Valuable Information on 401ks, Pensions, ESOPs, Form 5500 Preparation + More

Retirement plan prohibited transactions – timely remittances

There are numerous types of prohibited transactions. Prohibited transactions are defined as certain transactions between a retirement plan and a disqualified person (broadly a person with some involvement with the retirement plan) that would cause the plan/plan sponsor to be in violation of Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). One type of prohibited …

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401(k): Simple steps to invest in your future

Everybody always hears how they need to invest in their 401(k) as soon as they start working. Other than that initial advice, further guidance usually is not provided. Investing in a 401(k) is undoubtedly good advice, but investing in a 401(k) (or anything for that matter) should be a much different experience for someone just …

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Does your employee benefit plan need an audit?

If your Company sponsors an employee benefit plan (this includes 401(k) plans), an audit of that plan may be required. What triggers the need for an audit? The number of participants. Plans with 100 or more participants at the start of the plan year are considered “large” and generally require an annual audit, while plans …

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Preparing for your 401(K) audit

Proper preparation for your year-end 401(K) audit can lead to a much smoother and effective audit experience for both your company and your auditor. A constant line of communication leading into the audit will allow both parties to be as efficient as possible, especially when it comes to performing fieldwork. In addition to what your …

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Alternative investments help diversify employee benefit plans

Alternative investments are generally defined as investments that do not have a readily determinable fair value. This means this type of investment is not listed on a national exchange, and quoted market prices are not published in financial publications. These investments also do not face the restrictions or regulations that a typical investment, such as …

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Effective audit committee member habits

An audit committee is a crucial component of a company, whether it has to do with the company’s balance sheet, or their 401(k). They have the responsibility of keeping an objective point of view when it comes to the legal and compliance aspects of the financial statements. Recently, in an Accounting Today article, Dr. Lola …

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A guide to ERISA fidelity bonds for employee benefit plans

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) has rules and regulations in place to protect private sector employee benefit plans from risk of loss. ERISA section 412 and related regulations (29 C.F.R. § 2550.412-1 and 29 C.F.R. Part 2580) require that fiduciaries and any person who “handles funds or other property” of an employee benefit …

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Voluntary fiduciary correction program

Throughout the administration of 401k plans, employers may at times run into fiduciary violations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). If this happens, you may be eligible to apply for voluntary relief from enforcement actions, including assessments of civil monetary penalties through the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (“VFCP”). The VFCP was designed to …

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IRS releases 2017 retirement plan limits

On October 27, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) announced the cost-of-living adjustments (“COLA”) for the 2017 tax year. These COLA rates are used to adjust over 40 tax provisions from the standard deduction and personal exemption to retirement plan limits. Based on changes in the consumer price index, used by the IRS to determine …

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Importance of Minutes as Evidence of Corporate Governance

Corporate governance is how a company polices itself and employees. It is intended to increase the accountability of the company, serve as a preventative measure, and help build transparency and trust. Corporate governance as it relates to plan administrators involves meeting your fiduciary responsibilities. Under the Employee Retirement Income Savings Act (ERISA), meeting your fiduciary …

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