What is a 3(16) Plan Administrator?

The fiduciary who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of your Health & Welfare or Qualified Retirement Plan is a 3(16) Plan Administrator under ERISA.

For most companies, the Plan Sponsor typically assumes the role of Plan Administrator if no other fiduciary is hired to fulfill the position.

Your TPA is NOT a Plan Administrator

It is important to keep in mind that Third Party Administrators (TPAs) are not the same thing as a 3(16) Plan Administrator.

Your 3(16) Plan Administrator must be a prudent expert in ERISA compliance, and shares personal liability for the plan along with the Plan Sponsor.

On the other hand, a TPA typically performs “ministerial functions” for the plan — and does not take on a fiduciary responsibility.

The key benefit of hiring an independent fiduciary to serve as your 3(16) Plan Administrator is that he or she will monitor all TPAs and lower-level fiduciaries to ensure the entire operation is being run properly.

3(16) Fiduciary Services

As the fiduciary in charge of overseeing the day-to-day management and operations of your plan, the ERISA Advisory Group handles the following:

  • Act as 3(16) Plan Administrator – assuming all personal liability and management of day-to-day operations of the Plan
  • Monitor, Evaluate and Replace Service Providers 
  • Negotiate Service Agreements 
  • Prepare and Submit Government Filings (including Form 5500, M-1 and other relevant filings)
  • Review Plan Expenses
  • Transmittal of ACA Information to Employers
  • Maintain Summary Plan Description (SPD), Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), and Trust Agreements
  • Agent For Service to oversee all communications with government agencies, including the IRS, Department of Labor and other federal and state agencies
  • Review & Audit Vendors
  • Reduce Fees & Expenses
  • Prepare Annual Fiduciary Report
  • Distribute Participant Notices
  • Review Affiliate and Employer Member Applications To Group Health Plans
  • Conduct Financial Audit of plan financial statements
  • Oversee Contributions To Plan
  • Adjudicate Claim Disputes
  • Determine Eligibility of Participants
  • Determine Contribution Rates With Actuaries
  • Maintain Plan Records
  • Ensure Compliance with HIPAA Requirements

Enjoy Hands-off Planning & Compliance

As prudent experts in Health & Welfare and Retirement Planning, we will work to ensure your ERISA plan is both strategically-designed and legally compliant.

Since 1995, we have designed and implemented every type of Employee Benefit Plan for self-insured and fully-insured organizations, as well as all types of Retirement Plans.

Our goal is to take the duty of ERISA planning & compliance off your hands, so you can spend more time doing what you do best.

Contact Us To See If We’re A Good Fit

If you’re interested in hiring an ERISA independent fiduciary to serve as your 3(16) Plan Administrator, please schedule a free consultation to see if we can help.

Our President, William Kropkof, CEBS, will speak to you and answer any questions you may have.