Blue Ridge ESOP Associates can provide everything you need to administer your ESOP, 401(k) or combination ESOP/401(k) plan. Our full service outsourcing, which can include participant on-line services, provides worry-free assistance for your HR or Benefits staff, leaving them free to concentrate on other responsibilities.
Our 401(k) administrator is absolutely phenomenal. She has done a great job and was incredibly efficient and very proactive on getting questions answered. The audit this year was painless because of her diligence along with the BREA team.
Mary Dillon, Craig Technologies.
Full Service 401k Administration
We offer a comprehensive range of 401(k) services – from design to installation to recordkeeping, administration and consulting. We can help you customize a plan that meets the needs of your company and your participants.
While we can provide the typical 401(k) services offered by many third party administrators, what sets us apart are a consultative approach to plan services and our holistic approach to administration of multiple plans. When you provide more than one qualified plan to your employees, plan administration should be done in harmony. The delivery of compliance services should be seamless. Our process ensures that one validated census is used for compliance testing, including the tests that apply to your separate plans and those that apply to your retirement plans as a whole. If tests fail, we explain why and look for ways to improve test results.We deliver reports but we also explain them and offer objective recommendations.We’re happy to share our recommendations or information you authorize with your financial advisors or accountants.
With respect to daily record keeping, we work with many platforms, including those that offer open architecture and access to thousands of mutual funds and many fund families. We coordinate the delivery of all services and ensure that participant vesting and other records are kept up to date and ensure that all loans and distributions are processed properly. Our flexibility in working with many recordkeeping platforms lets us offer the right solution for the customer with no proprietary fund constraints for participants. As an independent firm, we have no asset-based charges and all fees are fully disclosed.
A dedicated team of ESOP and 401(k) specialists provides a coordinated approach to the delivery of services for both plan
Plan sponsor sends census, ownership and officer data, etc. to one service team
Service team coordinates census scrub, contribution calculations, determination of deduction limits and delivery of reports for plan sponsor
Service team provides coordinated determination of highly compensated and key employees and summary of nondiscrimination testing
Combined plan testing (top heavy and annual additions) is completed through a coordinated effort; excess annual additions corrections are completed through a coordinated effort, eliminating the need for the plan sponsor to serve as intermediary in providing 401(k) data to the ESOP administrator for combined testing
BREA provides the plan sponsor with a dedicated single point of contact for all 401(k) plan record keeping, administration and other questions, eliminating the runaround that comes from dealing with multiple vendors or different service personnel. Unfortunately, some daily record keepers give plan sponsors the runaround, with telephone transfers from the “relationship manager” to the “ distribution unit” to the “compliance unit, and beyond. BREA does not let you get lost in the shuffle.
Plan auditors deal with one service team with respect to audit requests
The BREA service team delivers a proactive and consultative approach to plan administration and compliance services, with a focus on timeliness and technological innovation
BREA professionals have significant breadth of experience in providing ESOP and 401(k) administration and compliance services. Many of our Directors have over 20 years of ESOP and 401(k) experience and some are specialists in both areas
Working with our 401(k) alliance partners, we provide an arrangement in which the daily record keeper handles what it does best – processing transactions, updating accounts daily, providing web access, participant 401(k) call centers – while testing and compliance services are handled by a service team at Blue Ridge that specializes in those services. Daily record keepers are best at daily transaction processing; they will bundle in testing and compliance services as an accommodation. Often, the people in their compliance unit who are running the nondiscrimination tests do not know the client or their business and may not be readily available to explain test results such as a failed ADP test and may not be available to discuss possible courses of action to ensure that future tests pass – i.e., automatic enrollment, safe harbor formulas, etc. In addition, the compliance unit may not have a census scrubber routine and the compliance testing unit’s software and systems may be disassociated from the daily record keeping system. Furthermore, certain daily record keepers put the burden on the employer to identify “highly compensated” employees for testing purposes rather than using pension software that assists in the identification of HCEs. BREA does not operate in this fashion and never will.
Our knowledgeable and qualified staff performs all the required compliance for your 401(k) plan in a timely manner. Plan Administration includes (but is not limited to) the following services:
Plan document services & forms
Signature-ready Form 5500 series & all related 5500 schedules
Summary Plan Description (SPD)
Summary Annual Report (SAR) for participants
Contribution calculations and allocations, including support for cross-tested plans
Plan sponsor summary and compliance reports
Auditor reports and plan audit assistance
Compliance (ADP/ACP, Top Heavy, 415, Coverage, Compensation, 402(g))
For balance forward plans, Blue Ridge offers an integrated, secure participant recordkeeping and trust accounting system. For daily valued plans, Blue Ridge works with select alliance partners to deliver participant recordkeeping. Blue Ridge provides trust reconciliation services and coordinates the delivery of daily recordkeeping services. Participant Recordkeeping includes (yet not limited) to the following timely, accurate and quality services:
Daily & Balance forward recordkeeping
Participant loan origination and oversight
Maintenance of census, service and vesting records
Successful business relationships are built on understanding and trust. Blue Ridge ESOP Associates can assist your role as plan sponsor and fiduciary by providing:
We welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss your retirement plan needs. Contact Us.
154 Hansen Road, Suite 102
Charlottesville, Virginia 22911