Islamic Medical Association Creates Multiemployer Plan with BPAS

The Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) and Benefit Plans Administrative Services, Inc. (BPAS) have announced the creation of the IMANA Multiple Employer Retirement Plan Trust.

Dr. Khalique Zahir, president of the 3,500 physician member IMANA, said in a press release that many of IMANA members are precluded from participating in most retirement plans due to the lack of Shariah-compliant investment offerings. The Multiple Employer Trust is a 401(k) Plan for all IMANA Members and includes 22 highly ranked conventional funds as well as a Shariah-compliant collective investment fund, the MIZAN All Equity Moderate Allocation Fund managed by Lightstone Capital Management (see “Hand Benefits Offers Shariah Compliant CIF”).      

The program also offers an array of other no-load funds spanning the risk/reward spectrum, plus a self-directed brokerage window. In addition, the relase said the Multiple Employer Trust offers low investment costs; administrative ease and HR outsourcing for plan sponsors; a fiduciary monitoring process governing the program’s investment menu; and reduced costs for plan administration and reporting.      

BPAS will serve as the program’s recordkeeper and directed trustee, administering all plans that elect to participate.  Ashraf Elghandour will serve as registered investment adviser, providing ongoing participant education and advisory services.        

The marketing process for the program is now underway, with plan conversions expected to begin in the second quarter of 2010.      

More information on the MIZAN Fund is available at