Need a 401k TPA? (Third Party Administrator)

Fall is when new and old business owners start taking care of house-keeping things like addressing retirement planning needs and they finally have a chance to sit down at their computers and enter search terms like 'TPA 401k' into the search bar and voila!

A host of articles to read all about How to Set Up a 401k Plan show up. If you are looking for a 401k tpa, you have come to the right place. 

Some business owners have already done the research while others are looking for information about the best retirement plan for them. See our infographic for some basic info on that. TPA 401k, 401k tpa, Best retirement plans for business owners

The Fall brings us more than just Election Day. November is when a lot of advanced planning for 401(k) plans takes place. A variety of plan provisions have employee notice requirements that must be provided 30- to 90-days before the beginning of the plan year. That means that November is prime time for Plan Administrators with calendar year plans to review their plan provisions, prepare notices, and deliver required information to their eligible employees.

If you need more basic information you can download our Intro to Retirement Planning for Business Owners or check out the Complete Guide to Choosing, Setting Up & Maintaining A Company Retirement Plan

For some more in-depth info on some of the other plan provisions to consider, keep reading. If you want to skip the reading and get strait to setting up a plan (we'll guide you through it) request 401k TPA services here.

You'll want a 401k TPA that can help you understand and stay in compliance with the end of the year requirements your plan might have.


Failure to provide the proper notice in the prescribed time frame may negate those important Plan provisions. So while notice delivery can be cumbersome, it is a critical function for the Plan Administrator to deliver the notices timely. We encourage our clients to deliver all required annual notices within the month that is 2-months before the beginning of the Plan year. Notices may be delivered by mail, by hand, or through company-sponsored email (with certain requirements).


We have outlined below the annual notices that are required for plans. Of course, if your plan has not adopted these provisions, then no notice would be required for that provision.


SAFE HARBOR401k providers, TPA 401k, 401k tpa

Safe Harbor plan design is extremely popular and about half of the 401(k) plans that we administer at Benefit Resources are Safe Harbor plans. Ideal candidates for Safe Harbor provisions are:

  • Top Heavy plans
  • Plans with a high percentage of Highly Compensated Employees participating
  • Plans sponsored by small family-owned companies where the family members all wish to maximize their 401(k) contributions


The annual Safe Harbor notice spells out a variety of plan provisions including:

  • Safe Harbor formula for the upcoming year
  • Contribution types
  • Vesting provisions
  • Distribution options
  • Where to get additional information


To read more about Safe Harbor plan design, please visit our online learning center article Safe Harbor Plans.



The need for employees to save for their future continues to grow so many companies have adopted automatic enrollment provisions for their 401(k) plan. Participation rates in plans are improved dramatically using automatic enrollment instead of requiring that employees join the plan voluntarily.

 Request a Proposal Today! See what a customized plan can do for you!

Under automatic enrollment the company deducts a set percentage of pay from the employee’s paycheck and deposits funds to the plan once the employee meets the eligibility period. Employees must be given the opportunity to opt-out of automatic enrollment in advance of their deduction.


The Automatic Enrollment Notice is provided to both new employees, and annually to all employees. The notice includes the following information:


  • How to opt out of the automatic enrollment
  • How the employee can change the amount of the payroll deduction amount, up or down, from the set percentage
  • The annual increase in the amount of the default deduction amount, if any
  • Information about the fund into which the payroll deductions will be invested. This is called the Qualified Default Investment Arrangement, or QDIA.
  • Where to get additional information


To read more about the pros and cons of automatic enrollment, please visit our online learning center article Automatic Enrollment.


FEE DISCLOSURENew Call-to-Action

So that 401(k) plan participants with self-directed accounts have sufficient information to make informed decisions about the various investments provide by their plan, the Department of Labor requires an annual Fee Disclosure notice be provided to the employees. The first Fee Disclosure notices were required in August 2012. Since then, plans have had the option to “reset” the notice delivery date. We encourage our clients to incorporate the fee disclosure notice delivery with other plan-related notices. Packaging up all required notices together seems to simplify the delivery process and is more convenient for employees as well.


Fee disclosure notices must include the following information:

  • A list of the various funds available in the plan
  • The category or “asset class” of each investment
  • The name of the company managing the investment, the manager’s name, and the company’s website address
  • The rate of return for the most recent 1-, 5-, and 10-year period for each investment option
  • The rate of return for the benchmark of the asset class that is most closely aligned with the fund
  • The fee associated with the fund expressed in both a percentage and dollar amount per $1,000 invested
  • The fees that may be charged to, or deducted from, the account based for any reason. For example, loan processing, distribution requests, processing Domestic Relations Orders, etc.
  • Where to get additional information


The Plan Administrator is required to provide the fee disclosure notice, but many administrators will rely in their plan’s investment custodian to provide most of the information that needs to be included. Some investment custodians will prepare and mail the notice to the plan participants. The Plan Administrator should make sure, however, that all employees who are required to receive the notice are included.


To read more about the fee disclosure requirements, please visit our online learning center article Fee Disclosure rules.


At Benefit Resources we include annual notices in the Plan Packet and Participant Packet that we prepare for our clients. We also provide updated annual notices for our clients to deliver for a nominal annual fee. We are committed to helping our clients keep in compliance with all their notice requirements. If your TPA is not providing you with the kind of support that you need in this area, we would love to have you join our list of satisfied clients. Arrange for one of our friendly pension consultants to contact you to discuss how we can help you meet your responsibilities.

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