What Is 401k Easy Online?
401k Easy Online is a retirement plan (401k or other) + very powerful yet easy to use online self-service administration and participation center.
- Our IRS-approved prototype 401k plan allows for significant plan design flexibility — to include or exclude 401k loans, for instance, and/or employer contributions, automatic participant enrollment, safe harbor administration, and more. You can read about our plan design options below and, in more detail, in our Customization & Order section.
- Our IRS-approved prototype plan allows for unprecedented investment flexibility (see next topic). Investment flexibility is one of our plans' most popular design features, both with employers and their employees.
- Any authorized person with rudimentary computer and Internet skills can use 401k Easy Online to sponsor and/or participate in a 401k plan.
- 401k Easy Online can accommodate 401k plans of any size, from the single-person plan to the gargantuan.
- All access is user-name and password protected; enterprise-level security features and safeguards are standard throughout.
- Any person with access to the Internet can access 401k Easy Online. High-speed Internet access in not necessary. (For you techies out there, the system uses pure html — aka, "thin" content — rather than Java Applets and similar coding that can slow down load times and processing). Read the below Security & Technology sections for details.
- Small businesses using 401k Easy Online typically run their 401k plans in less than 15 minutes a month. That's because 401k Easy Online is highly automated. We customize your plan administration and plan participation centers — called, respectively, your Plan Sponsor and Plan Participant Gateways — to the plan design features you select for your company plan. Visit our System Demos section to read about each gateway's features and to try out fully-functioning demo systems (for free, of course).
- You do NOT need 401k administration or accounting experience to run a 401k plan via 401k Easy Online. The online software knows 401k rules and regulations. You feed it payroll data, and it does most of the rest for you.
- There is content-sensitive help, should you need it, as well as additional support. Visit our Support sections for details.
- One of the ways 401k easy Online keeps your plan administration life simple is by helping you circumvent problems. For instance, the system runs IRS compliance tests in seconds at a mouse click, making it easy for you to stay on top of your plan's health. The system automatically assesses which tests are applicable to your 401k plan based on encoded criteria. The system even uses prevailing federal regulations to calculate compliance test correction suggestions.
- 401k Easy Online is fully operational 24 hours a day, seven days a wee. All functions are live all the time. The system not only allows you to view and submit data at any time from any location connected to the Internet, but it also IMMEDIATELY processes all requests and submissions, regardless of the time of day or day of the week.
- Unlike with other "online" 401k systems, data you submit to 401k Easy Online is processed WITHIN the system, not downloaded by someone at the other end, processed by back-office personnel, then reuploaded — often days, not seconds, later.
- 401k Easy Online is designed to quickly connect and integrate with virtually all Voice Response Units (VRUs), wireless software applications and application service providers (ASPs). Please contact us for details.
Read on for further details, including about two related but alternative 401k systems: The 401k Solution, which costs a bit more but offers full-service plan administration along with self-service online plan participation very similar to that offered within 401k Easy Online, and 401k Easy for the PC, an offline self-service plan administration system.
Why Do Companies Choose 401k Easy Online? Unmatched Affordability, Unmatched Investment Flexibility, and Unmatched Convenience
401k Easy Online is THE 401k for today's businesses for a variety of reasons:
- 401k Easy Online costs of fraction of competing 401ks (not to mention that our pricing is a simple function of plan size; we do not nickel-and-dime over features and services). VIsit our Pricing page to view pricing and price comparison charts.
- 401k Easy Online is very easy to use. Saving money by choosing our self-service approach does NOT mean you spend hours online managing your 401k plan, nor is any accounting or 401k administration knowledge necessary. For most small businesses, 401k Easy Online self-service plan administration takes less than 15 minutes a month. Read on for mention of some of the features and functionality that keep the process simple for our end-users.
