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QPS Inc. offers TPA service for pensions

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by Patrick Nolan

SBJ Contributing Writer

Susan Worley's sparkling green eyes project a boisterous enthusiasm, just barely contained by the law office-style mahogany desks under gold-mirror lettering spelling out Qualified Pension Services Inc.

The desk and sign are the first things visitors see upon entering QPS, even before encountering the flashing green gaze of Worley or the piercing, steel-blue eyes of Faith Irmen. Irmen wears dressy business attire, contrasting with the more casually dressed Worley.

Quiet and reserved, Irmen cuts to the bone when she speaks, brutally honest and to the point. Irmen and Worley complement one another, just as the floral arrangements and light-colored carpets complement the mahogany desks.

Next to Irmen's desk is a framed selection of pictures of her children, missing only a photo of FGI Pension Services, the third child she began raising in her home in February 1997. Irmen founded FGI after buying out the pension business of her former employer, a Springfield attorney.

Clients who had experienced Irmen's abilities through her former employer formed the core of the fledgling company. FGI became QPS in February 1998, when Worley joined the team. The company's new office at 240 E. Primrose, which the pair moved into in April, reflects the company's growing client base.

Worley brought experience from the CPA side of the business, while Irmen came from the legal field. "It's a nice hybrid," Irmen said.

QPS is Springfield's first exclusive third-party administrative firm, according to the partners. It handles two of the three steps of setting up retirement plans. Irmen and Worley set up the plan and the plan's documentation, and they provide the annual accounting necessary for the IRS.

Plan investments are not a service provided by QPS, therefore it works with banks, brokerage firms, insurance and trust companies to provide clients with a complete retirement plan package.

"A lot of people that have retirement plans take for granted that a plan is being managed right," Worley said. But there are a lot of details to be considered. It is vitally important that all the paperwork be done correctly and on time. "That's why we established some of the policies we have." Fines can be $1,000 a day for mistakes.

"It's really important that you hire someone competent and knowledgeable in the field," Irmen said. The laws change so frequently that staying on top of it is a difficult job, "that's why someone who specializes in the field can do a better job than someone who just dabbles. We want CPAs and lawyers to send their clients' retirement plans to us for set-up and servicing, Irmen said.

"Because that's all we do, we are better set up to do a better job for the client," Worley added. Doing a better job for the client is the central goal for Irmen and Worley.

QPS' ideal client is a small business with one to 25 employees that is seek-ing to set up a profit-sharing plan, employee stock ownership plan, money-

purchase pension plan, 401(k), age-weighted/cross-tested plan or any combination thereof.

QPS is equipped to handle 25- to 500-employee plans, but it is not set up to handle plans that require daily valuations, or plans for more than 500 participants.

"The really large plans we can refer to other providers we have contacts with," Irmen said.

"Service is our key," Worley added. "We will take the time to answer questions from employees; explain the plans to employees and employers."

Also, "We have free consultations," Irmen said. "We'll be happy to go over your current retirement plan with you, or discuss what's involved with setting one up."

INSET CAPTION:

QPS sets up profit-sharing, employee stock ownership, money-purchase pension, 401(k) and age-weighted/cross-tested plans.[[In-content Ad]]

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