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February 16, 2009

Plan administrator

Your Guide



The person or party responsible for handling the day-to-day administrative functions of the plan.

Responsibilities  of the plan administrator include

  • maintaining plan records,
  • preparing reports,
  • provide a written explanation to any recipient of an eligible rollover distribution
  • perform any required withholding from distributions and send the withheld amounts to the IRS as income tax withholding to be credited against the payee’s taxes. For instance, if an eligible rollover distribution is not processed as a directed rollover, the plan administrator is generally required to withhold 20% for federal taxes.
  • process distribution requests

Referring Cite

Plan’s adoption agreement

Additional Helpful Information

The plan administrator is usually the employer, unless the employer farms out the administrative responsibilities to another party.

Written By

Denise Appleby

Denise is CEO of Appleby Retirement Consulting Inc., a firm that provides IRA resources for financial/ tax/legal professionals. She has over 20 years of experience in the retirement plans field, which includes training and technical consultation.

Denise writes and publishes educational /marketing tools for advisors; available at Denise co-authored several books on IRAs

Denise is a graduate of The John Marshall Law School, where she obtained a Masters of Jurisprudence in Employee Benefits, and has earned 5 professional retirement designations.
She has appeared on numerous media programs, sharing her insights on retirement tax laws.


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