Key takeaways: 2022 AICPA & CIMA Employee Benefit Plans Conference
- Audit quality — the Department of Labor (DOL) reinforced the importance it places on quality benefit plan audits. The DOL is in process of updating its most recent audit quality study (a summary of prior findings can be reviewed here: DOL - Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits)
- Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 136, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) — Many firms (including Plante Moran) are adopting this auditing standard for 2021 plan audits; however, SAS 136 is not just a standard that impacts auditors. Read here about what plan sponsors can expect.
- DOL hot topics and enforcement activities — During its government update session, the DOL focused on several issues touched on in our recent webinar such as cryptocurrencies in retirement plans and Form 5500 filing errors.
- Mortality improvement scales — If you sponsor a defined benefit plan, you likely have ongoing discussions about the mortality assumptions that impact your plan’s valuation(s). The Society of Actuaries (SOA) has released its latest annual iteration of mortality improvement scales (MP-2021); the MP-2021 projection scale is based upon historical mortality information through 2019 that doesn’t reflect the COVID-19 pandemic. We recommend that you discuss with your actuary and/or auditor and document your consideration of the potential impact of COVID-19 on your mortality assumptions. An interface has been included in the Mortality Improvement Model (MIM-2021) to allow for projection scales to be adjusted for COVID-19.
If you have any questions about the topics above, feel free to reach out — we’re happy to help.