streamline your retirement plan's operation and mitigate your risk exposure. 
  • Plan Concierge Service
    Learn how our "white glove" concierge services can save you time & money as well as reduce administrative burdens.  
  • The PEP Advantage
    Learn how our Pooled Employer Plan (PEP) can help mitigate risk, reduce operational headaches & provide valuable time savings.