Vendor Specific Solutions
We believe the best 3(16) solutions are tailor-crafted to complement each recordkeeper’s offering. There is a great variety of a record-keepers and they each have different strengths and weaknesses. They each offer employers and participants support in different ways. We offer record-keeper specific 3(16) packages that complement the service offerings of that record-keeper.
For example, if a particular record-keeper automatically mails 404a-5 notices to participants with account balances, then why does the employer or 3(16) administrator need to duplicate that task? Or, if a record-keeper has mechanisms in place to mail distribution packages to terminated participants, then why would the employer or 3(16) not take advantage of that service? Our 3(16) approach plays to the strengths of each particular record-keeper and complements the record-keeper service offering.
- Recordkeeping Partners
- Payroll Partners
AFS’ services are designed to complement a third party administrator services, and we welcome the opportunity to work with you and your clients.
Why should I work with AFS instead of building out my own solution?
Deciding to serve as a fiduciary is not a small, trivial decision to be made in the hurry of trying to save a client relationship or win new business. It takes a different mind-set, and to do it effectively it take some minimum scale.
Does AFS just duplicate the work a TPA does?
No. AFS’s solution is based upon handling fiduciary services like a plan sponsor would assuming that the plan sponsor was well-educated about qualified plans and had sufficient time. It is a very different perspective than the TPA perspective. As an example, if AFS is engaged to review an ADP test and process refunds on behalf of a plan, AFS would not redo the ADP test. AFS would review the test provided and focus on issues such as does the test reflect the correct participant data. In other words, we would do the type of review that you wish your clients had the time and education to do.
What services will AFS provide?
Please see the rest of this website, but common services include mailing services, taking on signing authority for loans and distributions.
If my client engages AFS, will it result in more work for me?
It is hard to answer that question, but in general we expect that it would result in minimal additional work or save you work. As an example consider a distribution form where you complete the vesting information and then forward it to the client for signature. Instead of completing the form and sending it to the plan sponsor, you will send it to us. If the plan sponsor has historically asked you lots of questions and asked you to explain every item on the form, then working with AFS will save you time. If the plan sponsor has typically asked you no questions and just signed the form, then there would really be no change unless AFS had a question on the vesting or some element of the form. But, even if AFS did have a question, you would be talking to a person with 401(k) education and experience instead of busy business owner or benefit professional who has tons of other responsibilities.
Will AFS “poach” our client?
AFS does not provide the same services as a TPA. Our product and service offerings would not replace a TPA. Some of AFS’s owners are owners in a TPA firm. As part of AFS’s agreement with you, it will include a non-solicitation to protect you from that TPA firm inappropriately soliciting your clients.
Will AFS pay me a referral fee?
AFS will pay a referral fee to partner TPAs of 40% of the collected implementation fee in the first year. No other referral payment will be made. This is disclosed in our agreement, and we urge you to include this in your engagement agreement/408(b)(2) notice.