Forming a 401(k) Plan Committee

As a Plan Sponsor, you have important fiduciary responsibilities which, according to the Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”) within the Department of Labor (“DOL”), include: Acting solely in the interest of plan participants and their beneficiaries Carrying out duties prudently … read more

Required Minimum Distributions

Required minimum distributions (RMDs) are minimum amounts certain participants (or retirement account owners if the participant has passed) must take as distributions from their account on an annual basis. Generally, RMDs begin the year in which the participant reaches the … read more

The Importance of Knowing Your Plan’s Definition of Compensation

As I reflect on my last 401k audit season, I remember running into some operational issues that were a result of plan administrators not using the correct form of compensation, as defined by their plan document, while calculating employee and … read more

How to Handle a Blackout Period

What is a blackout? A blackout is a period of three or more consecutive business days during which participants’ are temporarily limited in or restricted from the ability to perform the following activities: Directing or diversifying investments Obtaining distributions Obtaining … read more

2016 Retirement Plan Limits

On October 21, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) announced the cost-of-living adjustments (“COLA”) for the 2016 tax year. These COLA rates are used to adjust over 40 tax provisions from the standard deduction and personal exemption to retirement plan … read more

Opt-Out Forms: Employees that Decline to Participate in Your 401(k)

You’ve got your process figured out – 401k benefit packages are given to employees the date they’re hired, or maybe when they become eligible to participate, or maybe you rely on your TPA to communicate to the employee how to … read more

Do I Need an Audit?

As a sponsor of an employee benefit plan, along with annual reporting requirements, you may be required to undergo an audit of your plan’s financial statements. What are the reporting requirements and what triggers an audit? This varies depending on … read more

Where Are You Saving Your Money?

As an auditor of employee benefit plans, I often talk with clients about their plan’s participation rates and suggest ideas on how to increase participation. As part of my daily routine, I read numerous articles from different financial sources. I … read more

Full Scope vs. Limited Scope Audits

When a 401(k) or other retirement plan requires an annual audit, a plan administrator may have a choice to engage an audit firm to perform a full-scope audit or a limited scope audit of the financial statements. To be qualified … read more

Language Barriers of 401(k) Disclosure

I would like to address disclosure versus communication. They are two very different things, but they shouldn’t be. Have you ever tried to read ERISA or DOL regulations? The average person doesn’t read this stuff. Lawyers read it because it … read more


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