FAQs – Amplify

Get Quick Answers to Your Most Immediate Questions

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PenChecks Trust’s Services
Amplify Login and Account Help
PenChecks’ 1099-Rs and Other Tax Forms

Creating, Editing and Checking the Status of My Orders

Amplify User Roles

Remitting Funds to PenChecks

PenChecks Trust’s Services

  • Express Distribution – The client provides the participants’ personal information, account information, payment instructions, and submits Plan assets to PenChecks
  • Premier Distribution – The client provides the participants’ personal information and distribution details. PenChecks notifies participants of their pending distributions and directs them to our secure benefit election website (paper forms also available) where they will select their distribution type and provide payment instructions
Recurring Benefits?
Payment processing for Plans with recurring/period annuity payments
Automatic Rollover?
  • Automatic Rollover IRA (ARO IRA) – The client provides the participants’ personal information, balance information, and submits Plan assets to PenChecks. PenChecks will establish a Safe Harbor Automatic Rollover/Missing Participant IRA on behalf of the participant
  • Normal Retirement Age Rollover IRA (NRA ROLLOVER IRA) – The client provides the participants’ personal information, balance information, and submits Plan assets to PenChecks. PenChecks will establish a Rollover IRA on behalf of the participant. Please note: While those accounts are established and maintained according to the DOL Safe Harbor Regulations, the regulatory safe harbor does not apply to NRA ROLLOVER IRAs.
Uncashed Checks?
  • Qualified Uncashed Checks – Uncashed check representing a rollover of qualified funds, PenChecks can distribute it as a Cash Lump Sum or establish an ARO IRA/NRA ROLLOVER IRA on behalf of the participant
  • Non-qualified Uncashed Checks – Uncashed checks reported as a taxable event, PenChecks can distribute it as a Cash Lump Sum or establish a Taxable Savings Account on behalf of the participant
Tax Payments and 1099-R?
  • 1099-R Only – Prepare and file form 1099-R for distributions that have already been processed by a party other than PenChecks
  • Tax Payment & 1099-R – Distribution processed by a party other than PenChecks, with taxes withheld but not remitted
Participant Search?
Address search using a participant’s name, date of birth, and social security number to help locate missing participants

Amplify Login and Account Help

How do I add a new user profile?
Navigate to the Account Details page and click Add User to enter recipient email address to send the invite.
How can I get access to my Plan Sponsor/Subaccount?

A registered Amplify user would be able to send you an invite via email to create your user profile.

What do I do if I am not getting the verification code?
You may receive your verification code by email or text, please be sure to check both verification methods. If you have already tried to resend the code and cleared your cache and cookies, we’d advise having your IT check to see if they can whitelist emails from the following:

*@mandrillapp.com and *@*.mandrillapp.com

If you are still having difficulties, please contact our Client Experience team (800) 541-3938

Can I link an existing Plan to a new/existing Master Account?

No, if one of your plan sponsor clients previously used another TPA firm and was entered in Amplify you will still need to enter a new plan account within your TPA account. If you require specific data from when your plan was processed under a different account, please send PenChecks a letter on the company letterhead with the details you are requesting.

Is there a difference between removing funds from my Master Credit Account and Plan Assets?

Removing funds from the Master Credit Account would be considered a withdrawal (withdrawing from the Master Credit accumulated/available) and would be done through the Account tab. Removing funds from the Plan Assets would be as a Vendor done through the Plan level (if there are available funds in the Plan Assets).

Where are my Requestor fees and how do I withdraw them?

Your requestor fees are directed to your credit balance at PenChecks. To send funds from your credit balance to yourself or another party, go to the Account tab in Amplify, click on Credit Balance and there will be a New Withdrawal option to generate the Vendor order to send funds to your firm.

What is the Amplify website URL?
Who needs to acknowledge the Client Service Agreement through Amplify?

Only the Master Account owner can acknowledge the Client Service Agreement in Amplify.

Would the Plan need to sign the Client Service Agreement?

The Plan/ Plan Sponsor are not required to sign the Client Service Agreement, you are able to request they complete it for your records, but it is not a requirement for PenChecks.

How can I access my Master Credit Account?

You can access your Credit Account through the ‘Accounts’ tab on Amplify, from there you would be able to create an Order to withdraw the funds.

