This module focuses on the issues that owners should consider when selecting a retirement plan type that will best address their unique business and altruistic objectives. Once the plan type is chosen, many of its features and options must be tailored to meet both ERISA and Internal Revenue Code (IRC) requirements and the company’s objectives for the plan. These include plan structure and design, plan documentation and disclosure, employee communication, and plan amendment requirements. Master, prototype, volume submitter, and individually designed plans are addressed along with the legal requirements for adopting a plan.

5–1 Discuss factors an employer should consider before choosing to offer a retirement plan.
5–2 Select an appropriate plan type for a given employer scenario.
5–3 Analyze issues involved in the design of an employer-sponsored plan.
5–4 Compare and contrast common approaches to plan implementation, including use of master plans, prototype plans, and individually designed plans.
5–5 Identify the need to make a plan amendment and the reporting and disclosure requirements associated with such an amendment.

About the Author

Kristen MacKenzie, MBA, CFP®, CRPC® is an associate professor at the College for Financial Planning. Kristen has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, both as an active financial planner and as a provider of financial education. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in economics and later received her MBA at the University of Colorado. You can contact Kristen at

Complexity Level: Intermediate