Frequently Asked Questions About Your
Retirement Plan

This FAQ document has been created by BPAS to answer some of the most common questions posed by plan participants. This document will be updated over time, with the most recent version found in the participant website of www.bpas.com.

I have not logged into my BPAS account before. What is my user name and password?

The first time you log into your BPAS account, your user name will be your 9-digit Social Security Number without dashes or spaces (e.g. 123456789). Your password will be your date of birth entered as mmddyyyy (e.g. 05141977).

After your initial log in, you’ll be prompted to create a new username and password. You will find step-by-step instructions on how to log into your Participant account here.

What is my account balance?

You can find your account balance by logging into your account within www.bpas.com. Your current balance will show on the first screen after you enter your username and password. If you aren’t able to locate your online account login, call us at 1-866-401-5272 (option 3).

How can I check the status of my loan, hardship, or distribution request?

You can always find the status of any such request by logging into your Participant Account and viewing the Transactions menu. You will see an option for Disbursement Status. Select a beginning and ending date range to display the status of any loan, hardship or distribution request.

What is the maximum amount I can contribute to my retirement plan?

Because your plan is regulated by the IRS, maximum contributions change from year-to-year (indexed for cost of living increases). To see the latest figures, please log into your account, select the Resource Center, and then select “Contribution Limits and COLAs.” You can also find this information here. This chart will show you the amount you can contribute each year, including the additional “catch up” contribution that can be made by employees who will be age 50 or older in the current plan year. You can also access the IRS webpage (irs.gov) for additional information.

How can I update my address?

If you’re an Active employee (still employed with the Employer sponsoring the Plan), please update your address with your Human Resources division. The new address is provided to us each payroll period to update our records.

If you are a participant who has terminated employment, there are several ways you can update your address at BPAS:

    1. Log into your Participant account. Choose Account Maintenance and update your address information online (the recommended approach).
    2. Mail acceptable proof of your address change to us at: BPAS | 6 Rhoads Drive, # 7| Utica, NY 13502. Or fax to 315-292-6450. Acceptable proof of address change includes any of the following:
      • Driver’s license, learner’s permit, or DMV-issued photo ID card showing your new address
      • Payroll stub issued by an employer within the last two months showing your new address
      • Utility bill (e.g., gas, electric, sewer, water, cable or phone), not more than two months old, issued in your name and showing your new address. Please note that we can’t accept cellular phone or pager bills
      • Voter registration card showing your new address
      • Current homeowner’s insurance policy or bill showing your new address
    3. Complete a change of address form at USPS.com; or manually send us a change of address form from the U.S. Postal Service
    4. Call us at 1-866-401-5272 to update your address over the phone

How do I know if you received the paperwork I faxed?

If you faxed or mailed loan or distribution paperwork, you may check the status of your request online by logging into your Participant Account. Or, just give us a call at 1-866-401-5272 (option 3).

Can I take a withdrawal from my account?

You may be eligible for a loan or distribution from your retirement account depending on the provisions of your retirement plan. Login to your Participant Account or call us at 1-866-401-5272 to see if you’re eligible.

How do I make a deferral/contribution rate change?

If your employer allows online deferral changes, simply login to your Participant Account and select Deferral Change under the Transactions menu. You may also make changes using our Automated Phone System by calling 1-800-530-1272. When prompted, simply enter your SSN and PIN, and then listen for the appropriate prompts for Deferral Changes.

If your employer doesn’t allow online changes, login to your Participant Account and print a Contribution Rate Change form from the Resource Center. You’ll need to return your completed form to your Human Resources Department.

I forgot my username and password, what do I do?

At the login screen, click on “Forgot Username/Password.” If you forgot your password, enter your username in the field provided and answer the password hint question. A temporary password will be sent to the email address on file for you.

If you forgot your username, enter your Social Security Number and date of birth in the fields provided. Your username will be sent to the email address we have on file for you.

How can I request forms for a distribution?

