Dear Plan Sponsors: Reviewing a SSAE 16 Report

What is a SSAE 16 report anyway? SSAE 16 stands for Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16, Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization, and was finalized in January 2010 by the Auditing Standards Board of the AICPA. SSAE 16 replaced SAS 70 as the authoritative guidance for reporting on service organizations. The …

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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 the type and size of the plan you sponsor. One participant plans (a business owner …

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Understanding Your 403(b) Plan

A common misconception is that all 403(b) employee benefit plans are exempt from filing the Form 5500 and an annual plan audit. Over five years ago this was true, and these plans were exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). However, beginning in 2009, some 403(b) plans are now required to …

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What You Need to Know When Filing Form 5500

What is Form 5500? Form 5500 is the annual tax return for your retirement plan that must be filed with the Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA), a division of the Department of Labor (DOL). It is required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to ensure employee benefit plans are operated and …

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Leased Employees – Do You Have Them?

The Employee Plans Compliance Unit (EPCU) – has recently completed a project on how benefit plan’s are treating leased employees in regards to qualified plan purposes.  What is a leased employee you may ask? According to the IRS, a leased employee generally is an employee meeting each of the following attributes: 1) Agreement – agreement for …

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EFAST2 Form 5500/5500-SF Filing Search

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and provisions of the Internal Revenue Code require certain employee benefit plans to submit information on their size, funding, operations, and other characteristics on an annual basis.  For the plan years 2009 to date all of these filings are stored electronically and can viewed through the EFAST2 …

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Department of Labor and IRS Audits of 401(k) Plans

Federal oversight of 401(k) plans is essentially divided between the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor. The IRS oversees the qualified status of 401(k) plans and issues determination letters. The DOL oversees fiduciary standards, reporting and disclosure requirements, and all other rules that do not affect the qualified status of 401(k) plans. Audits …

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Audit Requirements for Terminated Plan

As 401(k) auditors we are frequently asked “How long does a company have to have an audit for a plan that is terminated?”  Unfortunately as companies struggle during these tough economic times, plans are being terminated both as an effort to save costs or because the company has closed its doors.  As part of the …

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