Your alignment call is a critical step in the onboarding process. You and your Vestwell Implementation Specialist will review your workforce demographics and the other information you provided to us when you completed your Task Tracker. Then, we will discuss some suggested plan features that may be appropriate for your business. By this stage, if you have not already reviewed our All About Payroll area of our Help Center, please do that before your alignment call to understand the payroll file submission requirements and whether a payroll integration can support your desired plan features.
We strongly recommend that the employee(s) at your company who are the most knowledgeable about your payroll system, headcount, company facilities, and how you intend to operate your plan attend that call.
We also need you to provide us with very specific information about your payroll system. Getting this information may require you to confirm these details with your payroll provider. We need all of these specifics at least 30 days ahead of your first pay date.
- Pay Group(s) - If you pay employees on different schedules, from multiple bank accounts, or if your business has multiple divisions or facility locations, you may need to create pay groups in your payroll company’s system. Only your payroll provider will know, so please confirm. We need to know those pay groups at least 30 days before your first pay date. This is such an important area that we strongly recommend reading about Pay Groups in our Help Center.
- Bank Account Information - Make sure you have given us the correct bank account from which to withdraw your employees’ deferrals and any employer contributions.
- Precise Employee Demographics - To operate your plan properly and apply your plan’s eligibility and other rules, we need accurate dates of birth, hire, termination, and rehire for all of your employees. All of this data can be obtained from your payroll provider by asking for a “census file.” You can read more about the census file requirements here. In addition, if your business frequently rehires employees, we suggest reading more about this topic in our Help Center, too.
- Possible Alternate Plan Design Features - Some payroll integrations cannot support certain plan features. We do our best to explain these limitations in our Help Center. Still, you may need to consider alternative designs or be prepared to undertake additional setup and ongoing administrative responsibilities explained in our Plan Adoption Agreement Guide.
- Payroll Codes for Employer Match and Safe Harbor Contributions - Your payroll provider may require you to set up payroll codes for these features in their system, so please confirm with your payroll company. In addition, if your plan will have mandatory employer contributions that occur on a frequency other than per pay period or a Safe Harbor match and a discretionary match, there may be additional setup requirements.
- Loans - If any of your participants have an outstanding loan balance, please be sure to set up and maintain retirement loan details within your payroll system.
The alignment call is the best opportunity for both of us to make sure your plan is set up properly. In our experience, spending more time to get the steps right up front will save a lot of time down the road. We look forward to speaking with you soon.
Note that the "Next Article" begins with a video for the "Navigating Your Plan Sponsor Portal" subsection.