ERISA Accounts – Plan Assets?

Employee benefit plans are seeing increased regulation and disclosure of plan fees including new disclosures of compensation paid to covered service providers in July 2012 (http://www.hhcpa.com/blogs/employee-benefits-audit-services/fee-disclosure-regulations-for-covered-service-providers/). The result of the new fee disclosures and oversight by plan fiduciaries is that record-keepers are expanding their offering of expense accounts, typically known as an ERISA Account, to …

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Succession planning with an ESOP

There are many ways for a business owner to successfully plan for his/her exit.  A survey conducted by the Business Enterprise Institute, Inc. shows the break down by successor type as follows: The largest allocation of 41% is to key employee(s), a co-owner, or an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). As of 2013 there are …

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ERISA Attorneys – Why Have One?

One of the key reasons to hire an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) attorney is to complete a plan document that will be in compliance with all ERISA regulations. The plan document should be reviewed every two years by your attorney for any amendments that need to be made in order to stay in …

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Remitting Contributions Timely

The Department of Labor regulations states that employee contributions should be remitted to the plan as of the earliest date on which such contributions can reasonably be segregated from the employer’s general assets, but no later than the 15th business day after the end of the month from the date on which such amounts are …

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ERISA Violations – Litigation Happens

It’s that time of year again when employee benefit plan audits are gearing up so it’s also a good time for a reminder regarding the importance of ERISA compliance. Plan sponsors who have good oversight over their plans and have annual audits may tend to not keep apprised of legal proceedings involving benefit plans. Some …

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Is Your 401(k) Plan Operating According to Your Plan Document?

When was your 401(k) plan last amended or restated? Were there any processes that needed to be implemented or changed as a result? Have these processes been communicated to the employees involved with servicing your plan? Most plans rely heavily on their third-party administrators to ensure their plans are in compliance with ERISA and their …

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Proposed Changes by the DOL to the Definition of “Fiduciary”

As a follow up to my blog, “Planned Changes to the Regulatory Definition of Fiduciary,” the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a proposed regulation that further defines when a person becomes a fiduciary of a plan by providing investment advice for a fee or other compensation, thus making them subject to the Employee Retirement Income …

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What Does it Mean if Your Form 5500 is Late?

As the October 15th deadline looms closer, many of our clients are asking the question; “What does it mean if our Form 5500 is late?”  If you haven’t looked into this question before, you will be surprised at the substantial penalties that can be assessed.  The DOL takes failure to file return/reports very seriously.  Below …

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Defined-Benefit Plans – Recent Report of Deficits

Lately I’ve run across several articles in the news that give a gloomy outlook for pension plans, including the State of Arizona’s Public-Pensions.  According to a recent report in the Arizona Republic, tightening budgets and poor investment performance have some wondering if the funds can continue to meet their obligations to retirees.  Citing a new …

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Is My 403(b) Plan Required to have an Audit?

Maybe not. A new rule that affects 403(b) plans this year is the annual audit requirement. There is a lot of confusion out there amongst non-profit organizations as to whether or not their 403(b) plans are required to have an audit. There is a 2-step process in determining if an audit is required. First, is …

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