For Plan Sponsors

Plan Compliance: A Year-Round Effort

What is 401(k) Plan Compliance? Plan compliance is an ongoing process that is the responsibility of both you as Plan Sponsor and Trust Point as Trustee to ensure that the plan operation adheres to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974. ERISA is a federal law that sets minimum standards to protect the assets of the millions of people in qualified plans.

Most of us can breathe a little sigh of relief as year-end compliance testing and government form 5500 filing has been completed for the majority of calendar-year plans. After months of year-end tasks, you might be wondering, “What’s next?”

Plan compliance is ongoing and there are things to think about throughout the year, including:

  1. Have all eligible participants been given the opportunity to contribute to the plan once they are eligible? If yes, great! If no, why not? What reminders should you put in place to ensure everyone is given the opportunity to avoid what can sometimes amount to costly corrections. Is there something you want to change in regards to eligibility to make it easier to track?
  2. How are you treating rehires, in terms of plan eligibility? If you have rehires, and they met eligibility before they left employment, then they are eligible upon their date of re-hire (with no waiting period).
  3. Are you sending in payroll contributions in a timely manner, and are you ensuring that your totals match for each payroll? Payroll uploads should be done as soon as administratively feasible and they should match with when you are sending in other withholdings (federal, state, etc).
  4. Are there any changes to the plan that you want to make for the next plan year? If you have ideas or questions about things you want to change in your plan, please contact your Relationship Manager to discuss any deadlines for implementation and/or participant notification of any changes.

Simplify with Online Enrollment

Looking to reduce your administrative burden? Consider a change to online enrollment. Participants can enroll in the plan and make changes directly online, effectively reducing the intermediary role of the employer. Contact your Relationship Manager to find out more.


For Plan Sponsors and Participants

Copy and paste into your company’s employee communication!

A Quick Read on Retirement Plan Distributions

When you become eligible to take a distribution from your retirement plan account, you might wonder, “What now?”

Your distribution options may include:

  • Leaving your money in the plan—if you have $5,000 or more in the account.
  • Rolling your account balance over into a new employer’s retirement plan.
  • Rolling your account balance into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and/or a Roth Individual Retirement Account (Roth IRA) at another institution or at Trust Point (Trust Point offers a Traditional Independence IRA and a Roth Independence IRA).
  • Cashing out your account—doing so may mean your distribution is subject to taxes and/or early withdrawal penalties.
  • Selecting more than one option—you might be able to request a partial distribution and partial rollover, depending upon the guidelines in the retirement plan.

Once your distribution request reaches Trust Point, it will be processed in seven to 10 business days.

If you elect to take a distribution in cash, you have the option to request payment via direct deposit. A voided check copy must be submitted with your distribution application if this option is selected. Please note that we must pre-note the account* prior to processing your distribution request. The pre-note process can take up to 10 additional business days. Future distributions via ACH can be processed more rapidly.

As always, the Retirement Plan Services team is available to assist with any questions you may have regarding your distribution request. Please contact us at 800-658-9474.

* Conduct a test transaction through the banking institutions.


Online Account Access – Just a Click Away

You know you need to stay on top of your finances and keep track of your retirement savings. Sometimes you need immediate answers as to how much is in your retirement account or you want to find out more about retirement planning and use tools and resources from a trusted source. How can you get your questions answered right now?

Your Trust Point 401(k) account is available online whenever you need it. Your online account allows you to:

  • See your account balance and vesting.
  • Find out how much you’re deferring each paycheck.
  • Review your contact information and beneficiary listing.
  • Review your investment portfolio performance over the last month, three months, year, three years, and five years on the dashboard or go more in-depth by choosing Performance on the menu bar to see the performance for all of the available funds or see your personal rate of return.
  • Run a retirement calculator for you (and your spouse if you are married). Click on the Plan tab on the menu bar and you’ll be directed to a personalized retirement calculator that can help prepare you for your financial future. Play around with different scenarios and discover the outcome.
  • Access our Financial Resource Center. This resource center is age-based, but just because you’re not in a certain age group doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from some of the information in that category. Check it out!

The Trust Point participant website is robust and filled with useful information and account tools. All of this knowledge is just a click away. Visit and click on “Retirement Plan” from the dropdown box at the top right of the page to access the login screen for your account.

Accessing your account for the first time? Click here to find out how.

Deferrals by $ or %

Whether you think in terms of saving a steady dollar amount or a percent of your eligible compensation, it’s vital you save for retirement. If your company’s 401(k) plan allows you to defer either by percent of salary or flat dollar amount, you might be wondering, “What’s the difference?” To determine the better choice for you, your goals may come into play.

Percent Deferral

  • Advantage: Most experts speak in terms of saving a minimum percentage (10-15%) of your compensation to have a sufficient balance for a secure, sustainable retirement.
  • Advantage: If your employer offers a matching contribution amount up to a certain percentage of your compensation, a percent deferral lets you capture as much of that match as possible.
  • Advantage: If your salary increases, your deferral will increase as well.
  • Disadvantage: It’s not as easy to budget for or figure a percentage of your salary vs. a flat dollar amount.

Flat Dollar Amount:

    • Advantage: Setting aside a pre-determined dollar amount from each payroll can be helpful for anyone on a tight budget. If your goal happens to be saving a certain amount this year, like $2,000, then equal payroll dollar deferrals into the 401(k) account can serve the purpose. For a biweekly payroll, that is $2,000 ÷ 26 payrolls = $76.92 saved per pay period.
    • Disadvantage: If you do not calculate the correct amount needed to achieve the maximum amount of the company match, you could be missing out on additional dollars the company would contribute on your behalf.
  • Disadvantage: Any payroll period resulting in significantly lower earnings could leave you scrambling for other sources of cash until your payroll returns to normal.
  • Disadvantage: If you receive a salary increase, your deferral will not automatically increase as it is based on a flat amount.

When deciding to defer by a percent of your salary vs. a flat dollar amount, choose the best option for you. Remember, your 401(k) plan provides flexibility to save small or large amounts of money into the plan (up to $18,500 this year if you are under the age of 50 and up to $24,500 for those 50 and older) and to increase or decrease the amount you defer in the future. Save well.