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Below you will find a lexicon of standard verbiage and abbreviations used amongst financial professionals in the retirement planning industry. We have simplified this terminology for your consumption and ease of understanding.

This is only a limited list of complex terminology.
Please contact us with any further questions, we are here to help streamline and clarify the process as much as possible!

3(16) Fiduciary

Outlined in section 3(16) of ERISA, a fiduciary and plan administrator; a service provider (i.e. Prosper Retirement Partners) hired by an employer to manage the routine administrative operations for a 401(k) plan; approving loans, payroll integration, distributions, employee census files, facilitating open enrollment for employees, and monitoring other third-party administrators (TPAs) to make sure their services are cost-effective.

3(21) Fiduciary

Outlined in section 3(21) of ERISA, an Investment Advisor, co-fiduciary. The client probably has their own financial advisor who wants to use the entity’s (i.e Prosper Retirement Partners and Fi401k Advisors) model portfolios and basic fund lineups but also add their own funds; a shared fiduciary responsibility with the existing financial advisor.

3(38) Fiduciary

Outlines in section 3(38) of ERISA, an Investment Manager; full discretionary investment entity (i.e. Fi401k Advisors) fully takes responsibility to monitor funds, set the fund lineups, set risk assessment, and do annual reviews for fund/cost effectiveness review.

401(k) Plan

A qualified employer-sponsored private retirement plan that eligible employees may make tax-deferred contributions from their salary or wages to on a post-tax and/or pre-tax basis.

Employers offering a 401(k) plan may make matching or non-elective contributions to the plan on behalf of eligible employees and may also add a profit-sharing feature to the plan. Earnings in a 401(k) plan accrue on a tax-deferred basis.

403(b) Plan

A retirement plan for specific employees of public schools, tax-exempt organizations, and certain ministers.

These plans can invest in either annuities or mutual funds. A 403(b) plan is also another name for a tax-sheltered annuity plan, and the features of a 403(b) plan are comparable to those found in a 401(k) plan.

Application Programming Interface (API)

An applications and data platforms communicating with each other. Results in quicker data integration and data automation once census data is received.

Assets Under Management (AUM)

Refers to the total value of investments managed by a registered investment advisor. Investment fees are often charged as a percentage of assets under management.

Automated Payroll Data Integration

A consistent, and automatic data exchanged facilitated by a continuous flow of data between your payroll provider and your 401(k) plan provider (Prosper Retirement Partners).


For example:

Fully Integrated - 360 Integrations: Data flows two-ways

  •     From payroll → Prosper 
  •     From Prosper → payroll


A person or firm in the business of buying and selling securities for its own account, or on behalf of its clients.

Controlled Group

A parent company with a primary account, that has a 1+ child account otherwise known as a subsidy, that share ownership and is thereby eligible to pool its employee base into a single 401(k) plan.

Conversion Plans

An existing retirement plan that a company has previously established where the plan assets and plan data are moved to a new service provider/ plan provider.


Abbreviation for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (1974) - a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntary established retirements and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals in these plans.

Financial Advisor (FA)

A professional who provides financial services to clients based on their financial situation. Financial advisors must complete specific training and be registered with a regulatory body (SEC) in order to provide financial advice.

Fund Line-Up

Also known as a menu, is the group of funds offered by a plan to its participants. Prosper Retirement Partners usually offers a lineup of 20+ funds and model portfolios, though your employer may opt to add or swap additional funds from our default lineup.

Highly Compensated Employee (HCL)

A valued member of a company's team that is compensated more than others' in the company due to their experience and dedication.

Large Groups

Retirement plans with between over 100 eligible employees and plan participants. (i.e. a mid-sized business retirement plan with <100 employees)

Manual Payroll Data Integration

A data exchange is facilitated manually one record/payroll cycle at the time by the client. This includes census, payroll, and plan contribution updates.


For example:

Manually Integrated - 180 Integrations: Data flows one-way

  •     From payroll → Prosper

New Plans

A company/ plan-client who has never established a 401(k) plan, and is creating one for the first time.

Partner Referral Lead (PRL)

A partner company or individual that willingly consents to recommending your business' services to people they know.

We have referral partnerships with Fi401k Advisors, multiple broker-dealers, and numerous payroll providers, due to our time in the industry and the cherished business relationships we have cultivated through the years.

Plan Sponsor & Plan-Client

The entity that establishes and maintains the retirement plan for a company and its employees (i.e. the employer itself, a union, or a selected employee of the firm).


The plan sponsor, is considered the plan-client, to the plan provider (i.e. Prosper Retirement Partners).

Pooled Employer Plan (PEP)

A multiple employer retirement plan that is designed to alleviate many of the administrative burdens associated with sponsoring a 401(k) plan.

Businesses in the plan are not required to be in a related industry, the plan acts as a blind trust shielding the identities of other participants and therefore protects each company from shouldering potential testing mistakes of other participating companies in the plan- voids the “bad apple rule” traditionally found in Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs). Participants in the plan are able to grow their individual assets together and at a faster rate than a traditional 401(k) plan. Ideal for small and medium sized businesses.

Private Wealth Management (PWM)

Investment advisory services offered by institutions to high net worth individuals, ultra-high-net-worth individuals, and (family) firms; incorporates financial planning, portfolio management, retirement planning, etc. in order to accomplish specific financial goals and maintain wealth.

Registered Investment Advisor (RIA)

Is a person or firm who specializes in advising high-net-worth individuals on investments and manages their portfolios. They are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

A type of individual retirement, an after-tax account, your assets accrue tax-free, and then all future withdrawals are tax-free- after age 59 ½ withdrawals are also penalty free.


Abbreviation for software as a service; a method of software delivery and licensing in which software is accessed online via a subscription, rather than bought and installed on individual computers, available over the internet.

Sales Development Representative (SDR)

An individual who focuses on prospecting, moving, and qualifying leads through the sales pipeline and closing deals/ establishing new 401(k) plans.

Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)

A commas-separated values (CSV) file based integration used to transfer census payroll, and contribution file, that allows the data record to be saved in a table structured format.

Small Groups

Retirement plans with between 2-99 eligible employees and plan participants. (i.e. a small business retirement plan with >100 employees)

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

 A professional human resource membership association that promotes and offers education, certification and networking to its members while lobbying Congress on labor management issues.

State Mandated Retirement Plans

State Legislatures across the country (14 states) have enacted individual retirement savings programs to help individuals save for retirement. These plans target private-sector employees in small and midsize businesses, and require private employers to sponsor their own plan, or enroll their employees in the state sponsored plan.


Investment offerings vary by state, as do the investment and participation fees.

Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

A type of individual retirement account in which individuals can make pre-tax contributions and the investments in the account grow tax-deferred.

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Principal Offices: California, Texas and New York