Articles Tagged - EBP

New Leasing Standards: Key Elements of Changes Adopted by FASB

By Wiss, Posted in General Business

By Erin Silkowski Your company’s operation might rely heavily on leasing equipment or property as a way of using assets without the burden of purchasing or disposing of them when no longer needed. Due to changes adopted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, many of these lease agreements that take place off the balance sheets will soon find their way on to them. As a result, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the upcoming changes sooner rather than later to avoid surprises when repor... read more.

Update to Fiduciary Rule Improves Retirement Advice

By Wiss, Posted in Employee Benefit Plan Audits

By Wiss Associate You may assume that when a broker, advisor, insurance agent, or consultant makes recommendations about your retirement account, the advice is in your best interest. But that hasn’t always been the case. While the majority of advisers act in the best interest of their clients, not all have been legally required to do so, and some have been swayed by hidden fees or commissions to recommend investments that weren’t necessarily the best choice for their clients’ individual... read more.

Borrowing from Your 401(k): What to Know Before Making the Decision

By Wiss, Posted in Employee Benefit Plan Audits

By Cindy Sandomenico Borrowing money from your 401(k) account can be tempting. You know the money is there, and it’s yours, so why not use it? Before you pull the trigger, however, consider the limitations and consequences. Here are some important points to keep in mind. Know the rules Generally, you can borrow from a 401(k) for any reason, such as paying educational expenses or buying a home for the first time -- although employers are not required to offer a loan option within the 401(k) plan.... read more.

How to Minimize Your Fiduciary Liability

By Wiss, Posted in Employee Benefit Plan Audits

By Craig Erickson Those with discretionary authority or administrative control over their organization’s retirement and 401(k) plan face significant risks. If fiduciaries make decisions that negatively affect plan participants or beneficiaries, they can be held personally liable for breaching their fiduciary duties, even if the action was unintentional. Although fiduciaries cannot entirely eliminate the risks associated with their role, there are several things they can do to protect themselves and... read more.

What the DOL Looks for During an Audit

By Wiss, Posted in Employee Benefit Plan Audits

By Craig Erickson  You’ve just learned that the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefit Security Administration has selected your company’s retirement plan for an investigation. Are you and your plan prepared for an audit? The DOL typically doesn’t provide much notice before beginning an audit, which can last several days, weeks or longer. However, in advance of starting, you will receive an investigation notice that includes a list of documents its people will want to review w... read more.

What Type of 401(k) Plan Document Do I Have and When Do I Need to Update it?

By Wiss, Posted in Employee Benefit Plan Audits

By Craig Erickson When you establish your company’s 401(k) plan, you have to make a range of decisions, from the type of plan and investment tools you’ll offer to participation requirements and guidelines. Once you’ve done this, you need to put it in writing. This is your plan document, a mandatory part of your plan that details its provisions and clearly communicates them to participants. There are three levels of plan documents: Prototype. This off-the-shelf version of a plan docum... read more.

When 401(k) Loans are Considered to be in Default

By Wiss, Posted in Employee Benefit Plan Audits

By Laura Zindel Taking out a 401(k) loan can seem like a relatively simple way to borrow money. It is a very common practice, but many employees who borrow from their plans aren’t prepared for the financial consequences of doing so if a loan ends up in default. The most common reason for defaulting on a 401(k) loan is the loss of a job. If the employee loses his or her job, the plan document rule requires that any outstanding loan balance must be repaid within a certain timeframe, based on when the... read more.

How IRS Revenue Protocol 2016-37 Will Impact Retirement Plans

By Wiss, Posted in Employee Benefit Plan Audits

By Cindy Sandomenico  Approved in June 2016, IRS Revenue Protocol 2016-37 alters the way individually designed retirement plans must file amendments and submit determination letters to the IRS. This will be effective Jan. 1, 2017. Previously, retirement plans were subject to a five-year cycle involving remedial and formal adoption of amendments, and submission of determination letters every five years, regardless of whether the plan was amended. This process was time-consuming for both plan sponsors... read more.

What to Look for When Hiring a 401(k) Plan Auditor

By Wiss, Posted in Employee Benefit Plan Audits

By Craig Erickson  As the number of participants in your company’s 401(k) plan grows, at some point the plan will require an audit. Also known as an employee benefit plan (EBP) audit, the U.S. Department of Labor generally requires one when the number of participants in your employee benefit plan reaches 100, though there are some exceptions.  This audit, a result of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, assesses whether an employer’s plan has the liquidity to meet cur... read more.