Ascensus Retirement Services

Ascensus, a leading retirement plan solutions provider, will act as the pre-approved sponsor for your client's retirement plan document. As one of the largest qualified retirement plan platforms in the country, we offer many plan design options to help create a plan that meets anyone's needs.

Establish Services

Steps to Obtain a Pre-Approved Plan Document

  1. The employer must complete a Plan Establishment Kit (PEK) using either the printable documents below or the integrated Sertifi electronic submission and signature process. 
  2. Ascensus will create plan documents based on the PEK information. 
  3. Ascensus will send the new plan documents electronically to the employer.
  4. The employer can electronically sign the documents using Sertifi.
Document Service Agreement (DSA)
The employer must sign a DSA, which specifies the roles and responsibilities between the employer and Ascensus. The employer must also complete the Payment Authorization Form (PAF), included with the DSA, to provide the billing information that Ascensus will use to collect the annual service fee.

Plan Design Questionnaire (PDQ)
The PDQ gathers information needed to prepare Ascensus pre-approved plan documents. The information will be converted into an adoption agreement, a basic plan document, a summary plan description (if applicable), and all applicable plan amendments.
There are two ways to complete the required documents: 1) Complete, print, and fax the forms to Ascensus or 2) submit forms electronically through Sertifi.
Option 1: Fax Submission

Complete, print, and fax forms to Ascensus. Please fax to 218-825-5713.
Select the appropriate plan type to download the Plan Establishment Kit. Each kit contains the applicable PDQ, DSA, and PAF.

Owner-Only Plan Establishment Kit (Individual 401(k) Plan)
Plan Establishment Kit (401(k) Profit Sharing & Money Purchase Plans)

Option 2: Electronic Submission
Complete and Submit Documents through Sertifi
Before you begin, please have the following information available.

Plan name, plan type, employer EIN, and plan provisions (e.g., contribution allocations, vesting, and loan provisions).

Payment Informationincluding bank name, routing number, and account number.
Provide the Employer/Authorized Signer's email address and select the appropriate plan type below. You must complete the documents in one session and electronically sign.
NOTE: The Employer/Authorized Signer must be present to sign while the forms are being completed because the forms cannot be electronically forwarded for signature.

    • A 401(k) plan designed for sole proprietors with no employees, or for owners and their spouses, offering elective deferrals and/or profit sharing contributions.
    • A 401(k) Profit Sharing plan is designed for businesses with employees, offering elective deferrals, profit sharing contributions, and employer matching contributions. (Elective deferrals and employer match are not allowed in a profit sharing only plan.) A Money Purchase plan requires a fixed annual employer contribution. (Elective deferrals and other discretionary employer contributions are not allowed in a money purchase pension plan).