- 401k Easy Online allows for the ultimate in investment flexibility. No-load mutual funds (including no-load institutional mutual funds), load mutual funds, self-directed brokerage accounts and more from brand name houses are among those that you can choose for your plan. You can even mix and match as you please. Visit our Investments page for lists of potential investments as well as some tips about selecting investments for a company 401k plan. Oh, and by the way, we are not affiliated with any investment company nor do we receive commissions or any other compensation from such.
- 401k Easy Online means that employers and employees alike have 24/7, password-protected access to their 401k from any device that is connected to the Internet. Particularly if your company and its employees are comfortable with using online banking and other online services, 401k Easy Online is likely the 401k for you.
- Data is always current, because processing occurs immediately; there is no processing lag as with some online systems.
- We customize your 401k Easy Online system to your needs and preferences, both in terms of the 401k plan itself and its related self-service 401k plan administration and participation functions. Free help is available with understanding your customization options and the effects specific choices generally have on 401k plans similar in size to your own.
Self-Service Plan Administration Is Both Simple and Powerful
401k Easy Online's Plan Sponsor Gateway opens the world of self-service 401k administration to the personnel you authorize. The exact features and capabilities accessible through your gateway depend on the customization options you choose for your company plan and its administration.
- Access is user-name and password protected. Only those individuals you authorize can enter your company's Plan Sponsor Gateway.
- Functions are separated into two streams: plan configuration functions (click to view details) control overall plan information and operation parameters, while day-to-day plan administration functions (click to view details) power and monitor day-to-day administrative activity.
Visit our demo page to read more about the 401k Easy Online Plan Sponsor Gateway. You can even try out a demo customized system and tour through typical administrative functions.
Self-Service Plan Participation Is Both Quick and Complete
401k Easy Online's Plan Participant Gateway opens the world of self-service 401k participation and information to your company employees. The exact features and capabilities accessible through the gateway depend on the customization options you choose for your company plan as well as those that the eligible employee chooses for his or her individual 401k account (for example, his or her 401k investment selections). Each employee has his or her own customized Plan Participant Gateway.
401k Easy Online empowers plan participants to serve themselves to their 401k account activity and information — at any time, day or night, from any location connected to the Internet.
- 401k Easy Online self-service plan participation gives eligible employees on-the-spot access to enrolling in the plan, choosing 401k investments, updating personal information and investment designations, viewing/printing activity reports and account statements, and 401k loan, transfer and distribution modeling and/or new submissions, among other things.
- Self-service plan participation is extremely convenient for plan participants and can greatly boost plan participation rates.
- Self-service plan participation means less work for your in-house plan administrator.
Visit our demo page to read more about the 401k Easy Online Plan Participant Gateway. You can even try out a demo customized system and tour through typical participation functions, including access to general as well as plan-specific 401k and related investing information.
The Money-Back Guarantee — You're Never Locked In
Your 401k Easy Online system comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee on everything but the one-time $595 setup fee you pay at your plan's outset for us to customize your 401k plan its related online plan administration and plan participation portals.
- Because the setup fee is nonrefundable, we have created demo systems for people to try out before purchasing anything. Go to our System Demos page to access the demos. They are fully functioning versions of our actual 401k plan administration and participation systems.
- Nearly all 401k features and capabilities are active in the 401k Easy Online demo, so you can truly get a feel for what it is like to use 401k Easy Online to administrate and participate in a 401k plan.
- Also know that, should you ever decide that you no longer want to use our self-service online system, we can convert your 401k plan to one that you can have run in a traditional manner by the 401k vendor of your choice. We can even help you find a qualified 401k plan administration service, if you like.
ALSO AVAILABLE: Full-Service Version (we do the administration, your employees enjoy self-service online plan participation)
A company integral to 401k Easy Online's development provides full-service plans using a parallel system. Pension Systems Corporation (PSC) does the 401k administration using payroll information you submit to them each month, and your plan participants and prospective participants enjoy 24/7 online access to their accounts just as they would with 401k Easy Online.
As you might imagine, PSC's full-service 401k services are a bit more expensive than 401k Easy Online.
For details as well as contact information, see our Systems page.
