For recordkeepers and contract administrators (i.e., third party administrators or TPAs) to evaluate the readiness of their infrastructure to support compliance with substantially all operational requirements under ERISA and the Code.
Pooled Plan Service Provider Certification Mark
For 3(16) administrators, 402(a) named fiduciaries, and other operational fiduciaries under ERISA Section 3(21)(a)(iii).
Pooled Plan Administrator / Named Fiduciary Certification Mark
Also, our existing Investment Advisor and Steward certifications have optional scope enhancements to address their roles in Pooled Plans.
Why is Certification Important for Service Providers?
Employers are not equipped to evaluate hundreds of compliance duties. The U.S. retirement system has historically placed broad, unspecified compliance burdens on employers. Vendor contracts tend to provide finite lists of services and assume employers have comprehensive knowledge of the unspecified duties that remain theirs, and how to fulfill those duties, yet this is rarely the case. Service provider certification provides an objective mechanism for employers to evaluate service arrangements.
Meeting the “substantially all” compliance standard. The certification program identifies service providers with systems and procedures that provide an effective mechanism for fiduciaries to comply with substantially all operational requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”). The “substantially all” standard was created under the SECURE Act in 2019 to describe the responsibilities of pooled plan providers but serves as a proxy for evaluating comprehensive compliance in any service arrangement.
A Proving Ground for Pooled Plans and Their Fiduciaries. Broadridge Fi360 Solutions has developed a new CEFEX Standard for Operational Fiduciary Services in Pooled Plans (“CEFEX Operational Fiduciary Standard”) in response to the Secure Act and the growth of Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs). The Standard applies to all group retirement programs, including:
Why Get Certified Now?
CEFEX certification helps employers manage the dual burdens of knowing what must be done and understanding how it gets done. The statutory language describing the PPP role (i.e., that PPPs are responsible for “substantially all” obligations under ERISA and the Code) provides a reference point for all ERISA fiduciaries. Our certification is especially useful in light of: