Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment Time Again – As a Plan Administrator what questions should you be asking yourself? • First and foremost you should ensure that the Plan Document and your Summary Plan Description (SPD) is up-to-date and supports the plan administrative practices that the Plan Administration has put into place.  For example, if your Plan Document states …

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Reviewing 401k Loan Requests for Compliance

During audits of 401(k) plans, one of the most common internal control deficiencies we communicate to management is when the plan sponsor relies on a third party administrator to make sure that loan requests are in compliance with federal regulations and the plan document.  The plan sponsor always maintains fiduciary responsibility with compliance on loans …

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Investment Choice Fees

There are two types of fees that may be charged to your retirement plan that are different from administrative fees.  These fees are usually in connection with investment choices that are made available to participants. One type of fee is known as the sales charges.  You may also hear these sales charges referred to as …

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Where Should an Employer Look for Benefit Plan Fraud?

Employee benefit plans are often a side note in the day-to-day transactions of a business, lacking the constant oversight and review given to the operational activities.  Also, benefit plans involve the majority of the employees in a company in some way or another.  These and many other reasons make benefit plans susceptible to fraud.  As …

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Requesting Original or Corrected Determination Letters from the IRS

As a plan fiduciary, there is a very important letter that should be on file with your plan documents.  This letter is known as the determination letter.  The determination letter is a letter the IRS sends to you letting you know the tax status of your 401k plan.  This letter lets you as the plan …

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Black-Out Period – Part II

This posting is a follow-up to “All About Black-Out Periods” posted here.  In that posting we talked about what a black-out period is, and what the plan administrator’s responsibilities are for reporting the black-out period to its Plan’s participants. In this posting, I would like to share with you additional action items the Plan administrator …

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Fee Disclosures – continued…

Remember the fee disclosure requirements that are coming soon…… well if done right, you can do this electronically.  The Department of Labor released technical release 2011-03 Interim Policy on Electronic Disclosure under 29 CFR 2550.404A-5.  This interim policy provides a safe harbor for electronic delivery of these disclosures and a means to set standards for …

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All About Blackout Periods

We recently had some questions about how blackout periods work, and I learned a lot by consulting some of our TPA (third party administrator) colleagues and the DOL website. A blackout period is basically a time that participants temporarily lose control of their retirement accounts.  During this period, no changes can be made to investment …

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401(K) Expenses

Have you ever wondered how much in fees is being deducted from your 401k account? There are several types of fees that can be deducted from your 401(k) account including the following: Loan processing fees – a one time fee deducted for borrowing money from your account. Loan maintenance fees – a periodic fee charged for …

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