what we offer

plan design

LRS provides Plan Design and Implementation Services to ensure that all your plan documents are drafted in compliance with governing federal laws and generated in a timely manner to meet disclosure deadlines.

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automatic enrollment

A 401(k) or 403(b) Plan can include an automatic enrollment feature. This feature permits the employer to automatically reduce employee wages by a fixed percentage or amount . . .

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record keeping

LRS collects, tracks, monitors and stores all necessary plan records, and provides an online account portal where all plan and participant records are securely stored and easily accessed by plan fiduciaries.

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Compliance

Even with the best intentions, fiduciary and operational violations can occur with a company sponsored retirement plan. LRS understands that employers are doing their best to ensure compliance with all governing laws.

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ROBS Transactions

There are several companies promoting and selling transactions which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) calls “Rollovers as Business Start-ups” (ROBS) transactions.

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Education

Retirement plan fiduciaries are subject to joint and several personal liability for fiduciary violations. LRS provides plan fiduciaries with basic and advanced education to ensure plan fiduciaries can properly oversee ...

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Administration &
IRS Reporting

Sponsoring a retirement plan can be an administrative nightmare for most employers: ensuring that all plan documents have been properly disclosed in compliance with federal law, assisting employees with enrollment elections, ensuring that terminated employees are rolled out of the plan, and much more.

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White Label &
Reseller Program

LRS provides business process outsourced (BPO) Retirement Plan services for employers, administrators, financial planners, and brokers. LRS understands the importance of maintaining brand presence with your business clients.

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non-traditional investments

Did you know that your company sponsored retirement plan can include multiple types of investment opportunities above and beyond traditional mutual funds? In addition to the mutual funds most commonly provided to your plan, your retirement plan can also offer access to ...

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audit and investigation service

If you receive a letter from the DOL or IRS, contact us immediately, we are here to help. The Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have announced they are ramping up their enforcement activities, substantially increasing your chances of coming under investigation or audit.

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compliance

Even with the best intentions, fiduciary and operational violations can occur with a company sponsored retirement plan. LRS understands that employers are doing their best to ensure compliance with all governing laws. However, most employers do not know or understand the laws for which they are required to comply, and consequently they may violate the law.

LRS provides a variety of Retirement Plan compliance services including: plan audit and correction services, 415 compensation testing, 416 top-heavy and ACP/ADP testing avoidance, 410(b) discrimination testing, 404 maximum deductions, employer contributions and any other necessary compliance activities required by a particular plan.

LRS’s compliance programs are designed to ensure that plan fiduciaries comply with their obligations, protect plans assets, and minimize personal and financial liability wherever possible. We can help you evaluate your plan on an ongoing basis, including:

  • * Fiduciary fee evaluation services
  • * Prohibited transaction and other fiduciary violation corrections
  • * Preparation, coordination and submission of the plan to correction programs including: the Internal Revenue Service’s self-correction program (SCP), voluntary correction program (VCP) and audit closing agreement program (Audit CAP), and the U.S. Department of Labor’s delinquent filer voluntary correction program (DFVCP) and voluntary fiduciary correction program (VFCP)
  • * Reasonable cause letters for delinquent filers
  • * Evaluation of plan mergers in compliance with the growing governing law and fiduciary prudence standards
  • * Support for hard to value plan assets – qualified employer securities and qualified employer real property


LRS also provides a Disaster Recovery Service, as a complimentary service, so you have back-up documents and legacy records in the event a disaster destroys all or part of your information. This is a great service because it provides employers with the confidence and assurance that their information is always protected and available even in the event of a disaster.

