The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) conduct different types of benefit plan audits, such as retirement plans and health and welfare plans, and for various reasons. In a presentation, Jeffrey Holdvogt and Maggie McTigue discuss IRS and DOL audit triggers, the process for each and what to do if your plan is audited. They also discuss the top audit issues and actionable steps companies can take to avoid audits and compliance issues.

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In a recent webinar, Jake Mattinson and Sarah Raaii discussed the practices that benefits professionals can adopt to add value to their organizations and avoid common mistakes.  Jake and Sarah discussed recommended practices for ERISA benefit claims and inquiries, how to review plan compensation definitions and payroll codes, best practices for corrections using the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP), and the importance of document retention. The webinar is part of the larger Benefits Emerging Leaders Working Group, a group that meets to discuss key benefit issues and trends and provides networking opportunities aimed at connecting tomorrow’s benefit leaders with a broad network of professionals.

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Please join McDermott partners, Diane Morgenthaler and Jamie Weyeneth, on October 16-18 at the 2013 ERISA Basics National Institute in Chicago, IL.  Designed for in-house and union counsel, benefits specialists, private practitioners, litigators, consultants and accountants, this conference provides an opportunity to hear from the ERISA experts.  For more information, click here.

2013 ERISA Basics National Institute

Friday, October 18
10:05-10:55 a.m.
Section 401(k) Plans
Diane Morgenthaler, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery

11:05-11:55 a.m.
Cafeteria Plans
Jamie Weyeneth, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery

by Maureen O’Brien and Karen Simonsen

In October 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued final regulations requiring plan administrators to disclose certain plan and investment-related information, including fee and expense information, to participants and beneficiaries in 401(k) plans and other participant-directed individual account plans.  In February 2012, the DOL issued final regulations under section 408(b)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) requiring certain covered service providers to furnish specified information to plan administrators so that they may comply with their disclosure obligations in the participant-level disclosure regulations. On May 7, 2012, the DOL published additional guidance addressing frequently asked questions concerning the participant disclosure regulations and the service provider disclosure regulations.

The new guidance consists of 38 questions and answers addressing, among other topics, revenue sharing disclosures, brokerage window disclosures, designated investment alternatives, transition rules, and form and content of investment-related information.  Plan administrators should review the new guidance now to determine if any changes to participant disclosures are required prior to the initial/annual disclosure deadline of August 30, 2012. 

A detailed analysis of the new guidance from McDermott is forthcoming in the near future.  For now, click here to link to the new guidance.  To listen to McDermott’s webinar on participant fee disclosure and service provider disclosures, click here