EPIC Retirement: Services, Resources & Ratings
Retirement plans come in handy when it comes to assuring an individual’s financial security once the time comes to live their lives in retirement.
Unlike pension plans, where an employer has absolute control over an employee’s contributions, 401 (k) plans are under the control of an employer. That’s where recordkeeping comes in, to ensure transparency and more effective administration.
Companies that offer recordkeeping and Third-Party Administration (TPA) services are not useful to both participants and their employees or plan sponsors.
In this article, you will learn more about Epic Retirement Plan Services in relation to recordkeeping, to help you decide whether or not it’s a recordkeeping service provider worth hiring.
Who is Epic Retirement Plan Services?
Founded in 1993, Epic Retirement Plan Services is a service provider that focuses on providing recordkeeping (mainly 401(k) recordkeeping), actuarial, administration, marketing, and communication solutions to parties that need them.
This company serves parties such as investment advisors, third-party administrators, trust companies, and banks.
The public company is based in Rochester, New York even though it has offices in other locations such as St. Louis in Missouri, Peoria in Illinois, and Portland in Maine.
This company uses a combination of an open-architecture platform, world-class client services teams, and relationship managers to ensure that clients benefit from custom-designed solutions.
Having been in business for approximately 27 years now means that the company has gained enough experience throughout the years to be able to serve a wide range of consumers that can benefit from retirement plan consulting and recordkeeping services.
With 51-200 employees, 165 of whom are on LinkedIn, this company has sufficient staff to cater to the unique needs of different customers.
More about 401(k) Recordkeepers
As mentioned earlier, Epic Retirement Plan Services specializes mainly in 401(K) recordkeeping.
Even though a majority of the retirement plan participants have become more familiar with 401(k) plans, not so many employees actually know a lot about the recordkeepers tasked with handling their plan records.
In the simplest terms, a 401(k) recordkeeper such as Epic Retirement Plan Services is tasked with the bookkeeping of your 401(k) plan, hence the name.
The main tasks that such a recordkeeper handles that are important to a participant, or employer/plan sponsor are tracking the plan participants, their investments, and how they contribute or draw money from their plans.
Epic Retirement Plan Services and other 401(k) recordkeepers are fairly passive players, which means that they are not tasked with duties such as offering advice or tracking whether a plan meets IRS requirements while also being compliant.
So, what exactly are recordkeepers tasked with?
As you probably know by now, a recordkeeper owns the website where employees can log in, and keep track of their account data in relation to the plan that they are participants in. Here is a quick summary of what recordkeepers do and don’t do.
Tasks that a Epic 401(k) recordkeeper covers
- Enrollment of employees
- Managing and tracking employee investments
- Managing and keeping records of 401(k) loans and hardship withdrawals
- Generating 401(k) plan documents that employers are supposed to give their employees (things such as the benefits of a 401(k) plan, how the plan is administered, etc.) A majority of recordkeepers send these documents to the employees at a given fee.
- Issuing statements to participants
- Recording the origins of contributions (capturing details of whether contributions are pre-tax contributions, employer pre-tax match, Roth, etc.)
- Offering customer support
- Tasks not covered by recordkeepers
- Offering investment advice
- Managing compliance work on a plan
- Assisting with the plan design
- Signing the Form 5500
- Educating and bringing employees on board
How would a 401(k) recordkeeper be important to a potential retiree?
As expected, you will want to know how Epic Retirement Plan Services or any other recordkeeper, in that case, will be beneficial to you while planning for retirement.
The main reason why a recordkeeper is important to a potential retiree is that they ensure that the funds in a 401(k) plan are used for your benefit.
That’s in consideration that as an employee, your assets are pooled with those of your co-workers.
As such, the recordkeeper will keep track of your money to know how much you have invested, and what types of money you have in your retirement plan (e.g., Rollover contributions, Employer matching, etc.).
Keep in mind that different types of money in a retirement plan should be treated differently.
A good example is that when you leave your job, you have the right to take 100% of your rollover money. You can only take the full amount of your employer matching money, on the other hand, if you are 100% vested.
As a recordkeeper, Epic Retirement Plan Services is there to make this happen by keeping track of which dollars are which.
Will you pay Epic Retirement Plan to use their services?
One of the main concerns that almost every other potential employee has when using the services of a recordkeeper like Epic Retirement is whether they will be charged.
That’s understandable, taking into consideration that the main goal of using a retirement plan is to save money where possible.
In such a case, there are two possibilities. Your employer may decide to be generous enough to cover the costs for you to keep the investment costs inside the plan low so that employees can benefit.
If that does not happen, you will have to pay a specific amount on a recurring basis to receive the services.
Since the fee is deducted from your account, you can always keep track of the charges to ensure that everything goes on as expected.
That’s where Epic Plan’s Smart(k) and MyHsa solutions come in. With these, you can keep track of your information to ensure that everything’s running smoothly.
