Author Archive

October 3-5, 2018
Hyatt Regency, Monterey, CA

October 21-24, 2018
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, MD

2018 Spark Forum

August 21st, 2018 by PenChecks Trust

November 4-6, 2018
The Breakers – West Palm Beach, FL

November 7- 8, 2018
National Harbor, MD

November 8-9, 2018
Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV

If you think uncashed pension checks are a hassle to manage (they are), it gets more difficult if the taxes have been taken out at distribution. Fortunately, there is a practical solution. You can read about it here in “The Right Way to Manage Taxed Uncashed Retirement Checks,” an article authored by PenChecks Trust President and CEO Peter Preovolos and originally published in The Journal of Pension Benefits (Summer 2018, Volume 25 #4).

Have you ever wondered about the rationale behind required minimum distributions (RMDs) from retirement plans? Retirement plans were designed to help build retirement nest eggs by deferring taxation on the contributions and earnings until the funds are withdrawn after age 59½ for use during retirement.

No plan sponsor or TPA likes dealing with uncashed retirement checks. However, when a former employee fails to cash their distribution, the employer still has fiduciary responsibility for the funds. Conducting search efforts to locate the “missing plan participant” takes time and money, and often fails to locate the participant.

These days, problems related to missing and nonresponsive retirement plan participants are causing more problems and creating more uncertainty for plan sponsors and administrators. For example, Lines 4l of Schedules H and I of Form 5500 and line 10f of Form 5500-SF ask, “Has the plan failed to provide any benefit when due under the plan?”

In parts one and two, we provided some basic guidelines to help plan administrators understand what is involved in paying the correct beneficiary the correct amount and avoid costly mistakes. In this article, we address the beneficiary options available to the surviving spouse of a deceased plan participant.

Our first article in this 3-part series focused on the importance of plan administrators understanding how to pay the correct beneficiary the correct amount, and the consequences that can result when they don’t. In this second article, we address the regulatory beneficiary options outlined in the April 17, 2002 RMD regulations and their role in paying out beneficiaries.

Most TPAs don’t wake up first thing in the morning thinking about qualified plan beneficiary rules. However, improper payments due to lack of knowledge about these rules can have unwanted consequences.

America has a nationwide retirement savings gap. Some have even called the shortfall between retirement income and projected expenses a retirement savings crisis. Fidelity Investments says that you need to accumulate three times your income at age 30, seven times your income at age 55, and 10 times your income at age 67 to fund your retirement.

PenChecks Trust, a leading provider of outsourced retirement distribution solutions, and PensionPro, a premier provider of workflow management software for third-party administrators (TPAs) and recordkeepers, have reached an agreement on a new technology partnership.

At PenChecks Trust, we believe in helping people, doing the right thing and making complicated things simple. In Keeping with these core values, and in light of the devastating effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma throughout the entire southeast region, PenChecks trust will be: Expediting any emergency hardship or other distributions for our clients that […]

The day of reckoning for brokers and others who have been giving investment advice may get farther away. The Department of Labor (DOL) says it has now requested an additional delay until July 1, 2019 for additional exemption requirements of the Fiduciary Rule.

Required minimum distributions are a small but important part of retirement plans. Failure to start making them on time can lead to problems for employers and plan participants. Code section 401(a)(9) requires every qualified plan to begin required minimum distributions (RMDs) on the required beginning date (RBD)…

Here we are, already half-way through 2017. It’s been an interesting six months, to say the least, especially with the implementation of the new Department of Labor (DOL)
fiduciary rule.

Good plan communications are an important part of administering a retirement plan. They help participants understand the basic plan rules, which are not easily found in the technical plan documents.

A pension administration firm based in Encino, California, Greenspan & Associates, Inc. works with companies to design, implement and administer more than 500 retirement plans.

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This is part three of a 3-part series on Participant Education. More than half (54%) of pre-retirees are reported to have less than $150,000 in their 401k accounts.

PenChecks Trust Company of America (PenChecks Trust) and the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) are pleased to announce the renewal and expansion of the QKA Scholarship Program for ASPPA’s Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) credential program.

