Cost-Effective Retirement Plans
Lower Plan Costs
Remove Compliance Burdens
S t r o n g . S m a r t. S u r e .
Retirement Planning...in Real-Time
The VANTAGE Advantage Services Provided
VANTAGE 401(k)SM is a comprehensive, online, real-time retirement Plan sponsor and participant services include:
plan platform with complete back office administration and • Plan design consultation
compliance services for employers who sponsor retirement plans. • Fiduciary compliance services (includes 404(c) compliance)
• Plan implementation
VANTAGE401(k)SM seamlessly integrates the plan’s investment
• Daily valuation record keeping
offering with extensive education, investment research, retirement
• Compliance administration
planner and client-tailored asset allocation models.
• Online and print enrollment
The VANTAGE401(k)SM platform incorporates leading technology • Interactive website: educational tools, risk profile
companies to provide your participants with cutting edge questionnaire, retirement planner, investment strategy
retirement services. allocation builder
• Online participant account management capabilities
• Automated loan modeling and submission
• 24/7 account access via web and Voice Response Unit (VRU)
• Toll-free access to client service representatives
• Cost-effective platform
A b o u t Va n ta g e
VANTAGE Benefits Administrators (VBA) is an VBA’s Convenience
independent Third Party Administrator and full service insurance agency The convenience of the internet is undeniable.
specializing in corporate Employee Benefit Programs. Independent of all Twenty-four-hour access to employee benefit plans
insurance companies, VANTAGE can pursue your company’s best interest makes it especially appealing to participants who want
without bias. VBA was founded solely to provide professional and timely to manage their benefits in a real-time environment.
employee benefit administration services. The firm has established its Vantage is dedicated to maximizing the facility the
base of operations in Southern California, and is staffed with professionals internet offers to the employee benefits industry.
that have extensive knowledge in the design, implementation, and
compliance of corporate employee benefit plans. VBA has developed a
web-based self-service employee benefits platform that simplifies the We have qualified hundreds of plans before the
daily administration, record keeping, and compliance for health and Employee Plans Division of the Internal Revenue
welfare benefits and retirement plans. Service, submitted several thousand annual reports,
and earned an excellent reputation dealing with clients,
VBA’s Philosophy achieving their objectives and maintaining the highest
VBA remains focused on sustaining optimal levels of service at standards of expertise. We are committed to providing
competitive fees. Our philosophy is to provide professional consulting ERISA programs that are flexible, diversified, simple,
and administration via a real-time, online platform. and convenient.
Unbiased Pursuit of Your Best Interest
VANTAGE 401(k)SM lowers plan costs and eliminates compliance burdens while expanding plan flexibility.
It’s guiding objective is the “unbiased pursuit of your best interest.” This results in highly cost-effective retirement plans that your employees
will want to participate in. The plans are characterized by four features which promote the best interest of employers and their employees.
1. Transparency - No hidden charges or revenue sharing fees
2. Unbiased Investment Offering - No proprietary funds being pushed
3. Fiduciary Compliance Services - Reduces potential for a large adverse judgment against the plan
4. Web-based Automation - Efficient Internet web-based platform for enrollment, account management, and record keeping
1. Transparency Account Balance Comparison
No hidden charges. $2,500,000
Some providers present free administration but assess fees listed as “expense
ratio” on funds selected by the participant (fund company) or “wrap fee” based
on total assets (insurance company). In both cases, fees collected by bundled
providers are charged to the participants account and currently have little or
no disclosure requirements to the plan fiduciaries or the participants.
No revenue sharing fees. $1,000,000
Zero 1% 2%
Some providers receive revenue sharing from fund companies ( i.e.
Fees Fees Fees $750,000
Sub-Transfer Agency fees, 12b-1 fees) and choose not to disclose this
revenue to the plan or its participants. When your company enters into an
agreement to offer its participants the VANTAGE401(k)SM, all platform and
administration fees are fully disclosed upfront and any revenue sharing $0
received may be used to offset plan expenses.
Graph depicts beginning balance of $30,000, yearly contributions
of $5,000, and an average annual growth rate of 10%. It is
The graph at right illustrates how fees of even one or two percentage points
intended for illustrative purposes only and is NOT representative
can have a dramatic effect on account balance over the life of their plan. of any guarantees for future investment returns.
2. Unbiased Investment Offering
No proprietary funds being pushed.
VANTAGE 401(k)SM provides participants access to some of the most widely recognized mutual fund
companies available. Participants are able to diversify using a variety of investment styles and fund
managers. VANTAGE 401(k)SM provides an open architecture platform with access to:
• Over 7,500 different mutual funds
• Over 300 fund families
• Self Directed Brokerage Accounts; if offered
• Unitization capabilities for plan sponsors who want to offer Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) portfolios
VANTAGE 401(k)SM removes the inherent conflict of interest that exists in most provider’s plans today.
