Each year, Employers who sponsor a 403(b) retirement plan are obligated to complete a Universal Availability requirement for their retirement plan and ADMIN is here to help! Below is a comprehensive overview of Universal Availability along with resources for our clients. 


What is Universal Availability (UA)?

UA is a rule under the IRS that requires employers to let employees make elective deferrals (if they wish to do so) within the company’s 403(b) plan. The idea behind the rule is to ensure that all eligible employees are benefiting from the 403(b) Plan equally. As a TPA that specializes in complex plan design, ADMIN Partners ensures that UA is a primary topic of discussion during the initial plan setup stage. We review the UA rule and the process that accompanies the rule throughout the life of the plan.

Who is responsible for UA?

Even with the support of  a TPA, the responsibility of UA remains on the Employer. An Employer is required to provide an annual written notice to all employees stating that they are eligible to participant in the 403(b) Plan. ADMIN Partners does provide templates for employers to utilize when sending out their annual notice which takes the administrative burden away from the Sponsor so they can focus on their day to day (see below). We also ask out clients to utilize our Universal Availability Checklist so that we keep record of these annual notices on behalf of the Plan in the event of a plan audit. 

    How does UA impact a retirement plan?

    Universal Availability is considered a high-level target when 403(b) plans are audited by the IRS. In fact, most of the issues found when a plan undergoes an IRS audit is related to UA and the meaningful notice requirement. Plans need to be sure to maintain proof of the notice provided to employees each year. Failure to do so can often results in high penalties during an IRS audit. Plans using the support of a TPA like ADMIN will pay much less in fees to manage these standards than they would in penalties by the IRS.


    ADMIN’s Universal Availability Templates 

    Download one of the Universal Availability templates (below)and share them with your team today!

    Standard 403(b) Meaningful Notice

    Use this letter to inform employees on who is eligible to contribute to the retirement plan and how to get started.

    New Employee 403(b) Notice

    Use this flyer to tell your new employees that they are eligible to participate in a 403(b) retirement program!

    Retirement Savings Opportunity

    Use this flyer to encourage your staff to participate in your 403(b) retirement plan!