Plan reconciliation can seem complicated at first glance. To help improve your understanding of it, this post breaks down the three ingredients that make up plan reconciliation:
- Who it impacts
- How it works
- When it happens (timeline)
Who it impacts
Plan reconciliation impacts employers. Various groups of people, from Human Resources to finance, can have a hand in assisting Benefit Resource (BRI) with Plan Reconciliation.
At its core, plan reconciliation ensures that everyone who is owed money throughout the plan year receives it. This can mean a third party administrator (like Benefit Resource) is sending you money, or you’re sending a TPA money.
How it works
In order to understand how plan reconciliation works, we first have to understand how plans are funded.
Plans can be funded in two ways: deposits and usage.
Deposits allows employers to send a predictable amount through out the year and “settle up” or reconcile at the end of the year.
When a plan is funded through deposits, accounts are funded on the same schedule as the payroll is received.
If there is an unspent cash balance at the time of reconciliation, it will be returned to the employer. If you fund through deposits, you will receive a plan reconciliation report in the mail.
Alternately, usage is a “pay-as-you-go” model. As funds are used by employees, you need to fund the accounts.
Plan usage can happen at any time of year. When a plan is funded through usage (like reimbursement and card swipes), BRI requires that it is allowed to debit.
In most cases, funding equals usage, so it is unlikely reconciliation will be done by the TPA. However, you may want your own internal reconciliation process.
Let’s take a closer look at the timeline for when plan reconciliation occurs.
When does plan reconciliation happen?
Annual reconciliation occurs after the plan year and any applicable run-out ends. It then typically takes about 2 months to complete the reconciliation and to mail out the packet.
We will be working to further streamline this process in the future and to provide information on our website.
The secret (fourth) ingredient
If you currently send funds to BRI for plan funding and/or monthly invoices, you can streamline this process.
How? Sign up to allow BRI to debit your company bank account. The majority of our clients (about 85%) allow BRI to debit for plan funding.
Debiting is a win-win situation. When BRI debits your bank account, it shortens the time it takes to reconcile your account. It also allows BRI to return any forfeitures directly to your bank account.
Think debiting is right for you? Set it up today.