By filing through the VFCP, a plan sponsor will receive a no-action letter from the EBSA indicating to the plan that the EBSA will not take civil action against the plan sponsor with regard to this specific transaction in the submission. It is also important to note that there is no application fee to file through the VFCP.
In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and retirement plan operational errors. Two decades of plan audits have shown time and time again that even the most accurate plan sponsor is not immune from making one of the common errors.
The DOL has released the report on its fourth study of audit quality. Revealing a shocking turn for the worse, 39% of the plan audits in the sample did not comply with professional audit standards, up from 33% in the 2004 study, 19% in 1997 study, and 23% in the 1988 study.
The Department of Labor (DOL) released its report on employee benefit plan audits (Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits) on May 28, 2015. As I discussed in my last blog, DOL Audit Quality Study: Employee Benefit Plan Auditors Are not Making the Grade, the report is not favorable to auditors. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is making an effort to address these quality issues through its Enhancing Audit Quality initiative.
At last week’s American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Employee Benefit Plan (EBP) Conference, the Department of Labor (DOL) compared auditing retirement plans to brain surgery. The analogy was meant to indicate that a patient would not seek out a general practitioner to perform brain surgery, due to the highly complex nature of the service and the lack of experience the general medical practitioner would have at performing the service.
Although the Internal Revenue Code trumps IRS Publications, practitioners tend to use the Publications as the initial resource when handling day-to-day tax issues.
What Goes in the Denominator? Complying with the Allocation Rules for Distributions from Qualified Plans With After-Tax Accounts
Compliance starts with understanding. Understanding the rules set forth in Notice 2014-54, assisted us with the application of the rules in a situation in which a participant was entitled to take a distribution from his after-tax account only, in a qualified plan that provides and separately accounts for:
Lack of clarity causes frustration. The topic of how to properly allocate the pretax and after-tax amounts attributable to distributions from qualified plan accounts that include Roth 401(a) accounts or after-tax accounts has been a source of much debate in the retirement plan community.