403(b) Benefit Plan Documentation & Audit Requirements: Is Your Institution Ready for the Changes in 403(b) Plan Compliance?
Because of recent statutory and administrative changes in the rules governing 403(b) plans, many public and private colleges and universities may encounter new challenges ensuring that their 403(b) arrangements satisfy the complex requirements outlined by both the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
What do 403(b) changes mean to your institution?
A few questions can help 403(b) plan sponsors determine whether their plans may be subject to benefit plan audits. Also included are some helpful hints on gathering the necessary information.
In general, the changes mean every plan will need to be documented, but only private institutions will need 403(b) benefit plan audits because governmental entities are not subject to ERISA. However, there are many nuances in the new and existing rules and our higher ed clients are turning to us to help them understand how the IRC and ERISA rules specifically apply to their 403(b) plans.
Plante Moran employee benefit consultants can help you ensure that your 403(b) is in compliance with the numerous IRC and ERISA rules, including the new plan documentation requirements. And if your situation calls for an employee benefit plan audit, our dedicated team of benefit plan auditors can bring their experience to your first audit.
Both teams have the experience in employee benefit plan audits to help you gather the information you will need to comply with the changes in 403(b) regulations. As you probably know, gathering the right information for plan documentation and an audit can be a complicated process.
If compliance calls for an employee benefit audit
As a plan sponsor, you can be assured that our employee benefit plan audit consultants will cover issues emphasized by the Department of Labor (DOL). Last year, we audited more than 950 employee benefit plans, which gives us extensive expertise in this highly regulated area that you can benefit from.
Relationships can make information gathering easier
For timely resolutions to issues, we can draw on long-term, professional relationships with the DOL, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
Because we are one of the nation’s largest accounting, tax, and management consulting firms, we also have relationships with most of the large investment, insurance, and record keeping companies, banks, and actuarial firms. This allows us to efficiently secure necessary audit information.
Documenting an attractive plan for your employees
Through an employee benefit plan audit, we can help you design a 403(b) plan that will remain in compliance, while offering your employees an attractive, tax-deferred retirement savings vehicle.
To ensure that your 403(b) arrangement accomplishes your goals and remains in compliance, we can help:
- Design your 403(b) plan in a manner that provides the appropriate provisions and ancillary benefits, while weighing administrative complexities and costs with compliance considerations.
- Assist with implementation and maintenance of a plan document satisfying the new IRC requirements, as well as with implementation of other significant documents essential to the administration of your 403(b) arrangement.
- Determine whether your plan is subject to Title I of ERISA and its requirements through a benefit plan audit, including rules related to investment advice, participant fee disclosure rules, prohibited transaction considerations, fiduciary considerations, and filing and disclosure requirements.
- Identify practices necessary to satisfy newly applicable plan audit requirements, and with the preparation of the more comprehensive Form 5500 annual informational filing requirement.
Your institution can count on our team of employee benefit consultants, including experienced CPAs, consultants, and attorneys to help your organization through the changes in 403(b). Additionally, we can assist your institution in coordinating your 403(b) plan with other employee benefits, including 457 plans or other tax-favored arrangements.