PensionPro 2.0 - Annual Administration Projects

Looking for the Desktop version of this article?

 

Annual Administration Projects are a special Project type within PensionPro, and are provided with additional features to simplify the process of collecting and managing the necessary data. Most notably, these Projects begin with Data Collection, where Plan Sponsors can be directed to PlanSponsorLink in order to provide the information necessary to assist in the yearly filing of 5500 tax forms. Once collected, this data can be easily managed within PensionPro.

 

Tier Availability: Essential, Premium, Business

Add-On Availability: PlanSponsorLink, Distributions

Security Rights Required: Add/Edit Projects

 

Note: Some items may not be available in all tiers.

 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

Preferences

Prior to beginning a Project utilizing Data Collection, it is a good idea to review the PlanSponsorLink and Data Collection preferences found under Maintenance > Preferences > PensionPro. In particular, ensure that the preferences in the following views are set as desired:

 

  • General > Annual Data Collection
  • General > PlanSponsorLink
  • Web Steps > Annual Administration
  • Field Descriptions
  • PlanSponsorLink.com Collection Fields

 

For more details on these settings, refer to the article Creating/Maintaining PensionPro Preferences.

 

 

 

Project Templates

Once the preferences have been properly established, a Project Template will need to be created for the Annual Administration Project. A good Project Template can be reused across multiple Plans on a recurring basis. Most Annual Administration Project Templates will have Data Collection enabled and be launched at an annual frequency.

 

Project Templates can also be created in Microsoft Excel, then imported into PensionPro. A small selection of sample Annual Administration Templates in Excel workbook format can be found in the sidebar on the right-hand side of this page (or at the bottom of this page on mobile devices).

 

When using these Excel templates, note that the Project Manager field, as well as each Task's Role Assigned field, must be updated prior to import. Additional Task Groupings, Tasks, and Task Items should be added to match the firm's specific workflow.

 

For more information, refer to the article Building Project Templates.

 

 

 

Launching the Project

Once the Annual Administration Project is ready to be started, it can be launched per the instructions found in the article Launching Projects. The following sections discuss functionality relevant to launching Projects of this type.

 

 

Rolling Data Forward to a New Plan Year

If an Annual Administration Project was performed for the prior Plan year, much of the information supplied in the prior year's Data Collection step can be carried over into the following Plan year. This allows it to be edited—as opposed to re-adding the data annually—and helps prevent clerical errors.

 

Upon launching the Project, ensure that the Period Start Date is set as one day following the Period End Date of the prior year's Project. For example, if last year's Period End Date was 12/31, the current year's Period Start Date should be 1/1. If this is not properly established, the warning "No prior year data was found to roll forward" will display; if the Project is launched regardless, the data will not carry over.

 

 

Plan Cycles and Employer Data

Launching an Annual Administration Project with Data Collection will also create and link the corresponding Plan Cycle and Employer Data records for that Plan year. Updating any date for either the Project, Plan Cycle, or Employer Data will also update the same date in the remaining two locations.

 

This functionality is dependent on Data Collection; if the Annual Administration Project is launched without a Data Collection element, corresponding Plan Cycle and Employer Data records will not be created. These records can still be created manually, if necessary, but the records will not be linked, and updates must be made manually as well.

 

 

 

Blast Email for Census Requests

The first step of any Annual Administration Project is Data Collection, and that data must come from the Plan Sponsor(s). While the communication method used to request the yearly census data is ultimately up to the TPA or firm, PensionPro recommends utilizing its Blast Email feature. Blast Email allows for the creation of email templates to be reused for both Data Collection requests and reminders; it also simplifies Contact management, and stores a record of the email Interaction so that there is no more uncertainty over whether a reminder was sent or not.

 

Sending an Annual Administration Blast Email will automatically complete the first Task of the Data Collection Task Grouping.

 

For more information, refer to the article Using Blast Email for Data Collection.

 

 

 

PlanSponsorLink for Data Collection

The Data Collection activity is the process by which the required census data is entered into PensionPro. Similarly to census requests, there is no one singular method to accomplish this step; the TPA can even input the data directly into PensionPro manually, if preferred. However, directing Plan Sponsors to PlanSponsorLink.com—where they can add and manage the data themselves—is the most convenient method. Any changes made to data within PlanSponsorLink will immediately update for that Project within PensionPro. For more information, refer to the article Understanding the Data Collection Process on PlanSponsorLink.

 

 

 

Data Collection on the Project Tab

Whether or not Data Collection was performed via PlanSponsorLink, yearly census data can always be accessed and managed through the relevant views on the Project tab. This section provides details on all the views found under the Data Collection grouping within the Views Panel of the Project tab. For details about any other view, or for information on the Project tab itself, refer to the article The Project Tab.

 

The views within the Data Collection grouping on the Project tab—such as Company, Principals, and 5500—match the steps that are performed by Plan Sponsors using PlanSponsorLink, and the data contained in these categories is the same across the two applications.

