ERISA Roundup - Q3 2018

ERISA Roundup - Q3 2018


As filing season comes to a close, there’s a distinct opportunity for sponsors to examine the health of their employee benefit plans. The results of your audit can be the catalyst to starting conversations relating to improvements, modifications or amendments to your plan.

In the past quarter, insights from BDO’s ERISA Center of Excellence have covered topics ranging from Cybersecurity as part of a plan sponsor’s fiduciary duty to how tax reform might affect ESOP valuations. We also delve into plan fees and compliance issues you should be aware of.

While you’re enjoying a slower pace over the next couple of months, be thinking about how your benefit plan can better serve your employees in 2019 and beyond. Our team is always here and happy to help!


 National Practice Leader, ERISA


Retirement Plan Sponsors: Is Cybersecurity Part Of Your Fiduciary Duty?

We’ve all received suspicious-looking emails asking us to provide personal information to redeem a prize that we’ve won or alerting us that someone we know needs financial help. By now, most of us recognize these scams—and don’t open the email.

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Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. Streamlines Disaster Relief Procedures

Victims of natural disasters will no longer need to wait for extension instructions from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) to meet certain deadlines, thanks to a new policy issued in July 2018.

​How Tax Reform Could Affect ESOP Valuations

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) was the most sweeping change to the tax code since the mid-1980s. There were only a few provisions in the law that apply to employee stock ownership plans; the reduction of corporate taxes in particular will have a significant impact on stock valuations in these types of defined contribution plans. As a result, companies with ESOPs should begin thinking about what a potential surge in their stock valuations in 2018 could mean for their funding strategies.

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Fees For 401(k) Services: What Plan Sponsors Need To Know

Political candidates who don’t know the cost of a gallon of gas or a movie ticket usually wind up paying that price with voters and losing on election day. Likewise, many plan sponsors are finding themselves on the losing side of lawsuits because they allowed their defined contribution plan to pay unreasonable service fees.

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​IRS Finalizes Regulations Around Forfeitures Funding For QNECs And QMACs

On July 20, 2018 the IRS finalized regulations that allow forfeitures from 401(k) plans to fund qualified nonelective contributions (QNECs) and qualified matching contributions (QMACs), which are frequently used to correct certain contribution testing failures.

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401(k) Plan Compliance: What Plan Sponsors Need To Know

Defined contribution plans, and 401(k) plans in particular, offer myriad benefits for workers and employers, and these plans can be powerful tools to help organizations attract and retain talent. Despite these benefits, only 62 percent of private sector employees have access to a defined contribution plan, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This figure drops to 41 percent for companies with 50 to 99 people.

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Using EPCRS To Correct Retirement Plan Errors

Everyone makes mistakes, and for plan sponsors, the ability to identify and remedy errors is essential for maintaining the plan’s tax benefits. For plan sponsors who may have deviated from their plan documents, or need to make other corrections, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides three options to fix errors so organizations can keep all the tax advantages that come with their retirement benefits.

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First-Time Plan Audits: What To Expect

Growing beyond 100 employees is an important landmark in a company’s history. While companies may view crossing this threshold as cause for celebration, the Department of Labor (DOL) may view it as a trigger for increased scrutiny of your employee-benefit plan.

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AICPA Employee Benefit Plans Accounting, Auditing and Regulatory Update
December 10 – 11, 2018; Washington, D.C.

Key Upcoming Deadlines
December 1: Deadline to deliver QDIA, Auto-Enrollment, and Safe Harbor Notices to participants
December 14: Summary Annual Report due
December 31: Age 70½ Required Minimum Distributions due to participants who have begun receiving distributions