ALSO AVAILABLE: Desktop Software Version (self-service OFFLINE administration + traditional paper-based plan participation)
A precursor to 401k Easy Online was our PC-based software system, 401(k) Easy for the PC.
401(k) Easy for the PC is plan administration software that, your 401k Easy Online portals, we customize to your exact 401k plan — from participation criteria to investments to employer contribution formula(s), if any. The desktop software, unlike 401k Easy Online, does not allow your participants computer-access to their accounts. Rather, participation is done using paper forms printed from the software.
As you might imagine, 401(k) Easy for the PC is less expensive than 401k Easy Online.
For details as well as contact information regarding 401(k) Easy for the PC, see our Systems page.
The Below Contain Technical Info About 401k Easy Online’s Key Features
This page offers technical and other detailed information that many of our 401k clients find superfluous (and boring); all they care about is that 401k Easy Online is secure and easy to use.
If you do choose to read the below, please do not feel intimidated or turned off by its details. We offer the specifications only because some clients are interested in the information. You can easily use 401k Easy Online without understanding its inner-workings much as you can operate an automobile quite successfully without understanding the functionality of what's under the hood.
Remember, 401k Easy Online knows the rules and regulations, so you generally don't have to — and the system has a convenient context-sensitive Help system, so you can access explanations any time your need them.
General System Features
General features include:
- 401k Easy Online 401k plan administration is highly automated and customized to the exact plan being serviced.
- Each page loads in seconds, even on low bandwidth, dial-up connections.
- The system's unique self-service approach to 401k administration applies automation plus the client's in-house personnel to eliminate the high costs inherent in delivering 401ks to small businesses. By significantly cutting the labor overhead component, 401k Easy Online meets the needs — including affordability — of the woefully under-served small plan market. (The U.S. Department of Labor estimates approximately 80% of businesses with fewer than 100 employees do not have 401k plan; high relative cost was cited as the single most significant factor by the business owners.)
- Most small business clients can handle their 401k plan's administration in less than 15 minutes a month when using 401k Easy Online.
- 401k Easy Online is lightening fast and powerful, yet easy to interact with and use.
- User-defined data archival periods, wherein clients can define the number of days they want their 401k Easy Online to keep detailed information "live." For example, if 90 days of information are kept "live," the system automatically moves all prior activity to an archived database and posts starting totals (by fund, by source) to the "live" table to keep balances accurate.
- 401k Easy Online has the capacity for an unlimited number of investment options. The plan sponsor (the employer) sets the master investments list, from which chooses the investment(s) to which to direct his or her 401k contributions).
- 401k Easy Online can be used to manage any of a myriad of types of retirement plans, including 401k, 403b and SEP.
- 401k Easy Online has has the capacity for an unlimited number of records, including an unlimited number of plans for per client and unlimited number of employees per plan.
- 401k Easy Online creates a detailed audit trail of all changes made to each database, including the date and time a change was made, the user who entered the change, the effect of the change, and the type of change made.
- 401k Easy Online can Integrate with outside systems, including VRU, Scanner/Form Input, and more.
- 401k Easy Online has reconciliation tools to reconcile with the external trust system (SSI, for instance) and produce necessary variance/exception reports, wherever possible (subject to possible limitations within the trust system).
- 401k Easy Online has an online help system that provides context-sensitive help. Each display template has a help icon in the upper right hand corner. Clicking the icon brings up context-sensitive help for the template being used. Links to related topics are provided within the help text.
Account Setup + Maintenance Features
401k Easy Online brings unprecedented speed and ease to maintenance of 401k accounts because so much functionality is automated to the parameters chosen by the client for the company's particular 401k plan.
- The Plan Setup Wizard assists new clients in setting up their 401k plans. The Plan Setup Wizard explains all plan options (401k loans, investment options, employer contribution options and more) and records the client's decisions.
- The system places only legally-imposed limits, if any, on the number of qualified plans a single employer can sponsor.
- The system places only legally-imposed limits, if any, on the number of employees that can enroll in any particular plan.
