TIAA-CREF Launches Signature Ready Form 5500 Service
Helps Clients Address New 403(b) Requirements; Teams with Deloitte
New York, February 04, 2010
TIAA-CREF today introduced its new Signature-Ready Form 5500 Preparation Service, in collaboration with Deloitte. The service is designed to assist ERISA-covered plans to simplify the Form 5500 filing process.
The Signature-Ready Form 5500 Preparation Service is the latest addition to a suite of services created to help 403(b) plan sponsors address their plan's financial reporting obligations, and is designed to help clients improve efficiency, manage costs and support compliance with reporting obligations.
"Many plans are now responsible for Form 5500 reporting for the first time under new guidance from the Department of Labor. We believe that our clients may be well-served by turning to a trusted professional to assist them in the preparation and filing process," said Paul Van Heest, who oversees retirement plan products at TIAA-CREF.
Signature-Ready Form 5500 Preparation Service provides plan administrators with personal support, step-by-step guidance and issue resolution, professional review, and reconciliation with the plan's audited financial statements. The optional service includes the preparation of Form 5500 and all applicable schedules, preparation of the Summary Annual Report (SAR), preparation of Form 8955-SSA, automatic filing extension through the completion and filing of Form 5558 (if necessary), and compliance with the electronic filing through EFAST2 mandated by the Department of Labor (DoL).
Recently announced research from the TIAA-CREF Institute1 shows that while nearly three-quarters of plan administrators believe they are fully compliant with the new 403(b) regulations, almost half of those surveyed acknowledged they have difficulty understanding those regulations. Form 5500 reporting requirements were chief among the plan administrators' areas of concern, with only about half indicating they were familiar with the requirement.
To provide the Signature Ready Form 5500 Preparation Service to clients, TIAA-CREF selected Deloitte, a premier professional services organization providing retirement plan tax and consulting services for more than 30 years. The service will utilize Deloitte's processes and technologies to facilitate efficient and accurate preparation of the Form 5500, and plan sponsors will have a dedicated, experienced contact to manage the process from start to finish.
Since early last year, TIAA-CREF has been educating its clients on the Form 5500 and audit requirements through administrator webinars and workshops, presentations and national, regional and local conferences, special mailings and by working closely with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
TIAA-CREF offers a suite of fiduciary and compliance services to help plan sponsors meet their fiduciary obligations and comply with 403(b) regulations. In addition to the TIAA-CREF Signature Ready Form 5500 Preparation Service, other services include plan document creation, investment consulting, and proactive loan and hardship compliance monitoring through its Compliance Coordinator service. TIAA-CREF also launched a new financial reporting package and audit support service this year and provides extensive communication and training for administrators, a comprehensive compliance guide and other services to help ensure plan administrators can meet their 403(b) plan compliance and fiduciary responsibilities.
The Signature Ready Form 5500 Preparation Service is now available for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2009. Plan sponsors interested in learning more about this or other TIAA-CREF services can do so by contacting their TIAA-CREF Managing Consultant.
TIAA-CREF (www.tiaa-cref.org) is a national financial services organization and the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields with $414 billion in combined assets under management (12/31/09).
"Deloitte" means Deloitte Tax LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.
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1 "Are Plan Administrators Prepared to Meet the New Regulatory Requirements? Results from the TIAA-CREF 403(b) Compliance Readiness Survey," TIAA-CREF Institute Trends & Issues, January 2010.
TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC and Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., members FINRA, distribute securities products.