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Career Story: Conversion Specialist For A 401(K) Recordkeeping Company

Conversion Specialist For A 401(K) Recordkeeping Company

Job Title: Conversion Manager

Type of Company: My company offers 401(k) recordkeeping services to company that offer 401(k) plans to their employees.

Education: BS, Accounting, University of Lowell (now UMass-Lowell)

Previous Experience: I started in an entry-level processing position for a company that provided 401(k) recordkeeping services. As I learned more on the job, I was able to advance to higher level jobs.

Job Tasks: It's my job is to bring a company's 401(k) plan on to our recordkeeping platform from their current provider and to make sure it is running smoothly. Once our sales team has made a sale of our services to a client, I am introduced to the client, and I'm then responsible for gathering any necessary documentation from them. This documentation includes all forms and legal documents which the client must complete and sign in order for us to administer their 401(k) plan. Using these documents, I am able to set up the shell of their 401(k) plan on our recordkeeping system. I contact their current recordkeeping provider to discuss moving their plan's 401(k) plan to our company. I get the details of what information they will require from my company or from the client and what information they will be providing to us. They will provide us with the current details of the client's 401(k) plan (individual employee information) so I can then put that into our recordkeeping system. I also work with the client to get their payroll set up to transmit information to us: their employees' indicative data (address, date of birth, date of hire, etc.) and their contributions to the plan which are processed each pay period. Once the plan is set up and running smoothly in our recordkeeping system, I pass the plan along to a client service manager to administer on a daily basis.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I always enjoyed working with numbers so I enjoy working with the data that is provided by the prior record keeper. This data contains the balances that the client's employees have in the 401(k) plan and this needs to be balanced with the assets of the plan. If the tallies don't balance, I need to research the figures to find out why. I also have a lot of contact with clients, which I like.

The worst part of the job is handling clients' expectations. As with most areas of business, sales will sometimes oversell what can actually be done in order to get a client in the door. It is then up to me to reset these expectations and make the client happy.

Job Tips:
1. When I first started working with 401(k) plans, I knew very little about them. Learn what you can about 401(k) plans and the regulations involved with them.

2. Most of my work is done on a computer, and you will need to know how to work with Microsoft Office applications, especially Word, and Excel.

3. Any type of public speaking training would be useful as a lot of time is spent speaking with clients and you want to sound intelligent and confident and speak in clear and complete sentences.

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