PenChecks’ 1099-Rs and Other Tax Forms

Does PenChecks issue Form 1099-R for Express and Premier Distributions? What about the Uncashed Check service?

PenChecks issues a 1099-R for both Express and Premier services, as well as our Automatic Rollover IRA and Qualified Uncashed Check services. PenChecks does not issue a 1099-R for the Nonqualified Uncashed Checks service, as those funds would have already been taxed and reported.

How do I request a copy of a 1099-R or multiple 1099-Rs?

Please contact us by email Info@penchecks.com or call (800) 541-3938.

How can I get a 1099-R corrected?

We will need a request in writing detailing the correction/change/suppression/void. Please contact us by email Info@penchecks.com

Can you provide a 1099-R for an In Plan Roth Conversion?

Yes, if the funds for the distribution will not be processed directly from PenChecks, you could generate a 1099-R only order in Amplify to request the 1099-R be prepared by PenChecks.

Can you create 1099-Rs for previous years?

No, PenChecks is only able to process 1099-R requests for the current tax year. Check the Amplify login page for any relevant deadlines.

Can you process a 1099-R for non-taxable distributions?

Yes, our 1099-R Only service is designed for creating 1099-Rs for non-taxable distributions processed by a party other than PenChecks. Please keep in mind that PenChecks is only able to report tax withholding that was processed directly by PenChecks.

If a 945/1096 has been submitted by the Client, why are they being told by the IRS they still owe money?

All taxes withheld and remitted by PenChecks are done so using our PenChecks EIN, not the Plan’s EIN. As such, the Plan Sponsor should not have reported these amounts as a liability on the Plan’s 945 (which is filed under the Plan’s EIN) at all. Contact PenChecks Client Experience if you have additional questions about a particular Plan’s situation.

Creating, Editing and Checking the Status of My Orders

Why am I not seeing the Edit button within my line?

You are only able to edit an Order Line while the Order is in Open status. If the Order is Open and you don’t see the edit button, please be sure to hover your mouse over the row of information that needs to be edited, a blue arrow/edit pencil will appear on the far-right hand side. If you are not seeing the button, please ensure you have Amplify full screened as it may not show on a minimized screen.

How do I obtain a check copy?

Please contact us by email Info@penchecks.com or call 1-800-541-3938. Please be aware that check copies are not available until after the check clears at the bank.

Why do I have unexplained errors on my order?

Please contact us by email Info@penchecks.com or call 1-800-541-3938.

How do I enter Death Benefit Distributions to a Beneficiary?

After entering the Beneficiary in the Participant fields, select Death as the Distribution Reason then you will be able to put the Decedent’s information.

How do I edit an order that has already been submitted?

If no funds have been associated, navigate to the Review Summary tab to reopen the order and make the changes needed. If funds have already been associated, please contact us by email Info@penchecks.com or call 1-800-541-3938

The Plan’s custodian is affiliated with PenChecks through the Custodian Automatic IRA service. How do I get them to send funds and participant account details to PenChecks?
When creating the order, the system will not allow you to input any amount, once the order is submitted it will generate the Custodian Auto Service forms, these can be downloaded from the Order Details section. The rollover paperwork will contain the names of all the participants in the order. The form will need to be signed by the trustee and faxed to the custodian. If the Automatic Rollover Service is completed correctly using PenChecks custom Auto Service Form for the custodian, they will automatically transfer the funds and account information to PenChecks, and we will update the lines with the correct Gross Amount and funds will be associated for processing. If you need further assistance with this process, contact PenChecks Client Experience by email at Info@penchecks.com or call 1-800-541-3938.
An Automatic Rollover IRA was submitted in error; can we have those funds returned?

If the account has not yet been claimed, yes. Your request must be submitted in writing. Contact PenChecks Client Experience team by email Info@penchecks.com or call 1-800-541-3938 for additional details, and to verify if an account can be returned.

Plan funds were sent to PenChecks in error, can we have those funds returned?

Yes, once you see the funds posted to the Plan’s Plan Assets page in Amplify, create a Vendor Order to return the funds by check, ACH or Wire.

How do I know if the distribution payment has cleared?

Navigate to the distribution’s Order Line Details page and scroll to the Payments section of the page to check the status of the check, wire or ACH. Once it is in the “Cleared” status the distribution payment has been successfully deposited by the participant or Rollover institution.

Can I create one distribution for Traditional and Roth funds?

