Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

The current monthly fee of $1.00 per participant will be in effect until completion of the first Plan Year.

Yes. Former employees who still have active 403(b) and 457(b) Plan account balances are still participants of the Plan. The balance is considered assets of the Plan and must be approved to be withdrawn, transferred, rolled over, or exchanged. This also applies to approval of Plan loans.

Yes. AFPlanServ's® common remitter service is available to Plan sponsors.

No. AFPlanServ® currently only provides administrative services for 403(b) and 457(b) retirement Plans.

AFPlanServ® does not have local offices, but American Fidelity Assurance Company may have an office in your area.

Please check with your local representative, or you may contact us at 866-560-6415. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm CST. 

A listing of providers may be obtained by contacting us at 866-560-6415 or afplanserv@americanfidelity.com.

A salary reduction agreement is an authorization form which allows you to deduct money from employees’ paychecks to contribute to their 403(b) or 457(b) Plan.

No. A salary reduction agreement must be completed by a participant whenever an employee elects to start, stop, or change their 403(b) and 457(b) Plan contribution. An employer may not process a contribution change without a properly executed, signed, and approved salary reduction agreement.

Either. Contributions to a 403(b) or 457(b) Plan may be deducted on a pre-tax basis or on an after-tax basis.

No. As part of our administrative services we will approve transaction paperwork on your behalf. 

Universal Availability refers to the requirement that all eligible employees be given an opportunity to participate in your 403(b) Plan at least annually.

You will need to provide a written request to AFPlanServ® including the name of the provider and the date in which the employer would like the new provider to be effective.

No. Plan contributions may only be processed for contributions that are remitted to an approved provider of the Plan. 

Yes. You may elect to pass on the cost of administrative services to your approved providers.

Yes. However, an amendment will be required. You will need to contact us for further assistance. If an amendment is made to the AFPlanServ® 403(b) Prototype Plan, it may become an individually designed plan and lose the assurance of the Internal Revenue Service determination letter. Check with your counsel before amending your Plan.

You will need to complete a new salary reduction agreement requesting the change. The agreement must be approved by the Plan before any change or stoppage will occur.

Generally, amounts received as a distribution from a Plan are fully taxable as ordinary income. Distributions are subject to a mandatory federal tax withholding of 20% and may be subject to a mandatory state tax withholding.

If a distribution is taken from a Plan before reaching age 59 ½, or if severance from employment occurred prior to attaining age 55, a 10% additional tax penalty may apply on the distribution. This penalty tax applies to the taxable amount received.

If you or your beneficiary is faced with a financial hardship, you may qualify for a distribution without tax penalty. Read about hardship and unforeseeable emergency distributions. 

A hardship distribution, if allowed by the Plan, may be requested if all of the following have been utilized to relieve the need:

  • Cessation of contributions to the Plan and other qualified retirement plans
  • Reimbursement by insurance
  • Reasonable liquidation of assets
  • Borrowing from personal and or commercial resources
  • Credit cards
  • Obtaining all other currently available distributions and loans under the Plan and all other retirement plans maintained by the employer

If all of the above have been utilized, then a hardship distribution may be permitted.

Participants must contact the vendor and request the proper paperwork to request the distribution. In addition to the vendor’s paperwork, AFPlanServ® also requires participants to complete a hardship distribution authorization form.

Proper substantiation must be provided by the participant that verifies and confirms the hardship and amount being requested. Substantiation may not be more than 60 days old and must indicate the exact amount of the unpaid expense. A hardship may not be approved without valid substantiation.

 If allowed by the Plan, you  may take out a loan against your 403(b) or 457(b) Plan accounts.

To request a Plan loan, you must complete a loan request form.

Participants must contact the provider and request the proper paperwork to request the distribution. In addition to the provider's paperwork, AFPlanServ® also requires participants to complete a loan authorization form.

Standard approval time for transactions is dependent on the type of transaction requested. Once all properly completed forms are provided to AFPlanServ, Plan distributions, rollovers, transfers, and exchanges are approved within three (3) business.

Hardship distributions and Plan loans, if allowed by the Plan, take slightly longer due to the steps required to grant approval. Standard approval time is 7-10 business days.

AFPlanServ® requires its own hardship distribution, unforeseeable emergency, and plan loan approval forms. Each provider may also require its own paperwork for each type of transaction.

Download a form here.

Electronic copy is acceptable. However, we advise when emailing paperwork with sensitive information, consider sending in a secure and encrypted format. 

It is important to note, however, that the provider holding the account may require original paperwork, so please check with your provider to confirm before sending to your employer or AFPlanServ® by another source.

No. Contributions to a Plan are made through payroll deduction only, and only eligible employees may make contributions.

If you contribute more than the annual maximum in a year, AFPlanServ® will notify you, your employer, and the provider holding the assets. The provider will be instructed to either refund the excess contributions back to the employer to be refunded back to you, or a corrective distribution will be processed, and a check sent to you. A corrective distribution will be a taxable event to the participant.

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