ASC Spring 2012 Newsletter

In this issue:

DGEM 5500 Updates

Government Forms Update

As the 5500 season comes into full swing, ASC Support wanted to update you on the latest changes to our government forms (5500 series, 8955-SSA and PBGC forms). For those of you who missed our free 5500 webcast last month, we have included the highlights below. The “Stay up to date with our 5500 Webcast.pdf” may be found on the DGEM Download page under the Help Guide folder.

Form 5500s

  • 2011 Forms 5500, 5500SF and 5500EZ are available on the system.
  • DOL now provides that a “one-participant” plan filing using the 5500-SF form instead of the 5500EZ form. The “one-participant” Form 5500-SF will not be published on the DOL website.
  • Some Attachment descriptions for the 2011 forms have been modified by the DOL. Refer to the new descriptions in the 5500 User Guide.
  • PDF attachment requirements set by the DOL have changed. All attachments must be version 1.8 but in our developer’s experience using version 1.4 or higher is acceptable. PDF attachments in versions 1.3 or lower will likely receive a “Filing Unprocessable” message. Check your PDF versions under File – Properties, including the version created by your scanning software, before attaching it to a filing.
  • Signer credentials may now be immediately verified against the DOL database on the Secure Signing Page, returning a message if the User ID and/or PIN are invalid.
  • Invite signer emails via DGEM can be sent to a primary contact other than the signer when the signer is unknown. The Plan Administrator and Sponsor who actually signs the form will then enter their name and signer credentials on the Secure Signing Page.
  • SAR and AFN checklists and reports have enhancements added for 2011.
  • Note that the DOL is contacting Plan Sponsors with questions regarding their filings at the email address registered with their signing credentials. Since they are no longer sending paper correspondence, it is important that email addresses remain active and are checked regularly.

Other Forms

8955-SSA forms for 2011 are available to file the paper copy to the IRS. The form can also be filed on the FIRE site by downloading the FIRE file from DGEM and uploading to FIRE using the TPA’s Transmitter information. Direct filing with FIRE using DGEM will be available later this year.

Form 5558 can be created under the FIND screen for extending Form 5500/5500SF and Form 8955-SSA together on the same form.

The 2012 PBGC forms (Comprehensive and Estimated) have been added to DGEM.

New Trading Options Now Available

While Matrix continues to be our most popular trading link, many DV Direct users find it helpful to have additional trading options available. Our standard proprietary links include Schwab Trust, Schwab Broker/Dealer and Fidelity (through SGN) in addition to Matrix.

We’ve recently added several new options:

    • Wilmington Trust Retirement and Institutional Services Company: A new proprietary link is now available to trade directly with Wilmington Trust. You’ll see several options on the DV Direct menu listed simply as ‘Wilmington’. This includes distribution reporting.
  • New Generic Link options:
    • Mid-Atlantic Capital Group: Mid-Atlantic recently programmed to accept our Generic Link file layouts. While currently being tested, this should be available very soon.
    • Folio Institutional: Folio programmed to accept our Generic Link file layouts late in 2011. This option is currently up and running.
    • Presently either Generic Link Transfer Agent (Generic 1 – 18, Generic 2 – 19) can be used with either.

Please contact Bob Long or Tom Lusby for additional information.

Introducing Mary-Beth Smith as ASC’s Newest Sales Consultant

Mary-Beth's Family

Mary-Beth Smith joined ASC this past March as its newest Sales Consultant. Alan Gould, President of ASC, recalls, “The moment I met Mary-Beth I knew she was a natural for our sales team. Mary-Beth has the skills and experience to custom fit our products for a given situation. With over 30 years in this business, we at ASC know that our prospective clients and clients demand someone with Mary-Beth’s knowledge when selecting new systems.”

Indirectly, Mary-Beth has been involved with Sales throughout her entire career by assisting sales teams with plan design, explaining how systems and processes work as well as developing various communications and notices. This type of technical, practical knowledge of the pension industry is what ASC looks for in all its Sales and Support Team members. It means Mary-Beth and the other team members can truly be consultants when working with a client or potential client in evaluating their system needs.

Mary-Beth earned a BA in Public Administration with a concentration in Public Relations from the University of Maine. She gained her 20-year knowledge in the pension industry by working, initially, at a mid-size TPA firm as a senior administrator responsible for the larger and more complex plans. More recently Mary-Beth worked at TD Wealth Management as a team leader for their Administration and Compliance Testing Department.

Mary-Beth has lived in beautiful, rustic Maine for almost half of her life. Today she lives in Old Orchard Beach, a small coastal community, with her husband Phil and 18-year-old son, Brandon. Old Orchard Beach has the largest stretch of sandy beach in Maine and attracts almost 100,000 Canadian tourists during the summer months.

Q: How did you get to ASC?

A: During my 20 years in the industry, I spent 13 years doing “soup to nuts” administration such as plan design consulting, document & amendment preparation and compliance testing. It was there that I became familiar with ASC’s DC/401k and compliance systems. I actually worked with Claire May quite a bit as well as some other ASC staffers like Ruth Flad, Ken Joseph and Brad Watson. Claire and I had a great working relationship and were quite friendly. And I actually used to think to myself, “I would love to work for ASC someday.” In my most recent position with TD Wealth Management, they were running their compliance via Schwab SRT system and Excel. I convinced them they really needed to switch to ASC’s system in order to be more efficient as well as produce nicer report package for their clients. After reviewing the demos, seeing the sample reports, working with Claire and listening to my rave reviews of the ASC products and support team, the contracts were signed quickly. So that was actually my first sale for ASC! Anyway, in January when I saw that ASC was looking to hire another sales consultant I got really excited since like I said, it was kind of a dream of mine to always work here. And of all people, Claire May, who I already knew so well was handling the hiring. After working with Claire for more than 13 years – we finally got to meet in person! It has all worked out great!

Q: What unique experience or qualifications do you think separated you from the other candidates?

A: I would say 20 years in the industry and good experience working with the actual system as well as with the ASC staff were good assets to have.

Q: Technically you’re new to sales. Has there been anything so far that’s gotten you excited about selling?

A: So far what has been exciting for me about becoming a sales consultant are the products and the support team standing behind them. These two things have made the change that much easier. ASC is such a great company, and the team is so knowledgeable, friendly, and responsible. I’m excited to talk about ASC!

Q: What skills do you find you have to make the most use of on the job?

A: You have to be outgoing, organized, be able to think quickly on your feet and be able to say “I don’t know” and then get back to people when you tell them you will. Keeping up with the industry is also a must, which I have been doing for the past 20 years.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?

A: I love my recently adopted dog, Stella, who is a 4-year-old 110lb Great Pyrenees. I’ve spent most of my life as a single parent to a very athletic boy and have been very involved in his various sports activities. For many years I have served as team administrator (team mom) for his youth hockey teams as well as secretary for the Thornton Academy High School Hockey Boosters Association. I’m also the former treasurer and board of director for the Old Orchard Beach Bar and Restaurant Association, which focuses on promoting the local restaurants and clubs in our coastal community. I’m an avid reader and can be found sitting on the beach with my Kindle most weekends in the summer.

Q: In what ways do you raise the bar for yourself and others around you?

A: As a single parent for most of my adult life I’ve always tried to work as hard as I could to not just succeed in my career but also as a parent. Teaching by example has been a motto. It’s been very important to me to take personal responsibility for keeping up with the industry, promoting greater efficiency in my work environment and being honest with clients and coworkers. Work ethic is important if you want to succeed in anything.

The ASC team wishes Mary-Beth best of luck in her new position!