• Shannon

How to be a Great Plan Sponsor


The copier is jammed again, the phone is ringing off-the-hook, and you’ve got an important presentation with a client in 5 minutes. Oh, we forgot to mention an employee just walked in your office requesting information about her 401(k) account too. As a business owner, putting out fires is part of your daily routine. You’re a pro when it comes to managing your money, your people, and your work- so naturally you want to be a great plan sponsor too.


Being a great plan sponsor can substantially reduce your fiduciary liability. Tweet This. If staying out of trouble with the IRS and DOL isn’t reason enough to be a great plan sponsor, then consider the impact a well-organized system might have on your daily routine. Having a checklist of responsibilities can ease administration headaches and alleviate some stress. Here are 5 tips on how to efficiently manage your company’s qualified retirement plan.


Tip #1 on being a great plan sponsor: Keep accurate employee Data. Tweet This.

Employee information such as; compensation, date of hire, date of termination, birth dates, and social security numbers. Your TPA will request this information at the beginning of each year for the census data. Bonus Tip: Make a template in Excel and revisit this information each quarter to make updates to employee data.


Tip #2 on being a great plan sponsor: Keep accurate payroll records. Tweet This.

Payroll records contain important data such as elective deferral amounts, annual compensation, and the hours employees have worked. All of these elements play a role in determining employee eligibility and vesting. Plus your TPA will ask for it at the beginning of each year.


Tip #3 on being a great plan sponsor: Retain deposit records. Tweet This.

Deposit records along with the date and the amount contributed to the plan should be kept on hand for each employee.


Tip #4 on being a great plan sponsor: Have a compliance calendar and be punctual. Tweet This.

Avoid missed deadlines and potential penalties by having a list of important dates on your calendar. If you don’t already have a calendar, you can print off the checklist for Calendar Year-End Deadlines we created here.


Tip #5 on being a great plan sponsor: Subscribe to TriStar’s Newsletter. 

Our newsletters are packed with information surrounding retirement plans. We cover things like; updates in legislation, tax codes, compliance concerns, and more. Stay in-the-know by subscribing to our monthly newsletter.

TriStar Pension Consulting | 405-848-401k | contact@tristarpension.com