Employee Benefit Plans: Are You Prepared?


By John Popies

Another reporting year/tax-filing period for your employee benefit plan is over – are you prepared?  Did you put in place everything you said you would last year, and are you going to learn from your mistakes?

This is the time to ensure you have a plan in place in order to avoid unnecessary delays in getting your required filings completed for your employee benefit plans.  Some common items which should be included in planning for year-end reconcilements, gathering of data, etc. are as follows:

  • Determine if any amendments were made during the year.
  • If not already done so, determine who is handling the Plan’s filing requirements and compliance testing.
  • Determine whether your plan requires an audit:
    • If you had one in the previous year, has the number of eligible participants decreased below 100 as of the beginning of the year?  If so, you may be eligible to eliminate the audit requirement.
    • If you did not have an audit in the previous year, and you just filed a short-form 5500, has the number of eligible participants increased to above 120?  If so, you may be required to have an audit completed.
    • If an audit is required, the process of identifying and selecting an auditor can be time-consuming; therefore, it is suggested to start the process as soon as possible.
  • Determine who will be reconciling the corporate sponsor records (employee/employer contributions, etc.) to those of the third-party plan recordkeeper.
  • Request a service organization control report from your third-party plan recordkeeper.

This list is but a starter of the process required in order to comply with the various reporting requirements under DOL and IRS regulations.  If you start now, you may get it done in time…

If you have any questions about reporting requirements, please contact us and visit our Employee Benefit Plan services page to learn about our ERISA services.

Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

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