So, as a retirement plan sponsor what can you do?

With financial markets seemingly out of control, what can you do to take care of your retirement plan? Review this list to ensure you are maximizing your retirement opportunities.

 

  • Make timely contributions - The government says withheld wages become plan assets when they can be segregated from company funds. Forward plan assets immediately!
     
  • Follow the terms of the plan - Interpret plan provisions reasonably and consistently. Treat all participants the same!
     
  • Understand your responsibilities - Identify plan fiduciaries and provide training and tools for them to meet their responsibilities.
     
  • Meet frequently - Adopt a formal schedule to ensure the plan sponsor and service providers have a mutual understanding of plan goals and objectives.
     
  • Carefully select plan service providers and investments - Define plan needs, roles and responsibilities, develop measurement standards, and then select based on objective criteria.
     
  • Communicate openly with participants – Plans are for the exclusive benefit of participants. Educate them and notify them of processes used and decisions made. Consider publishing summaries of meetings.
     
  • Monitor service providers - Measure performance vs. established benchmarks, read and understand reports, check fees for accuracy and monitor responses to participant inquiries.
     
  • Formalize your evaluation process – Establish objective performance measurement standards. Make the resulting evaluation reports a standing agenda item for your meetings.
     
  • File timely governmental reports – Understand reporting deadlines. Comply to prevent future problems.
     
  • Maintain accurate records - Accurate records protect all involved. Build a “Fiduciary Due Diligence” file containing all plan documents and records of decision making.

If you can't check all of the boxes, contact someone for assistance in reviewing and correcting your plan governance procedures - before the IRS or DOL contacts you!

This content was provided by Benefit Plans Plus

About Benefit Plans Plus
Benefit Plans Plus, LLC offers customized retirement plan design and administration, fiduciary compliance management, and consulting services for retirement plans. Through our unique offerings including the Fiduciary Health CheckSM and the SBO 401k we serve more than 500 clients nationwide. Benefit Plans Plus holds the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, LLC (CEFEX) recordkeeper certification for third party administrator services and the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) seal of service for provider excellence -- the top recognitions in the industry. In addition, Our well credentialed team of retirement plan experts boasts more than 16 years experience each . For more information about Benefit Plans Plus, a subsidiary of Brown Smith Wallace, LLC, call 314.983.1200.

You may like these other stories...

IRS audits less than 1 percent of big partnershipsAccording to an April 17 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the IRS audits fewer than 1 percent of large business partnerships, Stephen Ohlemacher of the...
Is it time to consider a value added tax?Forbes contributor Joseph Thorndike wrote yesterday that he believes the tax reform proposal by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) was dead on arrival. But he...
Read more from Larry Perry here and in the Today's World of Audits archive.The planning phase of an audit engagement of an entity using US GAAP or a special purpose framework will, with minor differences, include similar...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.