No, you must create separate Order Lines for the participant’s Traditional and Roth funds. Standard processing fees will apply to each Order Line.

If we pay the Service Fee, will we be responsible for paying all subsequent fees?
No, if the Plan Sponsor or Master Account is paying the service fees, any upgraded delivery fees (ACH, Wire, Overnight/Certified Mail) will be charged automatically to the participant. For Express Distributions you may edit who pays any upgraded delivery fees on the Order Line. For Premier and Uncashed Check Distributions, contact PenChecks Client Experience team by email Info@penchecks.com for additional guidance. Additionally, any fees incurred after an account is moved to an Automatic Rollover IRA will be charged against the IRAs balance.
Can we charge a Requestor fee aside from the PenChecks fee?

Yes, Amplify allows you to charge a custom Requestor Fee, this fee will be automatically deposited into your Master Credit Account.

Can PenChecks setup an IRA for a deceased participant?
No, PenChecks CANNOT set up Automatic Rollover IRAs for deceased participant per IRS guidelines.

Amplify User Roles

What can an Account Holder/Owner do?

In addition to having the same rights as an Admin user, an Account Holder/Owner can edit or delete Admin users.

What can an Admin do?

These users can create and edit plans and plan sponsors; create, edit, and submit orders; manage the Amplify account’s credit account; and invite, edit, and delete users.

What can a Contributor do?

These users can create and edit plans and plan sponsors and create and edit orders (an Admin user must submit it).

What can a Viewer do?

These users can only view information in Amplify including running and exporting reports. The first 5 digits of SSNs will be masked.

Remitting Funds to PenChecks

How do we send funds to PenChecks? What should be referenced on the incoming funds?

Funds would need to be sent as a check, Wire, ACH, or credit card (fees only). Payment instructions can be found on the ‘Help’ tab on Amplify and forwarded to the Trustee to send the funding to PenChecks Trust. PenChecks cannot initiate a request for funds from the Plan on our end. Please reference the Plan ID to ensure efficient and accurate processing. The Plan ID will be shown in the Review & Submit page before the order has been submitted as well as the Review Summary page once the order is submitted. You can also find it on the Plan tab for each Plan on your Amplify account.

Can I add residual funds to a pre-existing distribution?

If there are residual funds after an order has been processed, reach out to PenChecks for details on accommodating residual processing.

How can I pay the Service Fee?

This fee can be sent by check, wire, or ACH. You can also request a link to pay by Credit Card. The fee can also be removed from the Master Credit Account. 

Can PenChecks deposit a check that’s not payable to PenChecks?

Yes, as long as the check is endorsed to PenChecks Trust Company of America by the trustee.

Funds have been received by PenChecks, why have they not been processed?

If funds are received as a check, it will be held for 5 business days before we can begin processing. Otherwise, check to make sure the amount PenChecks received balances to the penny with the amount required for the pending distributions. If you are still unsure, please contact us by email Info@penchecks or call 1-800-541-3938.

Where can I find fund remittance instructions before submitting the Order?

Funds remittance instructions can be found on the Help tab under Instructions for Payments to PenChecks.

Why are my funds on a “deposit/bank hold”, and can it be waived?

There is a 5-business day hold on all inbound checks to ensure they properly clear the system, which cannot be waived.  

Can I request to associate funds to a certain order line within an order?

No, generally PenChecks cannot associate funds to Order Lines if the available funds do not match the required funds to the penny. If there are extenuating circumstances, contact PenChecks Client Experience at info@penchecks.com with details of your request.

Is there a maximum amount we can have in our Credit Account?

No, there is no maximum amount you may have in your credit account.

Is there a minimum we need to keep in our Credit Account?

No, there is no minimum amount requirement for your credit account. However, if you have any Order Lines that have the fees paid by the Master Account, they will not process if there is insufficient funding in your Credit Account.

Can I send one check for multiple participants under the same Plan?

Yes, please keep in mind that PenChecks cannot proceed with processing until the amount required for the submitted Orders balances to the deposit received. If you need to process participants’ payments at different times, we recommend that you send separate deposits in order to avoid any delay in processing.

Success Story
Crowe LLP
Client Type: Global Accounting Firm
OBJECTIVE: Assist a client in processing a large amount of distributions from a terminating ESOP within days of selling the company.

In Distributions Proccessed in 72 Hours