Relationship type of firm

"Know thy client!" is our theme. We are a "relationship" firm, meaning that we want to establish and maintain an ongoing people-to-people relationship with our client. There are routine transactions that occur throughout the year, then there are the unusual occurrences, such as the separation of someone's account because of divorce, hardship distributions, how to handle severance pay, or changing the plan design to eliminate certain compliance testing. We are available to our clients for questions throughout the year. As a result, we have a tendency to develop long term client relationships, which bode well for providing the best possible client service.

Day-to-day DPS Contact

We want our clients to feel comfortable working with us on their plans, understanding that the complexity of retirement plan administration requires a certain level of specific understanding about the client's plan. We understand there are no two plans alike. We will assign an Account Manager to each plan, along with support staff, to provide a continuity of service to our clients. Incoming calls are not routed to a call center. We believe that having a specific Account Manager named to each of our clients is key to our success. We want to get to know our clients' culture and philosophy, to understand the unique objectives of the client and to know our client contact people.

Day-to-day Client Contact Personnel

Our contact may be the Human Resource manager, the Controller or CFO, Office Manager or even an owner in the firm. All of this depends on the size of the client and how the client is structured. Typically, with smaller firms, we may be working directly with the owner of the business or the Office Manager. With larger firms, we may be working with a combination of the Payroll manager, Human Resource professional, or the firm's internal Accountant. In any event, the client will dictate whom we work. We believe that if the DPS administrator, can completely satisfy with the client contact person, we will automatically satisfy the owner of that client's business. Our goal is to satisfy the wishes of our contact people.

Year-end processing

We have a stepped up role planning for each client's year-end, and then the year-end process itself. Typically, we may prepare hypothetical contribution calculations in an attempt to make it easy on our client owner(s) to make a decision about a discretionary Match and/or Profit Sharing contribution decision. Often times, there are client questions about the maximum levels of contributions that may be allocated to the owners, bringing all the compliance testing issues into play. We are motivated to providing quick and accurate contribution calculations in order that our clients make informed decisions long before a looming deadline.

3-Way Triangle at Year-end

In many cases, we communicate various contribution scenarios with our Client Contact and the client's external C.P.A., in order that the company's books and the retirement Plan's books are in sync. Communication between Client, CPA and our DPS contact is common and desirable. We recognize that the external CPA has an integral role with our mutual client and communication among the parties is not only desirable, but necessary.

Our role as Consultants

In our mission to provide the best client service, we hold ourselves out as "plan consultants". As the industry is subject to a great deal of rules and regulations, we work with our clients to try to achieve their stated goals, within the constraints of the law. We do not work for the government. We work for our clients, working to keep their plans in compliance given the complex rules. We interpret the rules, then advise our clients accordingly, always keeping the owners' objectives at heart.

 

 

© 2012 Downeast Pension Services. Inc 41 Campus Drive, Suite 302 New Gloucester, ME 04260 Ph (207) 688-4219 Fax (207) 688-4095 info@downeastpension.com

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