Conversion guide

Welcome to Betterment for Business! We are looking forward to working with you. During the conversion process, all of your company’s 401(k) plan records and assets convert over to Betterment for Business (B4B). This step-by-step guide outlines the conversion process so you know what to expect.

Sample Dates for your plan conversion

Betterment for Business will work with your previous recordkeeper to ensure a smooth conversion process. The timeline below is an illustrative example of the steps that happen during this conversion. You can also download this timeline for print.

Step 1: Sign agreement and send current plan documents

Plan sponsor sends outstanding documentation for the plan. Please refer to the Conversion Checklist for a list of specific documents we require. Plan sponsor also signs B4B services agreement.

Step 2: Attend your Kick-off call

Your B4B team will work with you to schedule a Kick-off call. Attendees must include the plan sponsor and anyone else that will be administering the 401(k) (e.g. payroll administrator, financial advisor). The purpose of the call is to review the conversion timeline, plan design, employee communications, the plan sponsor dashboard, and payroll processing.

Step 3: Kick-off call follow-ups

Following the Kick-off call, B4B will email you a recap with a summary of your elected plan design, important dates, and your responsibilities throughout the conversion process. You will need to fulfill the following key tasks:

  • Send the deconversion letter and wire instructions to your previous recordkeeper. This initiates the deconversion process. See samples of these letters in the appendix. Please make sure that you are complying with the notice period that is specified in your previous agreement. Your previous provider may give you additional paperwork to fill out before they provide you with a deconversion timeline. If you have any questions on these forms, please do not hesitate to contact for answers.
  • Once you receive the deconversion timeline from your previous provider, please email the previous provider’s estimate of the following key dates to
    • Blackout period start date
    • Asset wire date
    • Final report date (deconversion data)
  • Submit the employee census to B4B. The employee census is an Excel file that B4B will use to send out email invitations to your eligible participants to the B4B platform and to track ineligible employees. Your B4B team will send you this Excel file after the kick-off call. Remember to include terminated employees who still have balances in the plan. Please ensure secure transmission of this sensitive data and submit via SendSafely here.

Step 4: Send initial employee communication and employee disclosures

  • Initial employee communication. Switching 401(k) vendors can generate questions from your employees. We’ve created communication materials for you to send to your employees to serve as the initial introduction to their Betterment 401(k), giving them an overview of what they can expect from the conversion process and what to look forward to with their new 401(k). See a sample employee email in the appendix.
    • Auto-enrollment: If your plan elected to include auto-enrollment, please ensure that your employees recognize that if they don’t modify their deferral amount before the first payroll deferral date, funds will be automatically deducted from their payroll amount to invest into their 401(k). Typically, employers provide two weeks for their employees to make this change after receiving access to their Betterment accounts.
  • Participant disclosures. As part of the conversion process, B4B prepares the necessary QDIA and fee disclosures, Blackout notices and other relevant disclosures for your plan design. Distribute these disclosures to all eligible employees, as well as former employees that still have balances in the plan, according to the timeline set by your B4B team.
    • Once the Blackout period for your previous 401(k) provider begins, participants will not be able to access the funds in their accounts or make changes to their asset allocation with the previous provider.

Step 5: Launch with B4B

The B4B launch is broken into two steps: the Employee launch and the Payroll launch.

  • Employee Launch. When participants receive email invitations from B4B to access their individual 401(k) accounts, this allows them to change their deferral amounts and their asset allocation. Participants can modify deferral amounts up until the date you run payroll.
  • Payroll Launch. When the plan sponsor runs the first payroll deferrals into the B4B 401(k) plan, you must ensure that you have signed your plan documents prior to submitting the first payroll deferrals to B4B. In addition, please ensure you have had a conversation with your payroll provider to ensure that they can support all the features in your plan design (e.g. Roth contributions, hours worked, auto-enrollment).

Step 6: Receipt of Asset Wire & Deconversion data files

The final steps in the conversion process are for B4B to receive the wire of funds from the previous 401(k) vendor and reconcile this into our record keeping system using a set of deconversion data files we receive from your prior recordkeeper. The conversion files contain participant balance and source information that we utilize to apply funds to participant accounts and complete the conversion. We will thoroughly review the deconversion data, but please also ensure that your previous 401(k) recordkeeper’s records match your own company records. If the information is not accurate, you can run into compliance or audit issues at year-end.

Please contact if you have any questions. We are looking forward to working with you!

Appendix: Resources

We’re providing these resources as samples of what you may need to facilitate your conversion process.


VENDOR RK Company, Inc.
123 Main St
New York, NY 10010

Re: Plan Name (e.g., ABC Company 401(k) Plan)
Plan # 123456

Dear VENDOR RK Company, Inc.,

Thank you for your services to date for our 401(k) plan. This letter shall serve as notice to terminate recordkeeping and administrative services provided by your firm effective January 1, 2017. We will be converting our retirement plan to our new provider, Betterment for Business, as of that date. We are transitioning all services, including: [list of current services being provided: i.e. recordkeeping administration and compliance services].

Based on the intended date of transfer, please do the following:

  • Send a test file, including a file key as applicable, in csv or excel format to Betterment for Business no later than 15 days prior to the liquidation date
  • Confirm timeline of transfer including:
    • Blackout period start date
    • Expected liquidation date
    • Asset wire date
    • Final report date of deconversion, medium, and method (e.g. email, web portal)
  • Perform compliance testing and prepare Form 5500 for the plan year ending December 31, 2016
  • Reconcile year-to-date activity, provided via plan level and employee level statement(s), from January 1, 2017 through the date of transfer
  • Confirm that the final records will include the following:
    • Hardship Basis for all 401(k) accounts
    • Inception to Date contributions for all sources
    • Roth year of first contribution for applicable employees

Please let us know any additional necessary steps on your end in order to initiate and complete this process; please also confirm the expected timeline and alert us to any outstanding issues at this time.

You are authorized to provide plan documents and reports to representatives of Betterment for Business, LLC as requested by them. Any additional questions can be directed to John Doe at or 857-582-4567.


Re: Plan Name (e.g., ABC Company 401(k) Plan)
Plan # 218355

Plan Asset Transfer Instruction Sheet

New Recordkeeper Wire Instructions

Bank Name: The Bancorp Bank
Bank Account Name: FBO ABC Company 401(k) Plan
Bank Routing/ABA Number: 123456789
Bank Account Number: 1234567890

Recordkeeper Information
Name of New Recordkeeper: Betterment for Business, LLC
Recordkeeper Phone Number: +1 855-906-5281
Physical Address: 61 W. 23rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10010