The thought of transitioning from one service provider to another may be intimidating and overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be. If you work with an experienced conversion team, the transitioning process should be seamless. If a plan sponsor is unhappy with its current provider’s services and technology, it may very likely want to switch providers. Furthermore, if the plan sponsor feels it or its participants are not receiving sufficient value for the fees being charged, it may explore the idea of moving to a different provider.
To ensure the transition from the incumbent provider to the new provider happens smoothly, and with as little disruption to you and your staff, it is important to keep the following in mind:
- Conversions are typically a 90-day process
- You will most likely work with a conversion team of members from your advisor’s firm, your provider or both.
- Creating and adhering to a conversion timeline is crucial.
- Constant communication is key. Be sure to set aside time in your schedule for a multitude of both regularly scheduled as well as impromptu phone calls and emails.
- Gather important plan documents that will be requested of you – signed Plan Document, Summary Plan Description (SPD), most current 5500, Adoption Agreement and all amendments.
- Your payroll department will play an important role in the conversion. Be sure to keep them in the loop throughout the process.
Although the conversion process is cumbersome and time consuming, it encompasses a relatively brief time in the life of your retirement plan. Look forward to the enhancements a new provider brings to you and your participants.