When a company hears of a Department of Labor (DOL) audit, they typically tend to panic. The best way to stay prepared for DOL audits is to ensure that you are handling your benefit plans appropriately on a regular basis.Read More
Compiling accurate ESOP census data is critical to the plan. The underlying census data drives eligibility, vesting, and various allocations of the plan assets. We have compiled a few helpful hints to improve accuracy of the data:Read More
When the decision is made to terminate a defined contribution plan subject to ERISA, an important consideration for the plan sponsor is how to locate missing participants in order to distribute their vested benefit under the plan.Read More
With its winter recess looming before it, Congress has engaged in a flurry of activity. Most notably, it reached agreement on a massive governmentwide spending package titled the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020. The legislation extends certain income tax provisions that had expired, as well as some that were due to expire at the end of 2019.
Congress traditionally passes so-called “extenders” annually, but it neglected to do so for 2018. As a result, several popular breaks for both individuals and businesses expired at the end of 2017.Read More
ESOPs – employee stock ownership plans – grant employees with ownership interests in their companies. These benefit plans were first introduced to C corporations in the 1950s, and their tax advantages were formally written into law when the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) passed Congress in 1974. In the 1990s, they became available to S corporations, as well. They are not universally good options for all businesses, but many organizations can benefit from them.Read More
The AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC) has published a plan advisory called “The Importance of Hiring a Quality Auditor to Perform Your Employee Benefit Plan Audit.” This advisory was created for plan administrators to have a guide to follow the important process of hiring an auditor with the correct experience to audit employee benefit plans.Read More
Retirement plan fiduciaries should meet on an annual basis (if not more frequently) to discuss the plan with outside service providers, including the investment advisor, custodian/trustee, and third-party administrator. In this blog, we’ll discuss the three best practices for your annual retirement plan review and what the focus of these meetings should include.
1. Investment Performance of the Funds in the PlanThe fiduciaries should determine if the funds in the plan are meeting the criteria outlined in the investment policy statement (IPS). Funds that are not meeting your stated criteria should be put on a watch list as outlined in the IPS or possibly removed from the plan, again depending on the IPS. In addition to reviewing fund performance, you’ll want to ensure that the group of funds that are offered in your plan are still meeting the requirements of the IPS. Read More
The IRS announced on November 6, that several contribution limits in qualified retirement plans will increase next year.
These limits cover cost of living adjustments to a variety of retirement plan limitations. The chart below provides a summary of the amounts for your convenience.Read More
Many plan sponsors create oversight committees for their qualified retirement plans. These committees are frequently called “investment committees,” “administrative committees,” or, simply, “retirement plan committees.” The duties of these committees are significant, and will typically include:Read More
Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released a final rule which should make it easier for smaller businesses to provide retirement plans to their employees. According to the DOL, the rule will enable more small and midsize unrelated businesses to join forces in multiple employer plans (MEPs) that provide their employees a defined contribution plan such as a 401(k) plan or a SIMPLE IRA plan. Certain self-employed individuals also can participate in MEPs.
In October 2018, the DOL issued a proposed rule to clarify when an employer group or association, or a professional employer organization (PEO), can sponsor a MEP. (A PEO is a company that contractually assumes some human resource responsibilities for its employer clients.) The final rule, effective September 30, 2019, is similar to the proposal, but not entirely.Read More