If you qualify for a distribution, most plans allow you to login to your Participant Account and choose Distribution Request from the Transactions menu. You may access and print the forms by choosing Requested Paperwork. If you have any problems logging in or don’t have access to a printer, we’re here to help. Call us at 1-866-401-5272.

How can I get the forms I need to take out a loan?

First, take a look at your plan provisions to make sure your plan allows loans and verify the type of loan allowed. If your plan allows traditional loans, login to your Participant Account and select Loan Modeling and Request from the Transactions menu. Enter the loan amount and repayment terms to determine the loan payment. After you submit the loan amount and repayment terms, you’ll be able to print the Requested Paperwork under the Transactions menu. Send your completed forms to us at the address shown on the cover page of your application form.

For MyPlanLoan requests, select the MyPlanLoan option from the Transactions menu. If spousal consent is required by your plan, you’ll also need to complete and send a Spousal Consent Form. After you print the forms, you may resume your online loan application by choosing Proceed.

How can I pay off my loan?

You may pay off your payroll-deducted loan by sending us a cashier’s check, money order, or personal check along with a Loan Payoff form. You may find a Loan Payoff form under the Resource Center when you login to your Participant Account. Payments made by cashier’s check or money order are processed within 1-3 business days of our receipt. We’re required to hold personal checks for 10 business days. Please make checks payable to the name of your retirement plan and mail to:

BPAS | 6 Rhoads Drive, #7 | Utica, NY 13502

Who do I talk to for investment advice about
my retirement plan?

We suggest you contact your plan’s financial advisor for investment advice. If you don’t know your advisor, please call us at 1-866-401-5272 so we can provide you with the contact information.

Can you email me my documents?

For security purposes and your protection, we’re not able to email documents containing personal and financially identifiable information. We’re currently investigating options that may allow us to email this information securely in the near future.

What is vesting? Why does my account online show two
different balances?

Vesting is the percentage of a retirement account that is “owned” by a plan participant; you’re only entitled to the amount you have “ownership” in.

Any money you contribute (e.g. a salary deferral or rollover contribution) is always 100% vested. Employer contributions, however, may be subject to a vesting schedule. The rate at which Employer contributions vest is dependent upon your Plan’s provisions. More information about your Plan’s specific vesting schedule can be found in the Summary Plan Description in the Resource Center.

If your account shows two different balances (your Total Account Balance differs from your Vested Account Balance), it’s because your Employer contributions are not fully vested (owned by you) yet.

Why was my money rolled into a different account with BPAS when
I didn’t request a change?

Your Employer enlisted BPAS AutoRollovers to establish IRAs on behalf of terminated participants. Because you no longer work for the Plan’s sponsor (the Employer), and your account balance is below a certain threshold, we rolled your funds to a new account that’s safe and fully accessible to you. The difference is that your new account is no longer associated with your former Employer’s plan. Please call us at 1-866-401-5272 if you have questions regarding your new IRA account.

When should I expect my 1099-R?

We are required by the IRS to mail 1099-R forms no later than January 31. If for some reason you haven’t received your 1099-R by February 15, please call us right away at 1-866-401-5272 or login to your Participant Account and download your form. The forms will be found in the Resource Center under Tax Forms.

Do you offer Spanish services?

Yes. We have a number of team members who are fluent in Spanish, and stand ready to assist if needed. Furthermore, we utilize translation services that can be conferenced in if necessary.

Our website can also be viewed in Spanish, and we have a number of Notices and other materials that can be provided in Spanish as well.

How do I choose to NOT participate in my retirement plan?

If you don’t wish to participate in the retirement plan at this time, you may change your deferral amount online, or through our automated phone system (if your plan allows) by calling 1-866- 401-5272. If your plan doesn’t allow online changes to your deferral election, you may login to your Participant Account and print the Contribution Rate Change form from the Resource Center. Return the completed form to your Human Resources Department.

What is the difference between Roth Elective Deferrals and After Tax Contributions?

Roth Elective Deferrals and After Tax Contributions are similar in tax treatment initially and during the years before retirement. The main difference involves tax treatment of withdrawals.

