2020 Plan Limits – IRS Announces Increases on Benefits and Contributions Dollar Limitations

Posted by Saaib T. Uppal, CPA, QKA The IRS has announced cost-of-living adjustments that should be noted for retirement planning purposes. Below is a chart that outlines employee benefit plan limits for 2020: PLAN LIMITS RETIREMENT & SOCIAL SECURITY 2020 Limit 2019 Limit 2018 Limit Section 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) elective deferrals  $19,500  $19,000  $18,500 401(k) or 403(b) catch up contributions … Continued

Tips and Traps of Compensation – Part IV

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Inquiring minds want to know – Are the Bonuses In or Out? How Can I Withhold from a Gift Card?  It’s Not Cash! … and more … The Problem The use of an incorrect definition of compensation for contribution purposes continues to be listed as the most common error the IRS finds during … Continued

Tips and Traps of Compensation – Part III

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Tips and Traps of Compensation: Part III – Double Jeopardy: No Match on Catch-Ups and No True-Up In our previous two blogs, The Trouble with True-Ups or Lack of True-Ups  and What’s the Catch with Administering Catch-Up Contributions, we went over the basic rules and potential pitfalls of administering true-ups and catch-ups. When … Continued

Tips and Traps of Compensation – Part II

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Tips and Traps of Compensation: Part II – What’s the Catch with Administering Catch-Up Contributions? In the first part of our Tips and Traps of Compensation Series, we talked about The Trouble with True-Ups or Lack of True-Ups. Part II talks about administering catch-up contributions. Definition  of Catch-Up Contribution As stated on the … Continued

EBPAQC: Does your Auditor Belong?

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Does your 401(k) or 403(b) plan auditor belong to the AICPA’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC)? To demonstrate their commitment to quality in the performance of ERISA audits, 2,600 CPA firms, about a third of the firms that perform EBP audits, have become members of the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality … Continued

How Can Plan Sponsors Evaluate Prospective Auditors?

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA The AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Digital Badges: How can plan sponsors evaluate prospective auditors who are equally credentialed with digital badges?  Is your auditor a Jack of all trades, but a master of none? As the results of the DOL studies on audit quality shift the industry focus to the qualifications of employee … Continued

How Can Auditors NOT be Responsible for the Financial Statements?

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA What Auditors Don’t Do In our previous blog, Testing the work of a specialist in a retirement plan audit: how much expertise does the financial statement auditor need?, I explained that auditors cannot be expected to perform or completely re-perform the duties of other professionals, like the actuary, ERISA attorney, third-party administrator, and … Continued

How much expertise does my auditor need?

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Testing the work of a specialist in a retirement plan audit: How much expertise does the financial statement auditor need?   Service providers to the employee benefit plan (EBP) industry are often highly intelligent people that talk in “code”: Internal Revenue Code and ERISA Regulation sections. The legislation that regulates retirement plans encompasses … Continued

401k Auditor - Large Plan 401k Auditor

Tips and Traps of Compensation: Part I

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA UPDATED 7/11/19 Tips and Traps of Compensation: Part I – The Trouble with True-Ups or Lack of True-Ups When 401(k) and 403(b) plans provide that the match contribution is calculated annually, but administratively, the deposit is done on a payroll by payroll basis, it is important for the plan sponsor to understand and … Continued

Are Employer Matching Contributions for Student Loan Repayments Allowed?

Posted by Tyler Starr, CPA The IRS issued a private ruling on August 17, 2018, to allow an unnamed company to implement a new type of benefit for employees with student loan debt who were eligible to participate in its 401(k) plan. Prior to the private ruling, the company offered a 5% match contribution if employees contributed at least 2% … Continued