Northshire Selects 401GO for Chambers of Commerce Platform

The partnership with the recordkeeper will focus on the firm’s National Chamber of Commerce Micro Market Solution.

Northshire Consulting, which works with chambers of commerce across the nation, has selected 401GO as the recordkeeper for its National Chamber of Commerce Micro Market Solution.

The solution allows chambers of commerce to offer a robust retirement plan and is designed for startup and small market plans to relieve them of many fiduciary duties and operational procedures.

“What we consistently hear from chambers is their desire to add value to their membership and bring new opportunities to the table,” Brian Williams, president of Northshire Consulting, tells PLANSPONSOR. “Chambers of commerce have had some revenue issues because they can’t hold events” due to the coronavirus pandemic and the related shutdowns. “They are also having trouble collecting membership dues and are not eligible for the PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] loans.

“Whether the solution is this micro market solution, a pooled employer plan [PEP] or an association retirement plan, Northshire can bring a full suite of options to chambers,” Williams continues, noting that Northshire Consulting selected 401GO as the recordkeeper for small chambers of commerce. For larger chambers, Northshire has partnered with Newport Group to create a pooled employer plan. These chambers of commerce can then, in turn, offer retirement plans to their members, Williams says.

“There are 50 to 60 million Americans who have no access to a retirement plan,” he notes. “Chambers are uniquely positioned to offer these plans to their members,” due to the association rule that came out a year ago that allows employers that are members of an association to form a group retirement plan.

Northshire says 401GO’s data infrastructure will integrate with its proprietary supplementary statement system and with local 401(k) advisers serving their respective chambers.

“With the association retirement plan ruling in July 2019 and the SECURE [Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement] Act passing in December, it paved the way for chambers to take a real leadership role in the financial wellness of their community,” Williams adds. “The chamber structure is uniquely positioned to be a trusted entity with their local businesses. Going forward, we believe chambers will play a key role in helping the 50 million American workers without access to a workplace retirement account.”

401GO was founded by entrepreneurs and business owners with an eye to provide small companies with a 401(k) plan that is intuitively easy to set up and administer. The founders say that the recordkeeping system does the work of three to four providers.

Jared Porter, CEO of 401GO, said he launched his platform in 2018 specifically to help small businesses set up retirement plans.

The company does not require users to put up capital up front, he says. There are no set-up, filing or document fees—only a $9 per participant monthly fee.

“Our platform combines the functions of recordkeeping with third-party administration, and we can work with financial advisers that are a 3(38) fiduciary,” Porter tells PLANSPONSOR. “We provide all of the administration through our platform, such as eligibility tracking, notifying participants when they have been automatically enrolled or handling withdrawal or loan requests. A chamber can set up a 401(k) platform within 15 minutes, and they can co-brand the platform.”

401GO is also available directly to small businesses.