Selecting a Third Party Administrator (TPA) for Retirement Plan – Part I

August 17, 2012 at 11:03 am Leave a comment

As a plan sponsor, there are many responsibilities that must be performed regarding your retirement plan.  Among the most important duties are selecting and monitoring service providers.  How do you select a third party administrator (TPA)?  Often times, it seems that plan sponsors select at the advice of other professionals such as investment advisors or accountants.  But how do they know that they are getting competent service?

I do not think any professional advises plan sponsors to select a TPA that they feel will give bad service.  However, perhaps due more to ignorance than self-interest, plan sponsors are pushed toward alliances or partners who do not provide good service.  Another misperception may even be what is good service.  I have heard many a TPA complain about correcting a plan that was messed up by a prior service provider, and the plan sponsor had no idea that anything was amiss.

Are plan sponsors looking at experience, education, and credentials?  What are they looking at when they make this critical selection?

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I am not selling my own or any one else’s TPA services through this blog.

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Christine Gurney

A pension professional who shares her thoughts and ideas about the pension world for industry members and anyone else interested.

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