In PensionPro, Distributions—also referred to as Distribution Projects—are a specialized type of Project that contains additional functionality for processing distributions from Plan funds. Distributions provide a customized Workflow like any other Project, but store additional data related to the distribution itself, as well as the participant receiving it. This article aims to provide a thorough understanding of Distribution functionality in PensionPro. For a more simplified look at Distributions, the article Distributions: An Overview serves as a good starting point.


Tier Availability: Business

Security Rights Required: Add/Edit Projects


Article Contents






Before using Distributions for the first time, ensure that the following items have been set up to meet the firm's requirements.



Enabling Distributions for Plans


Distributions must be enabled for each Plan that uses them. To enable distributions:


  1. Open the Plan in a new Plan tab.
  2. Select the General view from the list on the left. The General Plan Information grid displays.
  3. Select Editedit.png at the top-right of the grid. The Edit General Plan Information window displays.
  4. Select the Distributions Enabled setting, located near the bottom of the window.
    • Internal Plan must not be selected.
    • If Distributions will be used with PlanSponsorLink, ensure that Enable Plan to Display on PSL is selected, and Enable Distributions on PSL Distributions Tab is set to Show.
  5. Select Save.


When enabled, the Distributions view will be available in the Views list on the left side of the Plan tab.


As a safeguard, this setting must be updated individually on a Plan-by-Plan basis; it cannot be updated via Power Tools.



Project Templates


In essence, a Distribution is a Project with additional features. This means that all Distributions are launched from a Project Template, which defines the Workflow for processing the distributed funds. The following criteria are required for Distribution Projects:


  • The Project Type of the Template must be set to Distribution, which instructs PensionPro to enable Distribution-related functions.
  • Frequency must be set to Non-Recurring. Distributions cannot be launched on a recurring basis.


All other criteria can be customized freely. For more information, refer to the article Project Templates. A sample Template for terminations can be found in the sidebar at the right (or at the bottom of the article on mobile devices).


If the functionality described in the following articles will be used, the Project Template should be updated appropriately:




Fee Schedules


Fees are a required item for launching Distributions. At the bare minimum, a default Fee Schedule Template should be added within PensionPro Preferences containing all the Fees that will be used for Distributions.


If no other action is taken, the above Fees will be used globally for all Plans. If Fee requirements differ on a per-Plan basis, Fee Schedules containing the applicable Fees should be added to each Plan. Additionally, ensure that the Plan Fee Schedules option is enabled in Distribution Preferences.


For more information, refer to the article Fee Schedules.



Distribution Fields


Distribution Fields track participant- and distribution-related information on the Distribution tab. However, not all fields are useful for every Distribution type. These fields can be customized and organized into groups. One of these groups is applied to the Distribution when it is launched. For more information, refer to the Field Names & Field Setup section of the article Distribution Preferences.



Association Rules


Association Rules are customizable rulesets that automatically apply the correct Project Template, Distribution Fields, and Fee to a new Distribution based on the Reason and Plan Type. When used correctly, Association Rules greatly simplify the process of launching Distributions. For more information, refer to the Association Rules section of the article Distribution Preferences.





Although not required, Distributions can pull in relevant participant data from the employee census that is provided by the Plan Sponsor during Annual Data Collection. Refer to the article Annual Administration Projects for instructions on using Annual Data Collection.



Launching Distributions


Once the above criteria is established, a Distribution Project may be launched for any Plan that has Distributions enabled.


A Distribution can be created from two places:


  • Via the Navigation Panel, by selecting Add Data > Distribution.
  • Via the Plan tab > Distributions view, by selecting Addadd.png at the top-right of the Plan Distributions grid.


Either of these actions will open the Add Distribution window, where the following steps can be performed to launch the Distribution:


  1. Use the Plan field to search for and select the desired Plan.
    • This step is not required when launching the Distribution from the Plan tab.
  2. Select the Distribution Reason.
    • The list of Reasons is maintained by PensionPro and cannot be edited.


As soon as the Plan and Reason fields are determined, PensionPro will check the established Association Rules and attempt to automatically determine the appropriate entries for the Template, Fee Schedule, and Fee Item fields.


  1. Enter the SSN of the participant requesting the Distribution.
    • (Optional) Select Searchfind.png at the right of the SSN field to search for a participant record from employee census information previously submitted during Annual Data Collection. If a match is found, the First Name and Last Name fields will automatically populate with the appropriate information.
  2. Enter or adjust the First Name and Last Name of the participant.
  3. (Optional) Select an Investment Provider.
    • This dropdown contains any entries found in the Plan tab > Investment Providers view that have not been terminated.
  4. Select or confirm the Project Template.
    • This field will be populated based on Association Rules. An alternate Template may be selected.
  5. If available, select or confirm the Fee Schedule.
    • This field will be populated based on Association Rules; see the notes on Fee Determination, below.
  6. Select or confirm the Fee Item.
    • This field will be populated based on Association Rules; see the notes on Fee Determination, below.
  7. Select Save to create the Distribution, or Save & Open to create the Distribution and open it immediately in a new Distribution tab.



