The Standard is the marketing name for StanCorp Financial Group, Inc., and its subsidiaries. StanCorp Equities, Inc., member FINRA, wholesales a group annuity contract issued by Standard Insurance Company and a mutual fund trust platform for retirement plans. Standard Retirement Services, Inc. provides financial recordkeeping and plan administrative services. Investment advisory services are provided by StanCorp Investment Advisers, Inc., a registered investment advisor. StanCorp Equities, Inc., Standard Insurance Company, Standard Retirement Services, Inc., and StanCorp Investment Advisers, Inc., are subsidiaries of StanCorp Financial Group, Inc., and all are Oregon corporations.
Help Clients Ease Their Administrative Burden
Your retirement plan clients look to you and provider partners to help ensure that they are fulfilling their fiduciary obligations, including their ERISA mandated administrative duties.
Your services are especially valuable when you have a clear understanding of provider service models, including who can take responsibility for certain aspects of plan administration.
Understand the Administrative Requirements
ERISA requires plan sponsors to manage a number of administrative duties within specific timeframes. Some of these responsibilities are:
- Distribution of several annual participant notices, including Summary Plan Description, fund change, safe harbor, automatic enrollment and Sarbanes-Oxley blackout
- Management of enrollment eligibility determination and alerts
- Review and approval of loans, hardship withdrawals and QDROs
- Filing of Form 5500
- Ensuring loan defaults are done annually
- Distribution of corrected contributions for failed ADP/ACP test
- Distribution of RMDs
- Review of plan annually for cash-outs
The penalties for failing to manage these duties in a timely and accurate manner can be significant, and may include financial penalties or jail time.
Free to Focus on Greater Priorities
For a Chicago-based retail company with about 100 employees across the country, keeping up with complex and time-consuming ERISA administrative requirements was a challenge for the busy HR team. The plan’s advisor recommended Delegated Administrative Fiduciary Services from Standard Retirement Services, Inc. With The Standard now handling fulfillment of required participant notices — and assuming full fiduciary responsibility for their accurate and timely delivery — the HR staff has been freed up to focus on other priorities.
Bill Galanis, Relationship Manager, The Standard
Evaluate Provider Benefits
As you assess which provider is best aligned to support a client’s administrative needs, cost will probably be a top consideration.
It’s important to look beyond the fee page of a retirement plan proposal, however. Evaluate the hard and soft costs a plan sponsor may face by doing the work, including labor, postage, and equipment or systems upkeep.
Help your clients save money by recommending a provider who offers enhanced administrative support. Look for a provider who can:
Ease Administrative Burden
Many employers do not have full-time staff dedicated to plan administration. Providers who offer administrative support can free up employees so they can focus on other priorities.
Improve Accuracy and Timeliness
Some providers have systems in place for managing and automating certain responsibilities, so they can be completed correctly and on time.
No More Printer Jams and Nine Extra Days
One employer in the manufacturing industry was internally managing thousands of pages of required plan participant notices. They didn’t have the right equipment to print, stuff and mail that kind of volume, and it was creating significant work for the HR director and her staff. The plan’s advisor recommended that The Standard take over fulfillment of all plan notices. Since then, the employer has saved time and money — freeing up at least nine days a year for their administrative staff.
John O’Keefe, Relationship Manager, The Standard
Get Participants to Take Notice and Act
Typically, provider-generated communications are up-to-date, in compliance, and written for employees to easily understand and act on.
Remove Emotion from the Loan and Distribution Process
A seasoned provider can handle participant requests for loans, hardship withdrawals and QDROs with privacy, efficiency and care.
Deliver Fiduciary Oversight and Protection
Some providers can serve as an ERISA 3(16) Delegated Administrative Fiduciary, completing certain plan administration responsibilities while assuming fiduciary responsibility for their accurate completion.
Jared's Story: Time for Family
Age: 36 - Occupation: pediatrician - Married, one child
How the Family Care Benefit provided the ability to care for a loved one
Jared's daughter was born with a heart defect. They visited multiple specialists to diagnose the condition and determine the appropriate treatment. Then his daughter underwent surgeries, hospital stays and months of follow-up appointments. Benefits from Jared’s Platinum Advantage policy helped make up for the income lost when Jared spent time away from work to attend physician appointments and to be with his daughter in the hospital and throughout her extended recovery — providing peace of mind during a trying time.
Supportive Office Equipment
Age: 42 - Occupation: accountant - Married, no children
Assistance on the road to recovery through a rehabilitation program
Jody's role as an accountant at a small firm requires a lot of computer work. After sustaining a serious back injury from a car accident, Jody was totally disabled under her Platinum Advantage policy. Jody’s doctor recommended she purchase assistive equipment to help her work comfortably at her desk without aggravating her condition. She was able to return to work full time after participating in a rehabilitation program in which expenses for a sitstand desk and other ergonomic accommodations were paid for under her Platinum Advantage policy. These modifications helped ensure she could return to work safely, without hindering her recovery.
David's Story: Starting a Medical Career
Age: 33 - Occupation: dermatology physician - Single, no children
Benefits that match career growth through the Benefit Increase Rider
David is completing his dermatology residency and just accepted an offer at a private practice. Before the end of his residency, he purchased a Platinum Advantage policy that included the Benefit Increase Rider, knowing his income will rise significantly after he starts his first post-residency job. The benefit also will allow his policy to grow with him as he progresses in his career and receives additional salary increases. David values the fact that his coverage going forward will match his developing career.
Jason's Story: Accidents Happen
Age: 35 • Occupation: orthopedic surgeon • Married, two children
Finding work in a new occupation with the Own Occupation Rider
Jason injured his right hand in an accident and was unable to return to his job as an orthopedic surgeon because he couldn't perform surgery. Due to his medical training, he was able to return to work as a family medicine physician. Jason was considered totally disabled in his regular occupation as an orthopedic surgeon — even though he earns an income from another occupation as a family medicine physician — because of the own occupation definition of total disability included in his Platinum Advantage policy. Because of this, he receives the policy's full basic monthly benefit, in addition to the income he receives in his new position.