robs transactions
What is ROBS and who are ROBS Transaction Promoters?
There are several companies promoting and selling transactions which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) calls "Rollovers as Business Start-ups" (ROBS) transactions.
The ROBS transaction works like this:
  1. The promoter company provides their client with a C corporation and a qualified 401 (k) plan.
  2. Citing exemptions in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the promoters help a client roll over his or her retirement funds into the new 401 (k) plan, and then use those funds to invest in stock in the new corporation.
  3. The client then transfers the retirement funds to the corporation.
  4. Because of IRC and ERISA exemptions, the client pays no taxes or penalties for early withdrawal. Though the IRC and ERISA make available certain exemptions which permit a plan to purchase stock in its plan sponsor (the new corporation) certain basic conditions must first be satisfied before a plan can avail itself of the ERISA exemptions. The IRS recently commented on the ROBS transaction, stating that ROBS is not a per se violation of the IRC or ERISA, but that they are very concerned with “significant operational defects” being found with these 401 (k) plans. On October 1, 2008 the Internal Revenue Service posted a technical memorandum addressing ROBS transactions.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has yet to formally comment on the transaction though they have expressed that they have been actively collaborating with the IRS.
Does Leading Retirement Solutions help with ROBS transactions?
Yes, we do assist individuals who wish to utilize their retirement monies to finance the purchase of a business and/or take their existing business to the next level. We don’t “sell” the ROBS transaction, rather, we help retirement plans that want to be able to invest in private stock, do so. Rest assured that education and information we provide is completely independent and free from bias.
Are You Considering purchasing a ROBS transaction?
Contact Leading Retirement Solutions to learn about the ROBS transaction and determine whether offering qualified employer securities to your plan would be a good fit. The design and administration of plans that include non-traditional investments like the private stock of a ROBS transaction, often require certain kinds of recordkeeping support, annual asset valuations and IRS reporting. Our team is led by Kirsten Curry, a business and ERISA attorney, who brings with her the perspective and experience necessary to administer such a plan. Leading Retirement Solutions also manages the completion and filing of tax forms to ensure your plan remains in compliance. If you are looking at ways of raising funds for a business purchase or growth of your business, Leading Retirement Solutions can help.
Have You Already Purchased/Engaged in a ROBS Transaction?
Don’t wait for the IRS to knock on your door. We encourage you to work with Leading Retirement Solutions to identify and correct any fiduciary and plan violations caused by the use of ROBS transactions. Our correction services are performed by qualified retirement plan experts. By undergoing a retirement plan review, clients will be able to identify violations and avail themselves of beneficial correction programs. Therefore, it is in your best interest and your plan’s interest to review your retirement plan now and perform any necessary corrections immediately. If you have purchased a ROBS transaction from a promoter, we encourage you to contact our office to learn more about our ROBS retirement plan review.
The Trouble with ROBS and its Promoters:
In many case, taxpayers who have purchased ROBS transactions have little or no familiarity with the IRC or ERISA and rely on the promoters as experts. The ROBS transaction is a sophisticated business transaction, that requires a significant amount of legal analysis, but ROBS promoters like BeneTrends, SDCooper, Guidant Financial Group, and FranFund, just to name a few, are not law firms, tax firms or investment advisory firms. Some promoters often refer to themselves as financial or investment companies but typically provide no brokerage or financial planning services. Moreover, the promoters are providing legal advice on the ROBS transaction in violation of state laws prohibiting the unlicensed practice of law. No state permits a non-lawyer to practice law, which includes providing legal advice.

Some promoters promise to provide their clients competent legal counsel from an independent attorney. These promoters pay for two hours of legal service. The independent attorneys provide a limited scope of service and do not prepare the transactional documents. In almost all cases where a taxpayer has been referred to an independent attorney, the taxpayer has already begun to execute a business purchase on which to spend their plan assets after completing the ROBS transaction. The taxpayer has already been advised by the promoter that the ROBS transaction is sound and compliant with the law and the attorney only needs to review the transactional documents with the taxpayer and address limited issues. The client is, sometimes wrongly, convinced by the promoter that their transaction passes legal muster, not understanding that the promoter is not an attorney or a law firm and is thus prohibited from rendering a legal opinion.

There have been cases where an attorney has identified transactional violations. Feeling misled, the mutual client returns to the ROBS promoter who often responds by referring the client to a different attorney who, more often than not, provides the mutual client with a more “favorable” opinion. As a result, the transactional violations identified by the first attorney may never be corrected and the mutual client is unaware they are operating in violation of federal law. We have noted some promoters are even promising their clients a guarantee in the event of an IRS audit. The guarantee is nothing more than another sales tactic used to induce prospective clients, who may be concerned about the legal issues raised by the IRS technical memorandum or otherwise, to purchase their product. The guarantee does not protect taxpayers from violating the law. Nor does the guarantee stop the imposition of excise taxes by the IRS for fiduciary and plan violations. Moreover, the guarantee does not provide adequate safeguards to prevent or predict violations of the IRC and ERISA by taxpayers who have engaged in a ROBS transaction. The IRS has identified at least nine promoters of the ROBS transaction and expects to have a comprehensive list of promoters and their clients by April 2010. This means there is a strongly likelihood that taxpayers using the ROBS transactions will be investigated by the DOL and/or audited by the IRS.
administration & irs reporting

Sponsoring a retirement plan can be an administrative nightmare for most employers: ensuring that all plan documents have been properly disclosed in compliance with federal law, assisting employees with enrollment elections, ensuring that terminated employees are rolled out of the plan, and much more. LRS performs all Retirement Plan administration tasks for defined contribution plans, including an enhanced service, where LRS interacts directly with the plan sponsor’s employees to ensure all Retirement Plan administration is performed thoroughly and timely.