The chart below summarizes the differences between Roth, After-Tax 401(k) and Pre-Tax 401(k).

Designated Roth 401(k)

After-tax 401(k)

Pre-tax 401(k)

Contributions
Designated Roth employee elective contributions are made with after-tax dollars Contributions are made from your net income after you have paid taxes Traditional, pre-tax employee elective contributions are made with before-tax dollars
Income Limits
No income limit to participate No income limit to participate No income limit to participate
Maximum Elective Contribution
Aggregate* employee elective contributions limited to $18,000 in 2015 plus an additional $6,000 for employees age 50 or over. Not part of the aggregate limits like Roth and Pre-tax contributions Same aggregate* limit as Designated Roth 401(k) Account
Taxation of Withdrawals
Withdrawals of contributions and earnings are not taxed provided it’s a qualified distribution.

To be qualified, the account must be held for at least 5 Years, and the distribution must be:

  • made on account of disability, or
  • made on or after death, or
  • made on or after reaching age 59½

Keep in mind that timing of withdrawals is based on your plan provisions.

Any earnings you made on these contributions are taxable as ordinary income upon withdrawal. For example, let’s say you contributed $10,000 “after tax” and earned 10% on the contribution – totaling $1,000. Upon retirement, when you make the withdrawal, you will be taxed on $1,000 and your $10,000 will not be taxed (because you already paid taxes on it before making the contribution).

Keep in mind that timing of withdrawals is based on your plan provisions.

Withdrawals of contributions and earnings are subject to Federal and most State income taxes. Keep in mind that timing of withdrawals is based on your plan provisions.
Required Distributions

 

Distributions must begin no later than age 70½, (unless you are still working and not a 5% owner). Same as Designated Roth 401(k) and Pre-tax 401(k) Accounts. Same as Designated Roth 401(k) Account.
*Limitation is by individual, rather than plan. Although permissible to split the annual employee elective contribution between designated Roth contributions and traditional pre-tax contributions, the combination cannot exceed the deferral limit.

I filled out the BPAS Incoming Rollover Verification Form.
Why haven’t my rollover assets been posted to my account yet?

We require the Rollover Verification Form for all rollover assets; the trustee of your former employer’s plan also requires paperwork to initiate a distribution. If you completed both forms, it’s possible we simply haven’t yet received the assets from your previous plan administrator. We suggest you contact the trustee of your former plan to ensure they have the necessary paperwork and have forwarded your assets to BPAS.

How can I get help with the rollover process?

Just contact our Incoming Rollover Specialist at mailto:incomingrollovers@bpas.comor call (866) 401- 5272, ext. 5007. You may even fill out the BPAS Rollover Verification Form electronically to speed-up the process. Our Rollover Specialist can also help you contact the trustee of your former employer’s plan by hosting a 3-way call.

I need to request a hardship withdrawal from my retirement plan. What kind of documentation do I need to provide with the application?

We understand and are here to help. Below is supporting information the IRS requires us to collect before we can issue hardship withdrawals.

Documentation for Purchase of a Principal Residence
    • Provide a copy of the binding contractual agreement (including addendums, if any) to build a home or a purchase agreement that is signed and dated by both parties (buyer and seller). These agreements must include the address of the property, the total purchase price, and a future closing/settlement date not to exceed 90 days from the request date.
    • Purchase of Land (for purposes of building a primary residence): A current bill of sale, contract or deed indicating a future closing/settlement date, must be signed by buyer and seller, dated and include address of property.
    • Building Primary Residence: Copies of the costs directly related to building a primary residence, such as invoices or bills including any material costs that need to be paid.
    • Please provide one of the below documents to verify the “Estimated Costs Due at Closing.” The purchase price and the property address listed on the below document MUST match the purchase price and property address listed on the purchase agreement:
      • The “Initial Fee Worksheet” (dated within 45 days) containing the participant’s name, the property address and the estimated costs due (out of pocket expenses) at time of closing.
      • A letter from the lender (dated within 45 days) verifying the amount of the “Estimated Costs Due at Closing.” The letter must be on the financial institution’s letterhead referencing the participant’s name, property address and it will need to be signed and titled by a representative from the facility.
      • A copy of the Uniform Residential Loan Application (dated within 45 days) containing the “Estimated Costs Due at Closing.” The loan application must contain the participant’s name and the property address. If a future closing date is not on the sales agreement, the participant must provide a letter from the mortgage company that includes the future closing date. The letter must be on letterhead and reference the participant’s name, the property address and it must be signed/titled by a representative from the mortgage company.
Payment of Tuition & Related Fees

