I recently had an in-depth conversation with a very respected industry professional with a specific expertise in Third Party Administrators. He will remain nameless but one of his comments to me really stuck out. He said, “I hate sh*tty TPAs!”. Now, you have probably already concluded that this guy is a bit of an industry rebel (no, I wasn’t having a conversation with myself). If you would have been on the other side of the discussion the way I was, you would felt the authenticity and overall genuine concern in his voice. He wasn’t complaining by using this bold statement and obscenity, he was concerned with the current state of affairs and it’s impact on our industry and the Plan Sponsors that we service.
What constitutes a “sh*tty” TPA? I personally think it has a lot to do with an industry chalked full of older firms and older management (Oh…No He Didn’t? …Oh…YES I did!”) that continue to find comfort in doing things the same way they have done for decades. These firms have failed to evolve along with their client’s needs. Their business models are focused more on their own internal office operations as TPAs and less on the more important perspective and experience of their clients.
Don’t get me wrong, I am passionate about quality compliance work and I know that clients depend on TPAs to make sure things are run correctly. But guess what? Clients and Advisors expect that the work is going to be done right. They wouldn’t be working with a TPA if they felt otherwise. It’s time for TPAs to focus on the client experience, look at every step along the compliance calendar and put yourself in the shoes of the clients. Make it easy for them, heck make it enjoyable. Make sure they know that you are putting their needs above your own and that your entire model is built around them.
At PDC, we are passionate about creating a new, better way to be a Third Party Administrator. Check out our version of a boring corporate webinar by watching our videocast/webinar/show at http://www.retireholiks.com or via youtube by searching “retireholiks”. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED: it involves beer, comedy, fun and yes boring discussion around retirement plan concepts. Episode 5 was released on October 7, 2015TPAs