This allows the plan sponsor and advisor to select best in class investments that best serve the
Leverage Our Expertise & Technology
3. Fiduciary Compliance Services
The four core Fiduciary Standards established by ERISA are: VANTAGE401(k)SM Fiduciary Compliance Services offer long-term
added value and reduced potential for a large adverse judgment
• Act prudently. All plan fiduciaries are expected to act as prudent
against the plan by providing:
experts. The process that a fiduciary follows and the supporting
documentation for that process are critical. • Platform/vendor fee disclosure statements for the plan and plan
• Act with loyalty to plan participants. Fiduciaries must act solely
• A formal written investment policy statement
in the interest of plan participants and decisions for the purpose
of corporate or personal gain are prohibited. • An unbiased participant investment menu that meets ERISA
• Diversify plan investments. Each plan investment must be
considered as part of the Plan’s entire portfolio. • A documented portfolio manager/fund selection process
• Investment plan implementation process
• Carry out Plan duties in accordance with Plan documents and
ERISA. Fiduciaries must be familiar with the Plan’s governing • Ongoing investment manager/fund review process select best in
documents and ERISA requirements. class investments that best serve the participants needs.
4. Web-based Automation
Online Enrollment Retirement Planner
A seamless, real-time, web-based platform for online enrollment The VANTAGE401(k) Retirement Planner is an online, interactive, self help
provides: interactive investment education, a robust retirement tool that enables Plan Sponsors to meet Participant demands for specific
planner, and an investment allocation “strategy builder” based on a investment direction. It includes an educational module, a toolkit of
participant’s personal goals and risk tolerance score. retirement and financial-planning calculators, and our Strategy Builder
asset allocation tool.
The VANTAGE401(k) Retirement Planner is not just a calculator. It is
Communication is essential for a successful retirement plan.
a feature-rich tool to be used by participants on an ongoing basis.
Participants must be given the information they need, when they
Participants can use the Retirement Planner to track their progress,
need it. The success of your company plan relies on a partnership,
enter changes to personal information as they occur, recalculate their
joint cooperation between your company and our administration
retirement goals, and make necessary adjustments to their investment
staff. A steady flow of communication increases understanding,
strategy based on personal circumstances.
which increases the quality of your plan.
Our employee education program provides effective tools to improve
participant investment awareness, increase plan participation, With information from the VANTAGE401(k) record keeping system and/
increase contribution levels and reduce investment confusion. or provided by the plan participant, Strategy Builder uses an automated
Monte-Carlo simulation to recommend portfolio
The VANTAGE401(k) platform provides: strategies based on the participant’s personal
goals and risk tolerance score. The portfolio
• Education module (focusing on
strategies consist of specific investment
investment basics and retirement
planning) suggestions based on the asset classes in
the participant’s investment menu. Strategy
• Interactive financial planning tools
Builder also includes an investment analysis
• Web-based market research
tool that allows the participant to rank and
• Quarterly performance reports
compare mutual funds within a particular
Education is available to plan participants asset class.
on the web and in print.
Optional Plan Services
Alternative Retirement Plan Design
Establishing a 401(k) plan may not always be the answer! We offer
a consultative approach to retirement plan design. It is important
to identify your company’s goals with regard to establishing or VANTAGE ExecPlanSM
maintaining a qualified retirement plan. Pension regulations,
VANTAGE ExecPlanSM is a non-qualified plan that is not required to
design options, and features change constantly; it may be time to
meet the contribution limits or testing requirements applicable to
re-evaluate your plan.
plans qualified under the Internal Revenue Code. It is exempt from
virtually all ERISA requirements provided that the plan is maintained
Alternative Retirement Plans
primarily for a select group of managers and/or highly compensated
• New Comparability Plan Design • Profit Sharing Plans employees. The VANTAGE ExecPlanSM utilizes all the web-based tools
• Cross Tested Plan Design • Target Benefit Plans and account access that are available with the VANTAGE401(k)SM.
• Cash Balance Plans • Defined Benefit Plans
• ESOP’s (Employee Stock Ownership Plans) Flexible Spending Accounts
Section 125 and 132 of the IRS code, also known as Cafeteria Plans,
are an excellent way for your employees to reduce their taxable
income, resulting in an increase in the employees overall take-home
pay. VANTAGE offers full-service third party administration for
both “premium only” plans, as well as “reimbursement plans”.
Participant Communication Our services include all plan testing, contribution and claims
processing, quarterly employee and employer reports. Plans may be
We provide extensive communication materials to
customized to suit each employer’s needs.
participants. The plan’s features and benefits are
presented to your employees through our website,
voice response unit (VRU), e-mail updates and
Online Account Access - After logging in to our
secure website with their personal username and
password, participants can view their statements,
account balances, investment elections, Employer Online Access to Employee Online Access to
contributions, and transaction history online. They
• Participant Demographics • Education
can also model and submit loans, make transfers,
• Plan Reports & Plan Documents • Retirement Planning
and change future allocations.
• Census/Contribution upload and • Enrollment
Voice Response Unit - Participants can also call our • Account management
voice response unit (VRU) to check balances, make • Automated signature ready 5500
investment transfers, change future allocations,
receive retirement projections, model and submit
loans, check investment fund returns and unit
• Retirement Administration system, including DB plans
values, and change their personal information.
