March 19, 2020
As the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, we want to assure you that operations at Heartland Retirement Plan Services (HRPS) are fully functional. These are challenging and unprecedented times, and we have assembled several key updates to share with you and your colleagues. We also encourage you to reach out to us with any questions or concerns at any time.
In compliance with CDC guidance on social distancing, HRPS has expanded the number of employees working from home. Our commitment to your company’s retirement plan and its participants remains steadfast. Our general phone line (800.399.2083) remains fully staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CST. Plan sponsors may continue to reach out to your plan’s designated relationship manager for immediate support. In addition, plan sponsor inquiries may be directed to email@example.com and plan sponsor administrative/participant requests may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All day-to-day administrative operations (I.E. payroll processing, distribution requests, etc.) are at full capacity and operating as normal. Timing standards have not changed for processing of any transactions.
When sending documents or forms to HRPS, please use fax at 563.589.1962 or email at email@example.com to maximize efficiencies. Our representatives will also reinforce this when working with your company’s individual participants.
Impact of Market Volatility on Fund Orders
As you know, the stock market has recently been extremely volatile. Circuit breakers are in place to halt trading on the exchanges when losses hit certain intervals. For example:
- The NYSE will temporarily halt trading for 15 minutes at 7% and 13% flux from the prior day’s close.
- A total market drop of 20% will result in a halt to trading for the remainder of the day.
- If a 20% market drops occurs, the exact time that all trading ceases on NYSE becomes the official market close time for the day and no more trades will be executed on the market for that trading day.
In the case of an early halt to trading for the day, HRPS must stop accepting any participant-directed trades or other orders for that date at that time. For example, if the 20% drop circuit breaker is tripped at 1:37 p.m. CST during trading, the market will be closed until the next trading day.
Plan Participant Support
HRPS understands that your company’s plan participants may be emotional when dealing with steep market declines and extreme uncertainty. Should they reach out to you as a resource, please direct them to our team.
Although we cannot provide investment advice to plan participants, our staff is fully trained to help provide perspective, and it is our privilege to help participants through challenging market conditions. Participants can call 800.399.2083 to discuss their accounts and current market conditions.
Please reach out to HRPS for support during these challenging times. Thank you for your continued partnership.