 

Because Annual Administration Projects are performed on an annual basis, and the census data is rolled forward at Project launch, it is highly possible that some data remains unchanged from year to year. Additionally, Plan Sponsors can leave notes within PlanSponsorLink as they complete Data Collection. To notify the TPA of any updates, PensionPro displays an Alertalert.png icon next to each view in the Views Panel if the Plan Sponsor changed the data or left a note during that step. If data was changed during a step, Changed on PlanSponsorLink will appear in red text above the relevant grid. If a note was left for a step, it can be accessed by opening the corresponding view and selecting View Notecommunication.png to the top-right of the grid.

 

Most Data Collection views for Annual Administration Projects can be locked or unlocked in PlanSponsorLink by selecting More Optionsmore_options.png > Lock/Unlock. Locking a category marks its corresponding Task as complete and prevents the Plan Sponsor from making any changes in PlanSponsorLink. Unlocking a category removes any completion flags from its Task (and the Project as a whole, if it was also fully completed), and makes the category available for re-editing on PlanSponsorLink.

 

Additionally, most of the Data Collection views are lists of relevant records. In these cases, new records can be added by selecting Addadd.png to the top-right of the grid; additionally, hovering over a record will display Editedit.png and Deletedelete.png on the right-hand side.

 

The following subsections detail each Data Collection view for Annual Administration.

 

Note: During the process of managing Project information, many input fields populate their dropdown options by pulling in List Values. More information on List Values can be found in the article Maintaining List Values.

 

 

Request

The Request view displays the date that the Data Collection request was sent to Plan Sponsors.

 

Selecting Editedit.png from this view allows the entire Project to quickly be marked for deletion. The More Optionsmore_options.png menu provides a Download Report option to download everything submitted for Data Collection in Excel workbook format.

 

Request is the only step that does not display on PlanSponsorLink.

 

 

General

The General view contains any addresses and phone numbers provided for the Company. This information is displayed in two grids, with Addadd.png and More Optionsmore_options.png icons for each.

 

  • The following Address fields are required: Address, Address Type
  • The following Address field is a List Value located under Core > General: Address Type
  • The following Number fields are required: Number, Type
  • The following Number field is a List Value located under Core > General: Type

 

Selecting Send Emailmail.png will display a popup window, allowing the user to manually send a Data Collection Request email to a designated contact for the Plan. This can be used as a simpler—albeit less flexible—alternative to Blast Email. The default email subject and body, as well as the Contact Role that will receive the email, can be changed within Maintenance > Preferences > PensionPro, in the GeneralAnnual Data Collection view.

 

 

Company

The Company view contains Company details such as the EIN, Entity Type, and NAIC Business Code for the current Plan year. This information can be edited by selecting Editedit.png to the top-right of the grid.

 

  • The following fields are required: Month End, Year End (representing the Fiscal Year End)
  • The following fields are List Values located under Core > Client\Employer: Entity, Payroll Frequency

 

PensionPro retains separate Company records for each Plan year.

 

 

Principals

The Principals view contains information related to Company officers and ownership, including name, title, and percentage of the Company owned.

 

  • The following fields are required: Name, Title, Percent Owner
  • The following field is a List Value located under Core > Client\Employer: Title

 

 

Family

The Family view contains information about the family members of Company principals, including name and relationship.

 

  • The following fields are required: Name, Relationship, Related To
  • The following field is a List Value located under Core > Client\Employer: Relationship

 

 

Business

The Business view contains information about any additional owned businesses, including name, address, and EIN.

 

  • The following fields are required: Legal Name, Entity Type, Qualified Plan Sponsored
  • The following field is a List Value located under Core > Client\Employer: Entity Type

 

 

Contacts

The Contacts view populates with all Contacts listed as Plan Contact Roles for the Plan associated with the Project. Contacts cannot be directly edited from this view; however, double-clicking a record within the grid will open the Contact in a new Contact tab.

 

A Plan Sponsor viewing this step on PlanSponsorLink will see the following information for each Plan Contact:

  • Contact Name
  • Company
  • Email Address
  • Address
  • Number
  • Plan Role(s)
  • Website Right(s) for the Plan 

 

Plan Sponsors cannot make changes to this information directly, but can request that changes be made on a contact-by-contact basis. These requests will appear in the Requested Changes column on the Contacts view. Changes to Plan Contacts are made in the Contact Roles view of the Plan tab.

 

Warning: If a Contact is removed from all of their assigned Plan Contact Roles, the changes requested by the Plan Sponsor for that Contact will no longer be accessible.

 

 

Plan

The Plan view contains the answers the Plan Sponsor provided to the Employer Questionnaire. These questions can be customized within the Employer Questionnaire Task in the Project Template prior to launching the Project.

 

 

5500

The 5500 view contains the answers the Plan Sponsor provided to the 5500 Questionnaire. These questions can be customized within the 5500 Questionnaire Task in the Project Template prior to launching the Project.

 

 

Employees

The Employees view allows for viewing and managing Employee Census data provided by the Plan Sponsor. The data fields to be collected are determined by the Plan Type; they can be edited by navigating to MaintenancePreferencesPensionPro, selecting the PlanSponsorLink.com Collection Fields view, and double-clicking on the desired Plan Type.