Definition: Payment of tuition, related educational fees, and room/board expenses, for up to the next 12 months of post-secondary education for the employee, employee’s spouse, children or dependents.

Post-secondary education generally refers to education that commences after the completion of high school. Expenses that would qualify for a hardship withdrawal would include tuition, fees charged for the use of technological or other facilities required for the post-secondary program (such as computer fees or gym facility fees), dormitory expenses and expenses of a room or apartment close to the educational facility, and meals while attending the educational program. Loan repayments of student loans are not educational expenses for this purpose.

Documentation for Payment of Tuition & Related Fees
    • Copies of actual invoices for future tuition on school’s letterhead, of up to the next 12 months of post-secondary education. The bill must include: the name of the student, the name of the school or educational institution, the period for which the expenses are incurred (ex. spring 2016) and the total amount due. Unpaid invoices must be dated within 45 days and contain semester start date of no more than 90 days before the start of semester or during the semester for which expenses are incurred. Expenses for prior periods/semesters are not eligible for a hardship withdrawal.

*The tuition bill must indicate the current and/or future semesters are due along with the amount required to satisfy the need. The bill cannot be for “estimated” costs. To avoid delays, it must be clearly indicated that the required payment is a “finalized” statement from the school.

**If the tuition bill indicates a name other than the participant’s, we need proof of dependent or spouse. This includes tax documentation or birth certificate as proof of dependent or marriage license as proof of spouse.

    • Copy of the bill for dormitory fees or housing fees (or estimate of dormitory fees that is signed by the educational institution) that appears on the school’s letterhead containing the name of the dormitory or housing provider and the name of the participant or student. A copy of a lease agreement indicating the rent and signed/dated by all interested parties. The bill must specify the amount due and must refer to a future period ending not more than one year later than the date of submission.
    • Copy of the bill for board or meal expenses (or estimate of boarding expenses that is signed by the owner or manager of the boarding establishment) that appears on the school’s letterhead containing the name of the establishment providing the board and meals and the name of the participant or student. The bill must specify the amount due and must refer to a future period ending not more than one year later than the date of submission.
Payments to Prevent Eviction or Foreclosure

Definition: Expenses necessary to prevent the eviction or foreclosure of the employee’s primary residence. The participant can only qualify for a hardship withdrawal for this reason if a specific dollar amount is due by a certain date in the future in order to prevent foreclosure or to avoid eviction.

Documentation for Payments to Prevent Eviction or Foreclosure
    • Include a copy of the eviction/foreclosure notice or court order. The notice or Court order must:
      • Include the participant’s name and address (address on documentation must match address on record).
      • Be dated within 45 days of the request.
      • Clearly state a future date by which the amount is due to prevent Eviction or Foreclosure.
      • Provide the months for which the rent or payment is due.
      • Clearly identify the Landlord’s name and the Landlord’s contact information.
      • Include the Landlord’s dated signature and TITLE (e.g.,Landlord, Property Manager, etc.).
      • The Landlord’s signature needs to be witnessed by a Notary Public if the eviction letter is not on Letterhead of the complex/company.

*If we receive proof that does not indicate a future date of when the funds for mortgage or eviction are due, it is okay to accept it as long as the date on the letter is current and not older than 14 days. The letter must indicate that foreclosure/acceleration proceedings may or will take place if the funds are not paid.

