When was the last time you closely examined your retirement plan’s internal controls? Strong internal controls are essential not only to ensure that your retirement plan remains in compliance with all regulatory requirements and plan provisions, but also to guard against fraud.
Part of your ERISA fiduciary duty as a retirement plan sponsor is to make sure that the services provided to the plan are necessary and the fees paid for these services are reasonable.
Sponsors of employee benefit plans often have questions about many aspects of benefit plan audits. We answer a few of the most common questions.
Borrowing money from a 401(k) plan has become increasingly popular among employees in recent years and it is important to plan ahead for how you can help employees who leave or join your company and have outstanding loans.
Typically, third-party administrators handle the logistics of sending out participant communication and other employee benefit plan disclosures. But this doesn’t relieve you as the plan fiduciary from responsibility for understanding disclosure requirements and making sure they are met.
The proposed Statement on Auditing Standards reflects a new reporting model for audits of ERISA plans that changes the form and content of the auditor’s report when management imposes an ERISA-permitted audit scope limitation.
In recent years, regulators have intensified their focus on and scrutiny over retirement plan controls. Given this, it’s critical to ensure that the proper procedures and controls are in place for your qualified plan.
If your plan receives audited financial statements, they may be accompanied by a management letter. This can be a valuable resource when it comes to making your plan more efficient and identifying potential risk associated with plan qualification and ERISA compliance.
There are common management issues in employee benefit plans. Having the appropriate Complementary User Entity Control in place will assure to plan management that policies and procedures are being followed.
In most cases, participants’ immediate and heavy financial need must be established based on “all relevant facts and circumstances” before they are eligible to request a hardship distribution. Yet, the IRS has established safe harbor rules that automatically consider an employee to have such a need if the distribution is used to cover a few specific expenses.
Hiring a qualified CPA firm to conduct your employee benefit plan audit is critical to avoiding fines and penalties from the Department of Labor. We outline the eight things you should discuss with a prospective auditor before entering into an engagement.
There are plenty of ways to get in trouble in the highly regulated world of employee benefit plans. But there are few ways to get in hot water faster than by engaging in prohibited transactions.