Every fall, just as we can expect the leaves to change colors and the weather to turn colder and a little dreary, we can also anticipate changes we will see coming in the following year with respect to employee benefit plans. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘pension plan’
The Department of Labor (DOL) has focused on the timely remittance of employee contributions to retirement plans for a few years. And recently, they stepped up efforts during agency-conducted audits, making this a key area of detailed review. The timeliness of your remittances will be under the microscope, and not only the frequency, but also the consistency. (more…)
How to Prepare For Changes to Your Retirement Plan
While the basics of double entry accounting haven’t changed in hundreds of years, the devil, as they say, is in the details. And, when it comes to accounting, the details are always changing. A new accounting standard update has been announced – and it could have a big impact on your pension plan’s 2012 audit.
For the last decade, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have been working toward accounting convergence; bringing U.S. accounting standards into harmony with international requirements. Through the Accounting Standard Updates (ASUs), FASB has been nudging U.S. standards closer to their international counterparts. Think of it as the accounting equivalent of finally getting America to convert to the metric measuring system. It’ll be great once we’re all on the same page, but the process of getting there… well, it’s a little complicated.
Every year, we receive questions regarding whether a filing requirement exists for a client’s welfare benefit plan. Clients want to ensure that their plans remain ERISA compliant without taking on the burden of any unnecessary paperwork. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about employee welfare benefit plans. (more…)
From ERISA fee disclosures to benefit limitation regulations, 2012 has been a year of regulations for retirement plans. If your company offers a retirement plan, you may feel like you’ve spent the whole year jumping through the hoops that regulators threw at you. Bad news, you might have one more hoop to hop. (more…)
In the midst of the publicity surrounding the new ERISA fee disclosures requirements, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that other recently enacted legislation may impact your retirement plan. Changes to IRS regulations may require plan’s to adopt amendments before the end of the year. (more…)
Does your 401k plan have a calendar year end? If so you have until December 1, 2012, to send notice requirements to plan participants or the operation or qualification of your plan could be impacted. Use this checklist of notices to get started: (more…)
When it comes to following the ERISA requirement of fidelity bonding, the devil, as they say is in the details.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) requires that fidelity bonding be obtained to cover each person who “handles” plan assets. The general rule is the bond amount be ten percent (minimum of $1,000) of plan assets as of the beginning of the plan year, not to exceed $500,000, or one million dollars if the plan holds employer securities.
While this requirement seems relatively straightforward, we find plan sponsors are sometimes unclear about their fidelity bond responsibilities when we are performing benefit plan audits. Following are some of the commonly asked questions. (more…)
You may have heard the retirement terminology “three-legged stool” used to describe the three most common sources of retirement income: Social Security, employer sponsored retirement plan and personal savings. Many factors affect the strength of each “leg,” so you must continually evaluate what changes you need to make to keep the stool strong and upright. (more…)
It’s Your Turn to Disclose Fees to Participants
Did you suffer from sticker shock when you received the recent fee disclosures from your service providers? If so, you weren’t the only plan fiduciary to be surprised, even though it’s your job to know the ins and outs of your pension plan.
Now, by August 30, you have to disclose that fee information to your plan participants. How do you think they will react? It is possible they aren’t going to like the news. Worse yet, they may be confused as to why they are suddenly paying new fees when the reality is they have always paid them. Being upfront about plan costs, and plan benefits, can help you make it through this new disclosure requirement. (more…)