3(16) Fiduciary Services

Designed to reduce the fiduciary liability and workload for business owners, 3(16) fiduciary services give employers more time to focus on running their company. The 3(16) Plan Administrator has a fiduciary responsibility for the daily operation of the retirement plan for tasks such as determining eligibility, fixing operational errors, and providing participant disclosures and notices.  Thus, helping employers keep tasks accurate and complete.

A 3(16) Plan Administrator’s Responsibilities Include:

  • Ensure timely deposit of contributions
  • Select and monitor service providers
  • Determining eligibility
  • Interpret plan provisions
  • Obtain and monitor Fidelity Bonds
  • Approve or reject loans and withdrawals
  • Fix operational errors
  • Maintain records
  • 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.

With our 3(16) Fiduciary Services, 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:

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
  • Advise parties of the receipt of proposed QDRO and provide copy of QDRO procedure
  • Communicate with participants regarding distribution and loan issues, authorization, and denials
  • Authorize (payroll provider) to remove loan payments from payroll
  • Receive proposed QDRO submissions and determine validity
  • 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
  • Confirm salary deferrals and loan payments are properly reflected on pay date payroll reports
  • Ensure timely remittance of salary deferrals and loan payments
  • 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
  • Submit salary deferrals and loan payments


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