3(16) Fiduciary Services

3(16) Plan Administrators are named in the Plan Document and have a fiduciary responsibility for the day to day operation of the retirement plan.

Some of their responsibilities include:

  • Select and monitor service providers
  • Determining eligibility
  • Ensure timely deposit of contributions
  • Interpret plan provisions
  • Approve or reject loans and withdrawals
  • Fix operational errors
  • Maintain records
  • Obtain and monitor Fidelity Bonds
  • Sign Plan Documents
  • File Form 5500
  • Provide participant disclosures and notices

Employers who sponsor plans may assume that the TPA is a fiduciary over these items but in fact, they are not. A TPA will assist you with completing the tasks needed to comply with your fiduciary responsibility; however, it is actually the Plan Administrator (usually the Employer) that is responsible for making sure each task is complete and accurate.
Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc. will help reduce your fiduciary liability and workload.

We offer three individual service modules for 3(16) administration so you can customize our service offering to meet your needs:


Plan document

  • Adopt and Maintain Plan Document
  • Adopt amendments to comply regulatory and discretionary changes
  • Interpret plan document

Nondiscrimination & Testing

  • Authorize corrective action, refunds and/or distributions for nondiscrimination testing and annual limit failures
  • Adopt amendments to correct nondiscrimination and coverage failures

Distribution, Loans & QDRO

  • Receive and authorize participant distribution and loan requests
  • Verify and authorize allowable amounts for distributions and loans
  • Authorize (payroll provider) to remove loan payments from payroll
  • Communicate with participants regarding distribution and loan issues, authorization, and denials
  • Receive proposed QDRO submissions and determine validity
  • Advise parties of the receipt of proposed QDRO and provide copy of QDRO procedure
  • Approve segregation QDRO balance and authorize distribution to alternate payee

Reporting and Other

  • Sign government forms
  • Monitor and Review Fidelity Bond


  • Determine eligibility
  • Provide enrollment materials: enrollment forms, beneficiary designation and elections
  • Receive, review and retain completed elections
  • Provide completed elections to fund holders, payroll service, and Plan sponsors
  • Review and ensure auto-enroll & auto-increase procedures
  • Confirm salary deferrals and loan payments are properly reflected on pay date payroll reports
  • Submit salary deferrals and loan payments
  • Ensure timely remittance of salary deferrals and loan payments


  • Provide participant statements directly to the participants
  • Provide quarterly/annual notices to participants, including safe harbor, QDIA, investment disclosures for ERISA 404(c), 404(a)(5)
  • Provide summary annual reports
  • Provide Summary Plan Description and Summary of Material Modifications to participants
  • Provide, if applicable, blackout notices, notice of diversification rights, 204(h) notices
  • Locate Missing Participants.

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