Many third party administrators (TPAs) are in the throes of the second defined benefit restatement cycle. Admittedly, it is a struggle to keep up with all the paperwork and moving parts of the process. Not for The Weiss Group, Inc., doing business as TWG Benefits, Inc. Brothers Haskel and Adam Weiss are innovative thought leaders in the retirement industry, and technology is the driving force behind their efficiency management. Haskel and Adam use PensionPro’s Business product to get ahead of the restatement deadline. They have generously shared their process and efficiencies in the case study below.
The Case Study
The second remedial amendment cycle for defined benefit plans began May 1, 2018 and ends April 30, 2020. The TWG process required the following tasks by various staff members:
- TWG requested consent from all affected clients to restate in an electronically trackable manner. Clients were given an option to prepay at a discounted rate.
- TWG also requested information regarding changes in client planning, employee/participant demographics, business objectives, and their profitability.
- Once consent was collected, tasks to draft documents were assigned.
- Drafts were reviewed by another staff member.
- Final documents were compiled and delivered electronically.
- Invoices were generated for those who did not prepay.
- TWG collected signature pages for all documents.
- Automated follow-ups for non-responders continued until all clients responded.
Though the process seems straight forward, the challenge for TWG was not only to automate the process, but also to identify the volume in each stage of the restatement and to easily identify how much work remained.
As savvy workflow users, Adam and Haskel understood that they could tailor PensionPro’s project management tools to automate the restatement process and make it smoother for both their staff and clients. Instead of just tracking the process internally within PensionPro, Haskel took the idea to the next level.
He used PensionPro’s General Web Collection (GWC) tool to create his own process for document restatements. Most clients use GWCs for payroll collection, new client onboarding, and occasionally, mid-year testing projects. By using a GWC, TWG automated not only their internal process, but the client collection process as well.
The first step was to design an online questionnaire using PensionPro’s PlanSponsorLink portal to collect necessary information from plan sponsors. Since a GWC project has customizable online collection capabilities, TWG was able to ask and require answers to the information they needed for restatements. Next, at the end of 2018, they used the blast email communication feature to notify all defined benefit plan contacts about their automated process.
- Explained how to complete the questionnaire using PensionPro’s portal.
- Broke down each client’s fee.
- Offered an early bird discount for completing the questionnaire by a specified date.
- Included a generic invoice with a discount to make payment more convenient.
As each client completed the questionnaire, the system notified a TWG plan consultant, who then verified each client authorization and initiated the restatement process. From start to finish, every step was tracked within PensionPro. Using additional features like Event Management, the Weiss brothers were able to view the status of each client, including how many completed the restatement process. As client responses came in, it was easy to identify those remaining, so follow-up through PensionPro’s blast email was seamless and easy.
Haskel and Adam’s administration and document teams no longer view restatements as a thorn in their side. They are now a standard part of the firm’s workflow process thanks to the functionality of PensionPro’s project management and client notifications tools. And there was an added bonus. By requesting information regarding changes in their planning, employee/participant demographics, business, and profitability, it afforded TWG the perfect opportunity to consult with their clients and recommend plan redesign ideas or changes where needed.
PensionPro is a leader in workflow management software for third party administrators, supporting more than 150,000 plans. Founded in 2010, PensionPro was created to help TPAs turn business assumptions and expectations into profits. In the increasingly complex world of pension management, PensionPro provides clarity through the collection and organization of data across clients, departments, and locations.