Correction Options for Retirement Plan Errors

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA In a highly regulated industry with complicated rules that always have exceptions (except when the exception does not apply) it is inevitable that sooner or later a failure to follow the plan document will take place. Such operational errors can be corrected through the IRS Employee Plan Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) in one of … Continued

What are the Available Safe Harbor Plan Formulas?

Posted By Maria T. Hurd, CPA Contrary to popular belief, company owners and highly compensated employees (HCEs) are not guaranteed the opportunity to contribute the maximum 401(k) contribution limit to their company’s retirement plan, even if the 401(k) deferral contributions represent their own money. That is because 401(k) plans are subject to nondiscrimination tests to ensure that a disproportionate share … Continued

Audit Information Request Template

Posted By Stacey Snyder, CPA, QKA, TGPC If you’re preparing for your first 401(k) plan audit, you may be wondering what information the auditor will need for the audit. In order to help you prepare, we have created a template of an audit information request which conveys the overall level of detailed verification required in an audit. Your auditor will … Continued

New Comparability Plans

Posted By: Stacey Synder, CPA, QKA, TGPC Profit-sharing plans give employers the option to make contributions to a retirement saving account for the benefit of their employees. These contributions may be made at the discretion of the company and do not need to be based on the actual profits of the company. Traditional profit-sharing plans undergo compliance testing similar to … Continued

COVID-19 Update: Unsaving for Retirement in Pandemic Times – Part II

Posted By Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Our first blog about the CARES Act titled Unsaving for Retirement in Pandemic Times discussed the original definition of a Qualifying Individual eligible to take the additional Coronavirus-related loans and distributions. The original definition of a qualified individual applied if the participant in the plan experienced a financial impact, but it made no … Continued

The 5 Ws of a 401(k) Plan Audit

Posted By: Stacey Snyder, CPA, QKA, TGPC If you’ve just been informed that your 401(k) plan needs an audit, you probably have many questions if you have never been through a 401(k) audit. Hopefully by answering the five Ws (Who? What? When? Where? Why?), we’ll cover most of your questions. WHO? – Who Audits a 401(k) Plan? The audit of … Continued

Are Your Part Time Employees “In or Out” OR “In and Out?”

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA For 403(b) plan eligibility determinations, the IRS says that “Once In, Always In” is much better than “In and Out,” so are your part-time employees “In or Out” or “In and Out”? Part-time workers and transient workers have always posed a challenge for plan sponsors trying to determine retirement plan eligibility. For 403(b) … Continued

How Has a New Auditing Standard Given Auditors More Flexibility in Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements?

Posted by Tyler Starr, CPA The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) Auditing Standards Board (ASB) issued the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 19, Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements, in December 2019. SSAE 19 supersedes SSAE 18 AT-C section 215 of the same name and also amends certain provisions of SSAE 18 section 105, Concepts Common to All … Continued

The SECURE Act’s Long Term, Part-Time Employees Eligibility Rules: the Good, the Bad, and the Questions

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA The SECURE Act’s provisions that encourage retirement savings and increase coverage and participation could reduce an estimated retirement savings shortfall of $3.8 trillion dollars by 3%, which does not sound like much percentage-wise, but it amounts to more than one hundred billion dollars: an unquestionably good result.  However, just as bad situations tend … Continued

EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01

Posted By Christopher J. Ciminera, CPA, QKA Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) had been relatively quiet on retirement plan compliance relief. That changed with Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01 issued on April 29, 2020. This notice provides guidance and relief for employee benefit plans due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Time Period Covered The notice applies from … Continued