- Employees can participate in multiple plans simultaneously (within legal limits). 401k Easy Online monitors each employee's activity on a per-plan as well as cumulative basis.
- Self-service clients can add, update, and delete (more accurately, disable from participation) employee information themselves at any time through the Plan Sponsor Gateway.
- 401k Easy Online allows for flexible plan years, including short plan years, and defines such on a plan-by-plan basis.
- 401k Easy Online allows for flexible payroll cycles and defines such on a plan-by-plan basis.
- Plan Sponsors define the investments they want to make available to plan participants from the spectrum of investments available.
- 401k Easy Online automatically identifies highly compensated employees based on published parameters and integrates the information into its IRS compliance testing functions, which can be run — in seconds — as often as the self-service administrator desires.
- 401k Easy Online has a predefined import filter for initial import and setup of employee records.
- The Plan Take Over & Conversion Wizard enables information to be imported during a plan take over/conversion. The Wizard allows for conversion of, among other categories: Balances by Source and Fund; Investment Elections; Year-to-Date Contributions (by Source); Year-to-Date Compensation; Year-to-Date Hours; Cumulative Contributions; Cumulative Distributions; Vested Percentage by Source; After-tax Basis (Frozen 88 and Post 88 Contributions); Hardship Basis (Frozen 88 and Post 88 Contributions); Life to Date Withdrawals and Hardship Basis Net of Withdrawals; Employee Biographical Information (including important dates); Pending Loans (all necessary parameters).
- We can enable and disable 401k Easy Online's various plan design functions on a plan-by-plan basis. Disabled elements are completely invisible to end-users rather than dimmed or otherwise left visible but nonfunctioning, so your employees won't feel cheated in seeing features — 401k loans or employer matching contributions, for instance — that you choose not to include in your company plan.
401k Contribution Processing Features
401k Easy Online clients enjoy powerful yet easy-to-use contribution processing functions that include:
- Six predefined contribution columns (money sources), three predefined loan payment columns, and four predefined compensation columns (Profit Sharing Compensation, Matching Compensation, Testing Compensation, 404c Compensation) for regular processing.
- The ability to process "special allocation" at any time for any money source.
- A built-in Matching Calculator to automatically calculate any employer matching amounts based on Matching Compensation.
- A built-in Profit Sharing Calculator to automatically calculate any profit sharing amounts based on Profit Sharing Compensation.
- The ability to upload contribution, loan, and compensation data (using a predefined import file format) directly through the Web interface.
- Validation checking with automatic generation of an error/exception report.
- Flexible contribution system with the ability to do general contribution processing at any time.
- The ability to process negative amounts. (That is, negative amounts do not automatically generate disbursements.)
- Contribution processing is automatically held until money is deposited into the trust account and validated through the asset custodian.
- The ability to generate an export file to a trading platform and/or asset custodian system and to import and process trade confirmation information from that system.
- The storage of all necessary information for processed allocation records including Plan ID, Employee ID, Fund ID, Transaction ID, Loan ID (for loan related activity), NAV, Source, and As Of or Effective Date, Trade Date, Settlement Date, Amount, Shares, and Description.
401k Loan Processing Features
401k Easy Online's optional (again, all options are free) loan processing functions include:
- The system allows for up to three concurrent, independent loans per participant per plan.
- The system automatically calculates available loan amounts.
- Loans are set up using the following key criteria: Principal, Duration, Interest Rate, and Payroll Frequency.
- Loan fees, if any, are included in APR calculation. (We charge a one-time $30 disbursement fee at the loan's outset but no annual/ongoing fees. Some clients pass this fee on to the plan participant taking the loan. Regulations state that a "reasonable" fee can be charged, for instance to cover administrative expenses.)
- Loan payments are automatically allocated between principal and interest portions.
- The system accepts not only normal repayments but also negatives, partial payoffs, and complete payoffs.
- Loan re-amortization is made based on changes in duration or pay frequency.