 

In addition to receiving census data via PlanSponsorLink, individual records can be added directly from the Employees view by selecting Addadd.png to the top-right of the grid.

 

Selecting Errorerror.png displays any warnings or errors that PensionPro has detected with the Employee data.

 

The following additional functions can be accessed by selecting More Optionsmore_options.png to the top-right of the grid:

  • Delete All Employees will clear all census data. This action cannot be undone.
  • Export saves the current census data into an Excel workbook file.
  • Import will populate the Employee census from data saved in an Excel workbook file.
    • After a file is uploaded, a popup window will display any errors that PensionPro has detected with the template.
    • Importing an Employee census will overwrite any existing data. This action cannot be undone.
  • Copy Employees allows census data to be copied from other Plan Years.
    • This action will replace any existing census data; these changes cannot be undone.

 

Note: To generate an Employee census template, use More Optionsmore_options.pngExport. This option is available even when no census data exists in PensionPro.

 

The exported template contains the proper Collection Fields for the census as specified by the Plan Type. These column headings cannot be edited in any way, or the import will fail. The import will also fail if the Instructions worksheet is deleted.

 

 

Approval

The Approval view displays each step of the Data Collection process, along with the date that each step is completed. This provides a high-level view of the progress that Plan Sponsors have made on their Data Collection activities on PlanSponsorLink.

 

 

 

Protecting Collected Data

Additional Security Rights Required: Maintenance

 

PensionPro includes firm-wide functionality to protect data provided via PlanSponsorLink from accidental edits or deletion, preserving it exactly as submitted by the Plan Sponsor. To enable this layer of data protection, perform the following steps:

 

  1. From the Navigation Panel, select MaintenancePreferencesPensionPro
  2. In the Views Panel, expand the General list and select the Data Security view.
  3. Set the Lock Year End Data preference to Yes.

 

When Lock Year End Data has been enabled, Data Collection items are editable within PensionPro until the Plan Sponsor starts the Data Collection process in PlanSponsorLink. At that time, PensionPro users will no longer be able to add, edit, or delete any information presented in the Data Collection views. Not only does this preserve the integrity of the data that is submitted, but it also prevents any accidental overwriting of data that may occur if a PensionPro user and a PlanSponsorLink user are both making changes to Data Collection items at the same time.

 

If edits are required to any Data Collection items after the process is completed on PlanSponsorLink, the changes will need to be made by the Plan Sponsor. Selecting More Optionsmore_options.png Unlock from any Data Collection view on the Project tab will reopen that step on PlanSponsorLink. The Plan Sponsor can then be notified that changes are required and directed back to PlanSponsorLink.

 

 

 

5558 Extensions

If a 5558 Extension needs to be filed for an Annual Administration Project, PensionPro makes it easy to create and track this Extension Project as well.

 

If the project is Extendable (per the Project Template), a Create Extension button will appear on the Summary view of the Annual Administration Project. This opens the Choose an extension template window, where a 5558 Project Template can be selected. The newly-created Extension Project is automatically linked to the Annual Administration Project, and appears on the Annual Administration Project's Assoc. Projects view.

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I launch two different Annual Administration Projects for the same period against the same Plan? No; PensionPro is not designed to facilitate this scenario.
  • Am I notified when a Client makes changes to Data Collection on PlanSponsorLink? No direct notifications are provided when information is edited on PlanSponsorLink. However, an Alertalert.png icon displays next to any Data Collection step in the Views panel if edits were made to the data during that step. 
  • Data Collection has been completed, but there are changes that need to be made to the data. Can this be done without deleting the Project and starting again? Yes, although this process may be different depending on whether or not your firm has protected Data Collection information as discussed in the Protecting Collected Data section:
    • If Lock Year End Data is disabled, any Data Collection view within the Project tab can be unlocked for editing by selecting More Optionsmore_options.png Unlock. Updates can then be made within PensionPro.
    • If Lock Year End Data is enabled, Data Collection must be returned to the Plan Sponsor. As above, use More Optionsmore_options.png Unlock to unlock the steps that require edits, then direct the Plan Sponsor to PlanSponsorLink, where the Task will appear on their My Active Tasks dashboard. 
  • If I unlock a Task for Data Collection, will the Plan Sponsor receive an email notifying them that they will need to revisit that information? No. The Plan Sponsor will need to be notified that they should log in to PlanSponsorLink to complete or resubmit the data for that Task.
  • When importing an employee census, my Plan Sponsor is receiving an error that an employee's Separation Reason is invalid, even though this Collection Field is not marked as required. Why are they getting this error?  When Separation Reason is a Collection Field for the employee census, the acceptable responses are governed by List Values, located in the List Values tab under Core > Project. This prevents the Plan Sponsor from providing illegitimate separation reasons. A list of acceptable responses can be provided by editing the Field Descriptions, located in Maintenance PreferencesPensionPro; this description will be included in the Excel workbook that is downloaded when the Plan Sponsor exports a blank employee census template from PlanSponsorLink. For more information on Field Descriptions, refer to the article Creating/Maintaining PensionPro Preferences.