Posted by Chris Ciminera, CPA, QKA You (or your client) may have just found out that an audit is required for its retirement plan. Many questions may be running through your head such as Why must an audit be performed? What must be audited? Who performs audits? Who is required to have an audit? How is an audit performed? Well, … Continued
Is your auditor a Jack of all trades, but a master of none?
When I was a Teaching Assistant in College, group projects would inevitably result in complaints that some students were not pulling their weight.
Posted By Chris Ciminera, CPA, QKA I am sure it feels like a cruel game of hide-and-seek for plan sponsors that are unable to find a participant or beneficiary to pay retirement benefits that are due. The administrative procedure seems cut and dry; however, an issue arises when there is old contact information, or the participant or beneficiary doesn’t cash … Continued
Posted By: Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA What if the Participant Already Spent the Overpayment from the Plan? Ineligible or excess distributions from qualified plans happen all the time. In our last 30 years of auditing retirement plans, our distribution tests have uncovered all the following ineligible or excess distributions: Hardship reason not met: A participant doesn’t … Continued
Posted By: Maria T. Hurd, CPA Taking a hardship distribution should not be, in itself, a hardship to a participant going through challenging times, nor should it be an administration hardship to the employer trying to help. Although obtaining documentation to substantiate a hardship is not, in itself, difficult, missing hardship backup is one of the most common operational errors … Continued
Posted By: Maria T. Hurd, CPA Transactions with Related Parties and Parties In Interest: What are the GAAP disclosure requirements? ERISA’s definition of a party in interest is broader than a related party as that term is defined by GAAP. Parties in interest include all entities and individuals that provide services to the plan; however, these entities may not necessarily … Continued
Posted By Maria Hurd, CPA The SECURE Act increased IRS Late Filing Penalties for Form 5500 by how much? How can I avoid them? IRS Penalties Tenfold. That’s how much the SECURE Act (the “Act”) increased the penalty for the late filing of a Form 5500 –TENFOLD! Before the Act, the IRS could assess a civil penalty of $25 for … Continued
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
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