I always believe that the two worst things that you can give people are false praise and false hope. As a plan sponsor, you need a plan provider that is not afraid to tell you the truth that something is wrong and that you need to fix it.
A perfect example is that I had a client who didn’t file a Form 5500 for 5 years and clearly didn’t fill out the correct census information. The third party administrator (TPA) didn’t say anything and it’s clear they knew that the clients didn’t file the 5500 and there is a dispute as to who should have prepared them. They also should have known that the census information wasn’t correct. Yet the TPA never bothered to communicate with the plan sponsor on what was wrong until the client found a new TPA and demanded that the corrections be made.
As a plan sponsor, you need a plan provider that has tough love. They are providers that will fire you if you don’t get your act together because they don’t want the potential liability and the headache.
You need plan providers that will tell you straight and what needs to be fixed and when and if you don’t fix it, they’ll say goodbye.