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Transamerica Launches Higher Education Multiple Employer 403(b) Plan

The plan helps private colleges and universities simplify plan administration, manage fiduciary responsibilities, take advantage of expert plan management, and receive economies of scale in administrative and investment pricing.

By Rebecca Moore editors@plansponsor.com | September 19, 2016

Transamerica Retirement Solutions introduced the HigherEd Retirement Consortium, a new 403(b) multiple employer retirement plan designed to help private colleges and universities merge their employee retirement plans in order to simplify plan administration, manage fiduciary responsibilities, take advantage of expert plan management, and receive economies of scale in administrative and investment pricing.

The company explains that a multiple employer plan is used by institutions that are not commonly owned or affiliated, but typically have a common interest, such as membership in a trade association. The primary sponsor leads the plan, takes over day-to-day plan administration duties, and assumes certain fiduciary responsibilities for the plan. Other institutions, known as adopting institutions, adopt the plan to help their faculty and staff save for retirement.

"Transamerica is bringing the first 403(b) multiple employer retirement plans to private higher education institutions. Higher-ed faculty and staff can save more for retirement due to the lower fee structure that results from pooling the assets of many plans into a single multiple employer plan. Adopting institutions can save time on plan administration and receive increased administrative protection," says Jim Kais, senior vice president at Transamerica Retirement Solutions. "This can create more peace of mind for faculty and staff, along with the adopting institution.

"A multiple employer plan also offers administrative savings on audit fees, document preparation, and filing fees," Kais adds. "Transamerica offers added administration protection for both the primary sponsor and the adopting institutions, because Transamerica pledges full 3(21) fiduciary coverage for all administrative services that we provide for the plan."

Transamerica's 403(b) multiple employer plans offer an open architecture investment platform with no proprietary fund requirements. The primary sponsor takes responsibility for selecting and monitoring the plan's investment lineup, monitoring all plan fees, and implementing prudent due diligence and fiduciary processes. This is another example showing how the primary sponsor offers fiduciary support to adopting institutions. 

Attorneys from Groom Law Group provided a memorandum to Transamerica defining the meaning of the term “closed multiple employer plan;” reviewing how the multiple employer plan (MEP) rules apply to Code section 401(a) qualified plans; providing a brief overview of Code section 403(b) plans; and reviewing how certain multiple employer plan rules could be applied to a closed Code section 403(b) MEP. The memorandum may be requested from http://yourta.com/2cXICbq.

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