    • If the address on record does not match the address of the primary residence on the
    • foreclosure or eviction notice, the participant needs to submit a copy of their current driver’s license showing the primary residence address. If the current driver’s license has not yet been updated with the primary residence, the participant may also submit a signed, dated, notarized letter stating that the home in foreclosure, or the residence that the participant is being evicted from, is the primary residence.
    • If the name on the foreclosure or eviction letter does not match the participant’s name, we need supporting documentation indicating that the participant lives there. This will include a copy of an income tax return or a utility bill.
    • Provide a copy of the foreclosure notice from the financial institution (on the financial institution’s letterhead) or Court Order (dated within 45 days). The notice or Court Order must clearly state the dollar amount that is due and a future date that it is due in order to remedy the foreclosure proceedings.
    • Delinquent property taxes qualify if they are taxes on the participant’s primary residence and will result in foreclosure or sale of the property. The tax notice (dated within 45 days) must reference the tax year(s); it must state the dollar amount due and a future date that is needed to prevent the sale of the property.
Medical/Dental/Hospital Expenses

Definition: Expenses for (or necessary to obtain) medical/dental/hospital care that would be deductible under IRC section 213(d) (determined without regard to whether the expenses exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income). The participant may request a hardship withdrawal for qualifying medical expenses incurred by the participant, the participant’s spouse, children or dependents.

Medical/Dental/Hospital Care includes unpaid amounts for any of the following:
    • For the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body.
    • For transportation primarily for and essential to medical care.
    • For qualified long-term care services, which include necessary diagnostic, preventative, therapeutic, curing, treating, mitigating, and rehabilitative services, and maintenance or personal care services. To qualify, these services must be required by a chronically ill individual and provided under a plan prescribed by a licensed health care practitioner.
    • For insurance covering medical care as described above, or for eligible long-term care premiums for any qualified long-term insurance contract.
    • For lodging away from home that is primarily for and essential to medical care, subject to the limits of IRC section 213(d) (2).
    • For prescribed drugs that require a prescription of a physician.
Documentation for Medical Expenses
    • Medical/Dental/Hospital Expenses: Copy of the medical/dental/hospital bill listing the medical/dental/hospital expenses and totals on letterhead of the medical or insurance provider showing the participant or the dependent as the patient or insured. Bill must not be older than 90 days. Itemized insurance and medical/dental/hospital bills must show the insured and uninsured portion of the expenses. If doctor, hospital, or other health care bills are not covered, the provider must verify thie information directly on the medical bill in addition to signing and providing their title. If the bill indicates a due date that has already past, the participant needs to provide us with an updated bill.

*If the physician/dentist refuses to perform future treatment without payment in advance, the participant needs to include a signed treatment plan from the doctor’s office. This must include the title of the person signing, stating the future date of the appointment and that payment is expected at the time service is rendered. The treatment plan must show the estimated insurance portion and the amount due by the patient.

**If the bill is in the name of anyone other than the participant, we need proof of dependent. This includes either the participant’s tax documentation indicating proof of dependent or the dependent’s birth certificate.

    • Long-term Care Services: Copy of the service bill listing the services and dollar amounts of expenses on service-provider letterhead or insurance provider showing the participant or the dependent as the patient or insured. Itemized insurance and medical/dental bills must show the insured and the uninsured portion of the expenses. Bill must not be older than 90 days.
    • Insurance Premiums for Medical Expenses or Long-Term Care Services: Copy of insurer’s bill for premiums on letterhead showing the participant or dependent as the patient or insured. These premiums must not be reimbursed by any Employer. Bill must not be older than 90 days.
    • Lodging Expenses while away from home primarily for essential medical care: Copy of the bill from provider on letterhead showing the participant or dependent as customer with accompanying medical expense bill indicating the dates of service. Bill must be dated within 90 days and participant can only submit lodging expenses up to $50 per person, per night.

*Medical care does not include cosmetic surgery or similar procedures, unless it is necessary to ameliorate a deformity related to a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease.