What solutions does Epic Retirement Plan offer to aid effective retirement?
Epic Retirement Plan Services provides a range of solutions and resources that target different groups, all with the aim of making it easier for participants to transition into retirement.
Here are the main solutions and services that this recordkeeping and consulting service provider offers:
1. Epic Solutions for banks and trust companies
This is a product that aims to deliver effective recordkeeping and administrative support to make it possible for banks and trust companies to offer the best retirement plans.
This solution has the following main features:
- Custody and paying agent support
- Daily valuation and balance forwarding recordkeeping and administration
- Prototype plan document services
- Compliance testing and signature-ready Form 5500
- Sales and marketing support
- Branded participant and plan sponsor experiences
- Participant communication and education tools
The participant communication and education tools feature targets you as a potential retiree on a more direct basis in a sense of helping you to make informed, educated decisions.
With this feature, it is notable easier to keep the participant updated with information through statements and communications.
In addition, the SmartPlan offering is aimed at making banks and trust institutional setups more trustworthy to participants as advisors.
That way, it becomes possible for them to connect with potential retirees at a deeper level with the aim of encouraging better participation and savings.
2. Solutions for advisors
Since advisors are supposed to provide their clients with trustworthy services, Epic Retirement Plan Services comes in to provide solutions that pave way for that.
The features included in the package for banks and trust companies are the same provided to advisors.
3. Epic solutions for Third Party Administrators (TPAs)
TPAs are also involved in the process of helping potential retirees to meet their end objective. In that light the solutions that Epic Retirement offers come in handy to make it possible for TPAs to cater to the needs of participants in the best way possible.
4. Defined benefit and actuarial solutions
The main aim of Epic’s benefit and actuarial solutions is to ensure that clients have the consulting service and resources required to assist with broadening their practice.
This solution has the following features:
- Plan document services such as plan amendments
- Actuarial valuation and certification
- Participant services such as the preparation of periodic benefit statements about accumulated and projected participant retirement benefits
- Reporting and compliance
- Consulting services
Resources offered by Epic Retirement Plan services
In addition to the solutions mentioned above, Epic Retirement Plan Services also has the following services to assist with easier retirement processes:
Whereas participants will obviously not these sources of information, they will benefit indirectly through receiving better services.
The partner resources that Epic Retirement Plan Offers on its website are:
- Marketing materials
- Solution overviews
- Proposal design & new plan requests
- Online features & services
- Epic insight webinars
- Advisor connect
Plan sponsor resources
Just like with partner resources, plan sponsor resources also come in handy to ensure that the plan sponsor gives the plan participants the best services that they deserve.
The following are the main resources that Epic offers in connection to that:
- Go-Retire website tutorials
- Plan sponsor newsletters
- Participant resources
These ones are directly aimed at participants to help them in making informed decisions that are related to their retirement life.
These resources, as listed on Epic’s website, include:
- Financial calculators
- Go-Retire web tutorials
- Participant newsletters
- Retirement education center
- Mobile apps
In addition to these products and services, Epic Retirement Plan Services has two main portals where participants can keep track of their information.
The MyHSA and the Smart(k) platforms come in handy when it comes to keeping the participants updated and in control of the information related to them.
That way, if as a participant, you ever realize that something is not working as it should be, you can always reach out to receive assistance where applicable.
Epic Retirement Plan services has an intuitive website where you can easily reach the customer support team with any queries that you may have concerning your records.
How are Epic Retirement Plan Services rated across different platforms?
Even though this company is not rated or endorsed by setups such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the different ratings from customers may do a great job of determining whether this company is worth considering.
The company has a total rating of 4.7 out of 5 from the employees, which means that the working environment is friendly and a productive one.
As you can expect, happy employees are able to be more productive at work, which means that the customers will be more satisfied.
This company has only two reviews published on Google, and while these may not offer great insight when it comes to determining whether this company is beneficial to potential employees, they can give a clue.
Since both reviews are positive with a rating of five stars each, it may be safe to conclude that this company gets the job done.
What are the main pros and cons of choosing Epic Retirement Plan Services?
Going by the information available from the different online platforms, there is not enough customer engagement to make the perfect conclusion about the benefits and disadvantages associated with this company. But that does not mean that there is not any.
- Good customer service
- Friendly prices
- Enough resources to keep all parties informed
- Helpful solutions for potential retirees
- A well-designed website that makes it easier for participants to stay on track of their information and raise any concerns that they may have.
Not everything that you may need to know about the company is available on its website, which means that you may have to make a few inquiries.
Final thought: Is this company worth it?
Going by the little information available online, this company offers great customer service and has a good working environment to keep the employees motivated when it comes to providing industry-leading services.
One of the main reasons for the scarce information about the company online is that it is passively involved, as mentioned earlier.
But if we were to consider the little positive facts such as 27 years in business, this company is definitely worthwhile.