• Section 125 Administration system
Client Service Center - Participants can speak • Trust Accounting system
directly with a client service representative. VANTAGE
• Documentation system
client service reps can answer participant questions
• Online enrollment system
and assist with filling out appropriate forms.
Participant Investment Choices
VANTAGE401(k) provides three approaches for participants to
manage their retirement assets. They can be used independently
or in concert with one another.
Self Managed Portfolio
Participants have total control over their portfolio (collection of
investments all owned by a single investor). They can build their
own Asset Allocation Portfolio from the funds available on the
plan’s investment menu or they can allocate all of their holdings
in a single investment. Participants are responsible for choosing
their investments from among those available on the plan’s
investment menu and managing them.
Participants can use “Strategy Builder,” our online asset allocation The administrative requirements associated with defined
tool, to build a custom asset allocation portfolio based on their contribution accounting are extensive. Our experienced
specific goals and risk tolerance. When a participant accepts the administrative and record-keeping staff provide expert handling
recommended portfolio, Strategy Builder guides them through the of your plan’s day-to-day operations, which lessens the burden on
investment selection process. Strategy Builder also includes an your company’s HR personnel.
investment analysis tool that allows the participant to compare
each investment within a particular asset class. Implementing The administrative services provided include:
the custom portfolio is as simple as placing the recommended • Plan review consultation and design services
allocation percentage next to their investment choice within each • Qualified Plan Adoption Agreement
• IRS Approved Plan and Trust Documents
• Electronic and hard copy Summary Plan Description
Professionally Managed Portfolio
• Plan transition analysis and processing
Participants select an Asset Allocation Fund or a Life Cycle Fund,
• Trust financial statements and income reporting
which are managed for them by professional money managers.
• Actuarial valuation reports
Self-Directed Brokerage Accounts • IRS or DOL plan audit representation
Self-directed brokerage accounts, if offered by a plan sponsor, • Internal Revenue Service Form 5500 preparation and filing
allow participants to set up an individual brokerage account • Daily valuation record keeping
within the plan. In a self-directed account, the participant chooses
• Employee deferral allocation processing
the securities in which to invest and accepts sole responsibility for
• Discrimination tests as required
their investment selections.
• Plan top-heavy testing and calculations
• IRC section 415 limitation testing
• Internal Revenue Service 1099-R Forms
• Periodic HR Reports
• Loan, withdrawal, and distribution administration
• Qualified Domestic Relations Order processing
• Individual participant benefit statements
The Importance of Allocation
By including asset categories with investment returns that move investment products exists - including stocks and stock mutual
up and down under different market conditions within a portfolio, funds, corporate and municipal bonds, bond mutual funds, life
an investor can protect against significant losses. Historically, cycle funds, exchange-traded funds, money market funds, and
the returns of the three major asset categories have not moved U.S. Treasury securities. For many financial goals, investing in a
up and down at the same time. Market conditions that cause one mix of stocks, bonds, and cash can be a good strategy. Let’s take a
asset category to do well often cause another asset category to closer look at the characteristics of diversification.
have average or poor returns. By investing in more than one asset
category, you’ll reduce the risk that you’ll lose money and your Diversification is a strategy that can be neatly summed up by
portfolio’s overall investment returns will have a smoother ride. If the timeless adage “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” The
one asset category’s investment return falls, you’ll be in a position strategy involves spreading your money among various investment
to counteract your losses in that asset category with better categories in the hope that if one investment loses money, the
investment returns in another asset category. other investments will more than make up for those losses.
The Magic of Diversification Many investors use asset allocation as a way to diversify
their investments among asset categories. Many financial
The practice of spreading money among different investments to
experts believe that determining your asset allocation is the
reduce risk is known as diversification. By picking the right group
most important decision that you’ll make with respect to your
of investments, participants may be able to limit their losses and
investments - that it’s even more important than the individual
reduce the fluctuations of investment returns without sacrificing
investments you buy.
too much potential gain.
The Asset allocation Models below represent examples of potential
The VANTAGE401(k) staff are not registered investment advisors,
asset mixes for the five investment styles available within the
and therefore cannot recommend any particular investment
VANTAGE401(k) program. Actual portfolio allocations will vary.
product; however, participants should know that a vast array of
CONSERVATIVE MODERATE AGGRESSIVE
Small Cap Core 16%
Global Bonds Small Cap Core 25%
Small Cap Core
Small Cap Core
Mid Cap Growth
Small Cap Core 10%
Mid Cap Value 9%
Mid Cap Growth
Large Cap Core
Mid Cap Value
Mid Cap Value
Large Cap Core 10%
Mid Cap Value
Divers US Bonds 40%
Large Cap Core
Large Cap Core
Divers US Bonds 47% 56%
Large Cap Core
Cash Equivalent 35%
Divers US Bonds 35%
High Yield Bonds 5%
Cash Equivalent 20%
Divers US Bonds 42%
Keep in mind investing involves market risk, including possible loss of principal and there is no guarantee that investment objectives will be achieved.
Some investment options may impose a short term trade fee. Please read the underlying prospectus carefully.