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403(b) Contracts

Q: A non-profit employer currently maintains a 403(b) plan on a third party administrator’s (TPA) 403(b) platform. The employer has access to the record-keeping website and is able to pull reports for the group of participants on a plan level. The employer wishes to move the plan to another TPA.

The original TPA’s contract indicated that the participant accounts are individual contracts unless it chooses to change the contract into a group contract. Is this possible?

A: I do not believe that the individual contracts can be changed into a group contract without the individual participant’s authorization.