LRS’s Retirement Plan Administration service may include some of the following employer tools and employee disclosures:

  • * Plan selection and election services
  • * Employer calendar containing deadlines for plan activities
  • * Employee enrollment and participant account set-up
  • * Plan amendments
  • * Summary of material modifications
  • * Updated summary plan descriptions
  • * Participant account statements
  • * Distribution disclosures
  • * Employee notifications, e.g. required minimum distributions, transfers, distributions, enrollment changes, loans provisions, investment election changes, salary reduction notices, QDIA, QDRO
  • * Loan administration including establishing and drafting loan policies and procedures, loan applications, loans, loan processing and qualification limits, and loan payment processing
  • * Preparation and administration of in-service and hardship distributions, including QDROs
  • * Special plan disclosures
  • * 402(g) testing
  • * Employer deferral notices
  • * Matching of employee contributions
  • * Collecting and providing investment materials and fees
  • * Assisting fiduciaries with plan investment options
  • * Establish administrative accounts and participant accounts as needed
  • * Termination services including distributions from plan to individual retirement accounts and preparation and dissemination of the Internal Revenue Service tax notice disclosure to the terminated employee
  • * Document management system design for proper in-house Retirement Plan administration
  • * Plan asset rollover services (in/out)
  • * Retirement Plan plan monitoring services to ensure compliance with plan elections and federal laws
  • * Contributions limit disclosure
  • * Bond set-up
  • * Term package
  • * Alternate investments
  • * Employee rewards program – incentives and retention
  • * Safe Harbor
  • * Roth 401 (k)
  • * QDRO / QDIA verification
  • * Special services required by plan elections
  • * Employee calendar containing plan activity dates (enhanced service)
  • * Employer Retirement Plan handbook: an employer guide to proper plan administration (enhanced service)
  • * Employee participation package designed to maximize employee enrollment (enhanced service)
  • * Assisting employees with retirement planning by defining long-term financial goals and savings targets to achieve their goals (enhanced service)
  • * Automatic enrollment services (enhanced service)
  • * Last participant skip tracing services (enhanced service)


LRS reviews all client plans carefully to determine whether a plan requires special plan administration. After each plan is reviewed, an internal calendar and external client calendar are prepared to ensure all plan activities are executed in a timely manner and in compliance with federal law.

LRS also provides Plan Document Production Services, to ensure your plan documents are drafted in compliance with all governing federal laws and generated in a timely manner to meet disclosure deadlines. Plan Document Production Services can be combined with any of our other services.

non-traditional investments in your 401(k) plan

Did you know that your company sponsored retirement plan can include multiple types of investment opportunities above and beyond traditional mutual funds? In addition to the mutual funds most commonly provided to your plan, your retirement plan can also offer access to:

  • * Shares/ownership in your own business
  • * Membership interest in other ventures
  • * Real estate
  • * Agriculture and maritime rights
  • * Other types of loans and liens
  • * Assets such as equipment or livestock


Why use your retirement monies to invest in non-traditional investments? Many businesses choose to make these non-traditional investment opportunities available to participants to reinvest in the growth of their own business and to minimize the inherent restrictions that come with more regulated investments. Non-traditional investments can also be a great supplement to a company sponsored retirement plan for plan participants, particularly company owners, who are interested in investments that offer greater growth potential or increased diversification. In addition, non-traditional investments allow participants to invest retirement plan money rather than other personal finances, thereby mitigating tax implications.

HOW LEADING RETIREMENT SOLUTIONS CAN HELP

Leading Retirement Solutions is a retirement plan administration firm offering access to and support for traditional and non-traditional investments in a company sponsored retirement plan. We pair nicely with your existing retirement plan administrator or we can provide a full service platform for traditional and non-traditional investments that includes plan design; compliance and government reporting; access to 24,000 mutual funds, 600 ETFs and unlimited alternative investments. We work primarily with small companies who need creative solutions that optimize for the needs of the business, company owners and plan participants.

We will play the role of your plan’s third party administrator and the provider of your online investment platform. While most other non-traditional providers only support Individual Retirement Account (IRA or Roth IRA) monies, Leading Retirement Solutions is one of the few firms able to offer our clients the flexibility and opportunities afforded by 401(k), 403(b), 457, profit sharing and other company retirement plans.

