Q1 2022 Newsletter: Fiduciary Plan Governance Edition

The workforce is changing as we know it, and efforts like DEI, cybersecurity best practices and proactive preparation for DOL audits can help employers like you keep up with this transformative period.

As you look for new ways to refresh your retirement plan in the new year, consider the trending opportunities outlined in the Q1 2022 Newsletter: Fiduciary Plan Governance Edition.

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This information was developed as a general guide to educate plan sponsors and is not intended as authoritative guidance or tax/legal advice. Each plan has unique requirements, and you should consult your attorney or tax advisor for guidance on your specific situation.

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Seizing Opportunity with an Annual Plan Review!

July 5, 2019 – Today’s 401(k) plans offer employers a world of options. A mid-year plan review positions sponsors to identify areas where improvements are possible. Adopting new plan design features can significantly improve a 401(k) plan to meet organization needs and help employees build toward a secure financial future. Since many plan design changes require notice to participants 30 days before the beginning of a new plan year, now is a good time to schedule a review of plans with a December 31 year-end date.

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Three Insurance Facts for Plan Sponsors

May 1, 2019—401(k) plan sponsors can benefit from knowing three simple insurance facts.  This can help keep sponsors compliant, eliminate potential reporting errors that could trigger a DOL audit, and cover their defense if charged with imprudent plan management.  Given that there’s so much for employers with company retirement plans to keep track of, these simple facts often are either unknown or forgotten . . . with plan sponsor fiduciaries exposed to potential liability.

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The IRS Form 5500 – Look before you sign!

Signing the IRS Form 5500 marks the administrative end of a retirement plan year for most plan sponsors.  But don’t be tempted by your nearness to the “finish line.”  Look carefully before you sign.  Inaccuracies on a Form 5500 could trigger a knock on your door from the IRS or the US Department of Labor with a request to review your organization’s 401(k) plan!

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When Ignorance Isn’t Bliss!

February 7, 2019—Plan sponsors: Do you know whether your organization’s 401(k) is as good as it could be?

  • Does it include the best possible funds, and are your employees offered professional investment management to help them meet their retirement goals?
  • Is your plan designed with the features that make 401(k) plans most valuable both to employees and organizations?
  • Have you taken advantage of ERISA safe harbors to reduce your fiduciary risk?
  • Is your plan easy to administer and do you understand ERISA’s regulations?
  • Are you aware all plan fees and know they are reasonable?

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2018 isn’t over until the data’s scrubbed!

Retirement sponsors know it: while others are ringing in the new year, January is a time for 401(k) plan administrators to assemble, scrutinize and validate prior-year data for plans with a December 31 year-end date. Diligent information scrubbing is important. “Clean” data will result in accurate testing and tax filing. A lack of attention to detail can result in tax-filing errors, the need for voluntary corrections, regulatory audits, and – worst-case – plan repayments, fines and penalties.

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Getting Noticed . . . A Guide to Enrollment Notices for New 401(k) Participants

December 6, 2018 – There are good times and bad times to be noticed.  Most 401(k) plan sponsors don’t want to be noticed (and then investigated) by the U.S. Department of Labor.But employers need to provide notices to employees as they become eligible to join a 401(k) plan . . . or face potential employee complaints and DOL investigation.

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