SPARK Offers Options for Dealing with 403(b) Providers not Sharing Data

September 14, 2010 ( - The SPARK Institute has issued best practices to assist 403(b) plan sponsors dealing with investment providers not able or not willing to share participant data on a periodic basis.

The “Best Practices for 403(b) and Related Retirement Plans on Working with Vendors that are Unable or Unwilling to Share Information on a Periodic Basis” (“Best Practices for Working with Non-Compliant Vendors”) outlines some of the options available to plan sponsors in dealing with non-compliant investment providers. The document contains a chart that focuses on the requirements for including contracts in a plan and sharing information under Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b) and the regulations and guidance thereunder.  

“We believe that identifying plan sponsor best practices for situations where investment providers are not willing or able to adhere to participant data sharing standards will help plan sponsors address the resulting specific compliance concerns and ultimately stay in compliance with 403(b) regulations,” said Ralph R. Sanna, Director of Strategic Initiatives at TIAA-CREF, in a press release.  

Evan Giller of Giller & Calhoun, added: “With this document, The SPARK Institute is bringing clarity and practical suggestions to sponsors and service providers to help overcome a major obstacle to a successful information sharing process in 403(b) plans.  

The new document is available at