A FEW THINGS TO KNOW
Whether you are interested in exploring non-traditional investments as a component of your company’s existing retirement plan, or as a new solution in and of itself, you may have a few questions.

Can I keep my current investment advisor? Yes! Your traditional investment advisor is generally not permitted by their broker dealer to provide any consulting around non-traditional investments. Accordingly, most advisors don’t make non-traditional investments part of their offering. We can work alongside your existing advisor to provide complete design, administration and federal reporting services for these types of investments. You need not replace your entire solution to add non-traditional investments to the mix.

What kind of expertise is required to administer a non-traditional plan? The design and administration of plans that include non-traditional investments often require certain kinds of record keeping support, valuations and documentation. Our team is led by Kirsten Curry, a business and ERISA attorney, who brings with her the perspective and experience necessary to administer such a plan. Leading Retirement Solutions also manages the completion and filing of tax forms to ensure your plan remains in compliance.

Is a non-traditional investment a good fit for you? Leading Retirement Solutions regularly consults with businesses and company owners to determine what types of investments meet your goals. If you are considering the purchase of a building for your business, looking at ways of raising funds for growth or exploring income sheltering options, a non-traditional investment plan could be a good fit.

client testimonial

The owners of Sonoran Medical Centers, a Leading Retirement Solutions client, used their own 401(k) monies to purchase and build a state of the art medical facility.

“Being able to invest our retirement plan funds in our own business has provided us with a highly effective and creative financing solution. It’s also aligned plan participants with the financial success of our organization, making it a win-win. We moved our 401(k) Plan to Leading Retirement Solutions so that our plan participants could access Mutual Funds and non-traditional investments. We’re really happy Leading Retirement Solutions was able to make this happen.” – Paul Lankford, CFO for Sonoran Medical headquartered in Glendale, AZ.
Audit and Investigation Service
If you receive a letter from the DOL or IRS, contact us immediately, we are here to help.

Have you received an audit letter or inquiry from the Department of Labor (DOL) or Internal Revenue Service (IRS)? The Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have announced they are ramping up their enforcement activities, substantially increasing your chances of coming under investigation or audit. LRS offers an exclusive service to help business owners; fiduciaries and others who are responsible for administering a Retirement Plan successfully navigate a DOL or IRS inquiry.

Investigations Can Be Unpredictable
DOL Investigators are generally not required to follow prescribed guidelines when initiating an investigation and requesting records from you. Investigators may send out letters requesting 12 separate documents while others ask for up to 45 separate documents or more. An Investigator can run the investigation, their inquiry and the document request at their discretion, making a DOL investigation unpredictable, time consuming and costly, including for smaller business owners.
Audits Can Be Scary
The initial formality of the interview process can come as a surprise to some interviewees, as can the scope and range of the questions asked. Before beginning an interview, DOL investigators are required to identify themselves and to show their official credentials when asked (most do this as a matter of course). Investigators are also required to inform interviewees that if the investigator discovers information involving violations of laws other than ERISA, EBSA will refer the matter to another relevant agency.
What Can Go Wrong?
Lots! In our experience, a DOL or IRS letter can be vague or overbroad and it’s not uncommon for an employer to misinterpret a DOL or IRS letter. We see employers regularly provide more information than has been requested by the Investigator, leaving the employer open to increased liability and a more prolonged investigation. An investigation will also take your attention, time and commitment away from what is most important to you…running a successful business.
How Leading Retirement Solutions Can Help?
Our experienced team will manage the process of responding to the DOL and IRS, from start to finish. We will:
  • * Respond to the DOL and IRS on your behalf, reducing your stress and saving you time
  • * Coordinate the collection and dissemination of all requested documents, with multiple service providers
  • * Prepare you and your staff for your on-site interview with a DOL or IRS investigator
  • * Review every document to make sure it contains only the information requested
  • * Attend your on-site DOL or IRS interview or attend via phone
  • * Assist with corrective actions and closing letter requirements

Thousands of retirement plans, like yours, receive a letter from the DOL and IRS each year. If you receive a letter from the DOL or IRS notifying you of their intent to investigate or audit your company sponsored retirement plan, take a deep breath and call your Leading Retirement Solutions team. We can help you. Leading Retirement Solutions is not a law firm and do not provide legal representation for an investigation or audit.

what clients are saying



“Thank you so much for all your help in pulling these documents together. I could have never done it! [We] really appreciate all of your help on this.” CFO & Owner, Seattle, WA.

“Thank you SO MUCH for your help with everything during this entire process!” Owner & President, Seattle, WA.