How to Prepare for Your 401(k) Audit

There are a few simple steps that can be taken during the planning phase of the audit in order to gain efficiencies during the fieldwork phase. You should be in communication with your auditor before the Plan’s year-end date. This is the best time to come to an agreement about the terms, timing and fees …

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401K Pre-Approved Plans 2016 Deadline

Some employee benefit plans are set-up as pre-approved plans. Typically this includes prototype and volume submitter plans. This basically means that the plan is operating under a Plan Document from a financial institution, adviser or similar provider that has requested IRS opinion or advisory letters on the tax status of the Plan. These types of …

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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 for a limited scope audit, a bank or insurance carrier must act as a trustee …

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Reduced Corrective Contributions

During April 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2015-28 that made amendments to the safe harbor corrective contributions for employee benefit plans. The Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) allows plan sponsors to correct certain failures and thereby, continue to provide employees with retirement benefits. The IRS received numerous comments requesting special …

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401K Plan Fee Assessment

When companies are selecting the services for their 401K plan, are they assessing the fees that they are paying for these services? As it has been required for these fees to be more transparent, this is something every company with a plan should be evaluating. The question becomes what is the best way to assess …

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Warning Signs Your Employer May be Misusing Your 401(k) Savings

I was browsing the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) website the other day and I came across an interesting article that talked about employer abuse of employees’ 401(k) contributions. I haven’t really thought much about this before as I have fortunately always worked for employers that I feel are trustworthy and ethical. However, the …

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IRS Examinations of 401(k) Plans

Every American knows the instant anxiety associated with receiving a letter from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). That anxiety might be overwhelming if the letter is a notification that your company’s employee benefit plan has been chosen for examination. The IRS understands this and has provided an online resource guide specifically geared to educating employers …

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DOL Guidance on Missing Participants

In a previously issued blog titled “Have lost Participants in your 401(k) Plan?”, the topic of missing participants was addressed prior to the Department of Labor (DOL) issuing any guidance on fiduciary responsibility of plan sponsors in that respect. The guidance issued by the DOL in Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) No. 2014-01, outlines fiduciary duties …

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Have Lost Participants in Your 401(k) Plan?

Lost participants are those participants who have balances in the plan (unclaimed benefits) or have been distributed an amount from the plan (uncashed benefit checks) and cannot be located. The participant either doesn’t know or forgot they have a balance since their employment was terminated or have relocated with no forwarding address. The participant’s account …

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