Three Key Benefit Plan Questions to Ask Your Advisor

Written on September 5, 2018

This time of year is busy for benefit plan administrators, as you are working hard to wrap up projects and meet fall deadlines. Don’t forget that now may be the perfect time to evaluate your benefit plan and ask your advisor questions on issues that may be relevant to your organization. With this in mind, Warren Averett Benefit Consultants’ team has put together three questions you can ask your advisor to make sure that your benefit plan offering is where it should be.

Do I need to file a Form 5500 for my benefit plan?

Our team has seen an increase in the number of plan sponsors that were unaware of the requirement to file a Form 5500 for their health and welfare plan(s). Such plans potentially include health, vision, dental, life insurance, short-term and long-term disability and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plans. As with retirement plans, the 5500 must be filed no later than seven months following the end of the plan year. We shared more information regarding filing Form 5500s for Health and Welfare plans in this article.

What is my full range of options when it comes to benefit plans?

Warren Averett’s Benefit Consultants Group provides planning and administration for a range of benefit plans beyond commonly known plan types, such as 401(k)s. We provide services for all types of qualified retirement plans, such as a defined benefit plan or a money purchase pension plan. To get a better idea of what type of plan might be right for you, reach out to your advisor. You can also reference this Retirement Plan Comparison Chart to learn about the various retirement plan options that might be available to you.

Is my organization outgrowing our current benefit plan?

As your business grows and you hire more people, your needs change. It is a good idea for all companies to evaluate their plan and potential options regularly. It is especially important for companies who may have set up their benefit plan during a startup phase, but have entered a more advanced phase of business where cash flow is stable, to reevaluate their options. A benefit plan that was right for a company six years ago may not make sense anymore. For example, SEP and SIMPLE plans are often utilized by smaller companies because of the simplicity of operations. However, switching from such a plan to something like a new comparability 401(k) plan might enable the owner to better maximize his or her contribution under the plan. Check out this recent article to read more about this topic.

There are other trends and regulatory changes that might affect your benefit plan as well. The new tax reform has created new opportunities for defined benefit plan sponsors to take advantage of, or you may be thinking about auto enrollment or automatic escalation features to encourage participation in your plans. These are just a few of the many areas where Warren Averett Benefit Consultants is qualified and ready to assist.

You can click here to learn more about Warren Averett Benefit Consultants. Should you have any questions about these services, please reach out to your Warren Averett advisor or to the Benefit Consultants practice leader Kyle Bonds at Kyle.Bonds@warrenaverett.com.

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