- The system generates loan delinquency reports, as applicable, with e-mail notifications sent to the employer's Plan Administrator and to the employee/participant.
401k Distribution and Transfer Processing Features
401k Easy Online grants licensed Providers and their clients powerful yet easy-to-use, self-service and/or full-service plan distribution and transfer processing functions:
- The system automatically calculates amounts available for distribution, taking into account pertinent factors such as outstanding loan amounts and vested account balances.
- Transfers and distributions are limited by Fund/Source activity.
- Spousal consent is determined by the Plan Administrator when approving distribution requests.
- The system generates an export file for the asset trading platform and check writing systems (if applicable), and imports and processes trade confirmation information from those systems.
- The system automatically processes residual distributions and transfers.
- The system splits distributions with a portion as cash and a portion as a rollover, with the ability for the rollover portion to be processed independently of the cash portion.
- The system automatically notifies the designated Plan Administrator via e-mail of any hardship suspensions.
- The system allows transfers in the form of $ to $, % to %, $ to %, and realignments. Transfers can be performed at the source level or for an entire account.
- If an account is "Pending QDRO," the system displays a warning flag during distribution, transfer and loan activity.
Investment Income Processing Features
401k Easy Online has powerful yet easy-to-use investment income processing functions:
- The system stores daily accrual and net asset value information, and allocates income when actually received by the asset custodian.
- Dividends/income are allocated as of a basis date (ex-date).
- The system automatically generates residual distributions and transfers for income posted after a full distribution or transfer.
Technologically Advanced Yet Simple to Use
If you can access the Internet, you can access 401k Easy Online. Though extremely powerful, 401k Easy Online is transmitted to end-users primarily in simple HTML content (called "thin" content), which means...
- 401k Easy Online can be used via any type of computer platform: PC, Macintosh, Unix, and Kiosk, among others.
- 401k Easy Online can be used via any type of Internet connection, including DSL, cable modem, ISDN, and even low-bandwidth dial-up connections.
- 401k Easy Online can be used via any of today's popular Internet browsers, including Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and America Online (AOL).
- 401k Easy Online can be used via any type of Internet connection, including DSL, cable modem, ISDN, and even low-bandwidth dial-up connections. Even on the low-bandwidth dial-up connections, pages load in seconds.
- "Heavy" elements such as ActiveX controls and JAVA applets that can severely impact performance — bring it almost to a halt on low-bandwidth, dial-up connections — are abandoned in place of quality pure HTML to ensure top-quality performance and reliability.
- 401k Easy Online uses simple HTML elements to their full advantage, delivering fully functional, intuitive user front-ends absent of "heavy" conflicts.
- The 401k Easy Online context-sensitive help system, which allows users to get online help immediately regarding wherever they are within the system, is also delivered in pure HTML, and, again, never hampered by "heavy" elements.
Safety and Security for All Online Transactions
401k Easy Online uses advanced 128-bit SSL encryption for protection of all financial information and transactions over the Internet. Security measures and methods to safeguard information include:
- 128-Bit Encryption Security - Encryption helps protect private financial information as it travels over the Internet. Communications between the browser on the user's computer and 401k Easy Online are scrambled with 128 bit encryption security, then de-scrambled upon arriving back into the user's computer web browser.
- Confidential Login - Account information is accessible only with a valid login and PIN or password. Users who do not match login and password are locked-out after a number of attempts.
- Automatic Log-off - The system terminates the user session if the computer remains inactive for a certain period of time. This log-off feature helps prevent on-lookers from accessing confidential information if the user steps away from the computer.
- User Activity Reports & Log - For added security, the system records all successful and unsuccessful sign-ons and keeps a historical log. To help identify potential computer hackers, the system monitors unusual activity or discrepancies in user sign-on, and locks out users who do not match you login and your password after a number of attempts.
- The system does not store ANY sensitive data on the Plan Sponsor side; all data resides on the server side — and because all key data and processing are handled by secure objects residing on the server, Plan Sponsor connections never have direct database access and are never provided with the location of databases or sensitive data.