Securian Financial

Amy Kirkwood and Chandra Nippoldt helped Forte Automation Systems shut down its plan as it went through bankruptcy.
Securian Financial, Amy Kirkwood and Chandra Nippoldt
Securian Financial, Amy Kirkwood and Chandra Nippoldt
  • Client
    Forte Automation Systems
  • Industry
    Manufacturing
  • Client Headquarters
    Machesney Park, Illinois
  • Plan Assets/Participants
    $3.5MM/28

BIOS: Amy Kirkwood is a customer operations specialist with Securian Financial, where she has worked for the past 12 years. Chandra Nippoldt, a senior account manager, has been with Securian Financial for the past 21 years.


Tami Henderson,
co-owner of Forte Automation Systems, says, “I have had the honor and pleasure of offering this 401(k) plan to my employees for years, since the mid-1990s. The 401(k) was my star benefit. However, it is with a very sad heart that in September of 2019, our bank enforced an Article 9. Forte is no longer in business after 33 years.”

Henderson says the first call she made after receiving this news was to Securian Financial.

Senior Account Manager Chandra Nippoldt says, “When a company goes bankrupt, it’s a difficult situation for all involved, so at Securian Financial we carefully consider how to make the transition for clients and participants as easy as possible. Effective communication is essential.

“Once we know a plan termination needs to occur due to bankruptcy,” she continues, “we talk with the client to determine how the plan termination is going to work and then provide a plan termination package detailing the process. Next, we determine the final contribution with the client or lien holder. Once that’s received, we complete the final year-end testing and then complete the final Form 5500 with the payout of all assets.”

Customer Operations Specialist Amy Kirkwood adds that, before distributions can be made to participants, “all administrative work, including the annual administrative testing and contributions, must be completed. Once the administrative work is complete, we can begin processing distributions. The goal is to have all distributions processed within 90 days.”

Kirkwood says she works in plan terminations and is familiar with the process. “I recognize that it is a stressful time for plan sponsors, so I try to help make shutting down the plan as seamless as possible,” she says. “Their experience leaving Securian Financial is met with the same attentiveness and care as when we form new client relationships.”

Nippoldt concurs about trying to make the process easy, and “I provide the plan administrator all the necessary information to communicate with participants. Anything I could do to make Tami’s life a little easier in a difficult situation was well worth the effort. She was very grateful for the service we provided.”

Lee Barney

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