Distributing family heirlooms and keepsakes, proceeds of a sale, the wealth of a nation, or historically the booty of war has always been difficult. During our recent Presidential campaign, President Obama’s comments about redistributing wealth created grist for the political mill. Issues regarding how money is distributed flash across the screen of history regularly. From Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” to the Marxist view of a communist society … all have a basis in the perception of who gets what, and when.

How we distribute coffee impacts the funding available for ministry.

Jesus’ parables address the issue. One of the themes behind the Prodigal Son deals with the key difference of opinion between the two brothers of who gets what, when, and how the Father deals with the issues. Getting what is perceived to be ours when we want it—and in the form we want it—is a theme played out daily in families, businesses, Churches and cities across our land.

Interestingly, the issue of retirement plan distributions is the one that comes up most often during the day to day administration of retirement plans. There are so many reasons—and often such urgency—attached to distribution requests that the emotional elements often over ride the administrative.

Think of the various reasons monies are distributed from a retirement plan:

  1. The individual is leaving the organization for any number of reasons. A distribution will take place.
  2. The organization is closing a 401k plan and moving to a 403b plan. A distribution will take place.
  3. The organization is changing vendors. A distribution will take place.
  4. A plan participant is experiencing a hardship of some kind. A distribution will take place.
  5. A plan participant takes a loan … a type of distribution will take place.
  6. A plan participant retires. A distribution will take place.

Time, form, and process all are key elements to these distribution issues. It is important that each Plan Administrator be up to speed on what it takes for a distribution to take place. The best place to get up to speed, or to review a process, is on the Plan Sponsor Web Portal Resource Center. The Distributions tab is the access point to key descriptors dealing with all of the distribution issues mentioned above.

Retirement Plan best practices, and some cases legal requirements, provide for the Plan Sponsor Representative or Plan Administrator to sign off on all distributions. When a Plan Participant leaves the organization there is a process outlined that will help the Organization encourage the Participant to move their funds to an IRA. This process helps both the Participant and the Organization: engaging the participant; and relieving the Organization of major ongoing communication responsibilities. Yes, we’ve thought of it all. Oh, by the way, as long as the assets are in an Envoy Choice IRA, we count the assets toward your plan pricing breakpoints. That was a good idea and kudos to our Envoy Staff.

Taking a retirement plan distribution need not be traumatic or painful. It is a critical part of our Educate Now! Process. Clearly, distributions are part and parcel of the end result of a well developed and implemented Future Funded Ministry Plan. Distributions: The Freedom to Serve.

Preparation with Integrity results in Ministry for a lifetime. Distributions are the way the funds are transferred from the investment stage to active ministry. Dream, Save, Serve!

Let me know your thoughts and comments. Our dialogue continues.

Living with Trusted Advice together,


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