This is the second installment of a three-part series on participant education. The next installment will discuss plan design changes that can help make participants “retirement ready”.

This is the second installment of a three-part series on participant education. The next installment will discuss plan design changes that can help make participants “retirement ready”.

This is the first installment of a three-part series on participant education. The next two installments will discuss best practices to structure an effective program and how plan design may be used to assist participants in reaching their retirement goals.

PenChecks Trust, a market leader in benefit distribution processing, and PensionSoft Corporation, a leading provider of software to retirement plan third-party administrators and actuarial services firms, have agreed to integrate their software products to make benefits processing faster and easier for retirement industry clients.

It finally happened. After months of speculation and weeks of rumors about what the Trump administration was going to do, on Friday President Trump signed an executive order which directed the Department of Labor (DOL) to reevaluate the Fiduciary Rule (the “Rule”).

Welcome to 2017! With interest rates going up for the first time in a long time and much uncertainty about how our new president in the White House will govern, 2017 promises to be an interesting year. As I peer into the PenChecks Trust crystal ball, I foresee four main issues facing the private retirement plan sector in the year ahead.

Another ASPPA convention has come and gone, and once again the PenChecks Trust team enjoyed participating in the many learning, networking and socializing opportunities. The conference offered more than 70 workshops on topics ranging from administration and business development to investments and ethics.

PenChecks Trust, a market leader in benefit distribution processing, and PensionSoft Corporation, a leading provider of software to retirement plan third-party administrators and actuarial services firms, have agreed to integrate their software products to make benefits processing faster and easier for retirement industry clients.

In April of this year, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new ruling that redefines the definition of “fiduciary” for those providing investment advice to plans, plan sponsors, fiduciaries, plan participants, beneficiaries and IRAs and IRA owners.

In my last blog, I reviewed an article that focuses on the notion of “auto-portability” to make it easier to transfer Default/Missing Participant IRA accounts to a new employer’s plan. While the concept has merit, my opinion is that the solution seems overly complex, and is therefore not likely to be supported by record keepers or plan sponsors.

In my last blog, I reviewed an article that focuses on the notion of “auto-portability” to make it easier to transfer Default/Missing Participant IRA accounts to a new employer’s plan. While the concept has merit, my opinion is that the solution seems overly complex, and is therefore not likely to be supported by record keepers or plan sponsors.

The ANGELL Pension Group is a national leader in third-party administration and compliance, providing a full array of administrative, actuarial, Section 125 and nonqualified services to more than 3,000 clients nationwide.

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INTAC is a leading actuarial firm that provides complete retirement plan design, consulting, and administration for more than 2,800 small to mid-sized companies nationwide, their owners, key executives and employees.

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The first half of 2016 has zoomed by in a flash. To date, it’s been a good year for PenChecks Trust. But as I survey the landscape I’m not overly optimistic about the long-term direction of our industry. The retirement plan space has undergone significant change in the past few years, much of it in the way of complex new regulations imposed by the IRS and Department of Labor.

I have long advocated for giving employees more options to manage their retirement plan assets, especially in regards to easier portability when workers change employers or retire. So when I came across an article entitled “Goodbye Rollovers, Hello Stay-Overs”, it got my attention.

PASI, LLC

June 13th, 2016 by PenChecks Trust

A leader in the area of plan design and implementation, PASI has chosen to allocate its resources to those tasks best suited to their expertise and operations, while outsourcing to PenChecks the tasks for which PenCheck’s robust and process-oriented infrastructure is uniquely well-suited.

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No business wants its retirement plan to get audited by the Department of Labor (DOL). But according to a recent article in the Employee Benefit Advisor, companies often make mistakes that can trigger a DOL audit. The article addresses 10 of the most common mistakes, and serves as a good reminder for plan sponsors and TPAs in the retirement plan space not to overlook these areas.

Managing missing participant funds can be a complex and time-consuming process for plan sponsors and trustees. Attempting to locate missing participants often seems like a fruitless and frustrating task. Appropriately managing missing participant accounts requires choosing from a number of different options, many of which are problematic. And terminating a retirement plan with missing participants increases the complexity of the process and the fiduciary risk to the trustee…