Expenses for the Repair of Damage to the Employee’s Principal Residence that Qualifies for a Casualty Deduction

Definition: Expenses for the repair of damage to the employee’s principal residence that would qualify for the casualty deduction under section 165 (determined without regard to whether the loss exceeds 10% of the adjusted gross income)

A Casualty Loss is defined as a “sudden, unusual or unexpected” event resulting in an uninsured loss. Causes of such rapid losses include flood, fire, earthquake, wind damage, water damage, theft, accident, vandalism, hurricane, tornado, riot, shipwreck, snow, rain and ice.

Documentation for Casualty to Home
    • Evidence of casualty (a detailed description of the events that resulted in the casualty). The participant may submit pictures and/or articles of newspaper clippings as evidence.
    • The reason for the loss and any documentation supporting the loss. The participant must sign/date their letter of explanation.
    • The location of the loss (the address of the loss must be the participant’s principal residence).
    • If the address on file does not match the address of the participant’s principal residence in Omni as listed on the casualty description or invoices, the participant needs to submit a copy of their driver’s license indicating the primary residence address. If the current driver’s license has not yet been updated with the primary residence address, the participant may also submit a signed, dated, notarized letter stating that the home affected by the casualty is the principal residence.
    • Unpaid current (dated within 45 days) invoices and/or contracts, signed by participant and contractor, evidencing the cost of the repair, and which indicates that insurance does not cover the cost of repairs. The invoice must state a future date in time when the repair will take place. The contracts must be fully executed with a representative and participant’s signatures on contract. Please note: We cannot accept an estimate of these charges.
    • Copy of any insurance claims from your insurance company as evidence that the damages have or have not been covered by your homeowners insurance. If the participant does not have insurance and provides a cancellation notice, then we need further proof indicating that the damage was casualty loss (ex: Notice from FEMA indicating that the county the participant lives in is considered a disaster recovery).**The participant can only qualify for a hardship withdrawal for this reason when there is a casualty loss to their principal residence that arose from fire, storm, shipwreck, theft or some other casualty. Only the portion of the expense that is not covered by insurance is eligible for this purpose.

*To be deductible, a casualty loss must occur quickly, usually instantly or over a few days. Slow losses that occur over months or years, such as mold damage, dry rot, moth or termite damage, or normal home maintenance to repair or replace windows, roof or plumbing generally are not tax-deductible, and therefore do not qualify for a financial hardship.

**The participant can only qualify for a hardship withdrawal for this reason when there is a casualty loss to their principal residence that arose from fire, storm, shipwreck, theft or some other casualty. Only the portion of the expense that is not covered by insurance is eligible for this purpose.

Payment for Burial or Funeral Expenses

Definition: Payments for burial or funeral expenses for the participant’s deceased parent, spouse, children or dependents.

Documentation for Payment for Burial or Funeral Expenses
    • Unpaid invoices (dates within 45 days) from other parties to pay additional expenses associated with the funeral.
    • Covered expenses including opening/closing of a grave, a burial plot, a burial vault or grave liner, a marker or monument, a crypt, cemetery perpetual care charges, honoraria for clergy, a funeral breakfast/luncheon/dinner expenses associated with the funeral/memorial service, flowers, guest registers and acknowledgment cards, music and urn or casket.
    • Expenses that are not covered include invoices that have been paid, burial expenses to the extent that they are covered by Veteran’s benefits, travel expenses incurred by family members to attend the funeral, and prearranged/prepaid funerals.
    • Provide a copy of the current (dated within 45 days) unpaid invoice signed by the funeral home/director. The itemized bill must show the name of the deceased, the unpaid balance due and the responsible party (participant) for payment.
    • Provide a copy of the current (dated within 45 days) unpaid invoices from other parties to pay additional expenses. The itemized bill must show the name of the deceased, the unpaid balance due and the responsible party (participant) for payment.
    • Copy of death certificate.
    • Proof of immediate family member (marriage license, birth certificate, etc.).