Fee Determination


PensionPro uses a number of factors to determine the Fee Schedule and Fee Item applied to the Distribution.


  1. First, PensionPro references Association Rules to identify the desired Fee Item.
  2. If Fee Schedules have been added to the Plan, PensionPro searches any active Schedules to determine if the Fee Item exists within them.
    • If the Fee Item is contained in a single active Fee Schedule, that Fee Schedule and Fee Item are returned. Any other Fee Item contained in the Fee Schedule may be selected from the Fee Item dropdown instead.
    • If the Fee Item is contained in multiple Fee Schedules, PensionPro returns the oldest active Schedule. Any Fee Schedules containing the item can be selected from the Fee Schedule dropdown.
  3. If the Fee Item cannot be found within any active Plan Fee Schedules, or if Plan Fee Schedules are not being used, PensionPro references the default Fee Schedule Template as specified in Distribution Preferences. In this case, the Fee Schedule field is not used.
    • If the Fee Item is found in the default Fee Schedule Template, it is returned. Otherwise, a different Fee must be selected.
    • Any Fee Item contained in the default Template may be selected from the Fee Item dropdown.



The Distribution Tab


Functionally, Distributions are nearly identical to Projects. Much of the information found in the articles The Project Tab, Launching & Managing Projects, and Tasks and Workflow is applicable to Distributions.


The most important distinction between a Distribution and any other Project is the addition of a Distribution view category in the Views list on the left side of the Distribution tab. This category contains the following views:


  • Information: This view records data about the distribution and the participant. The fields present in this view are the Distribution Fields that were discussed at the beginning of this article, and may be customized as necessary. If SSN was used to retrieve participant information from an employee census, some fields in this view may automatically populate with relevant census data.
  • Vesting: Vesting information is tracked on this view, including the vesting source, years of service, vested amount, and vesting percentage. Multiple vesting entries can be added if necessary.
  • 1099: This view contains a number of fields used to track information for the purposes of completing a Form 1099 for the Distribution.



Launching Distributions via Power Tools


In addition to launching Distributions separately for each participant, multiple Distributions can be created at once using Power Tools. Note that the Add Distributions Power Tool can only create Distributions for a single Plan at a time. Participants can be selected from existing census data, or imported via Excel workbook template.


Security Rights Required: Access Power Tools


To launch multiple Distributions:


  1. Navigate to Power Tools > Distributions > Add Distribution. The Add Distributions Power Tool opens at Step 1.
  2. Use the Search a Plan field to search for and select the desired Plan.
  3. Select a Distribution Reason.
    • Once a Reason has been selected, Association Rules will take effect to populate the remaining fields, following the same process as detailed in the section Launching Distributions.
  4. Select a Template and Fee Item, along with a Provider and Fee Schedule, if applicable.
  5. Select either Yes or No for the Enable to Show on PSL Distributions Tab field.
    • This value dictates whether or not the Distribution can be viewed on PlanSponsorLink.
  6. Select the Participant Source. Options are Census Data or Import From Spreadsheet.
    • If Census Data is selected, participants will be chosen from existing census data during Step 2.
    • If Import From Spreadsheet is selected, a blank template can be downloaded via the Moremore_options.png menu at the top-right. Use the File Selection box to import the completed template.
  7. Select Next.
  8. In Step 2, select the desired participants from the grid.
  9. Select Next.
  10. Review the changes to be applied in Step 3, then select Execute.


Upon completion of the Power Tool, a Distribution Project will be launched for all participants selected in Step 2.



Frequently Asked Questions


  • Is there a way to display the participant name for Distributions on the Dashboard?
    Yes. On the Dashboard, select Columnscolumns.png at the top-right of the grid, then add the Project Description column. By default, the Project Description is populated with the participant's name when the Distribution is launched.

  • I Launched a Distribution with the Participant's name entered incorrectly. Can I update their name?
    Yes. This can be done from the Distribution tab > Information view. Updating the participant name in this view does not update the name within the Project Description (which displays the participant's name in Dashboards and other areas). If desired, this can likewise be updated from the Summary view.

  • Can I search for completed Distributions in PensionPro?
    Yes; refer the article Searching & Search Preferences for instructions on showing completed records in search results.