ERISA Roundup - Q4 2021

A Note From BDO’S National ERISA Practice Leader

​We hope you enjoyed the holiday season and are looking forward to a fresh start in 2022 as much as we are. As you wrap up the old year and welcome in the new, it’s a great time to catch up on our most recent insights and podcast episodes compiled in this fourth quarter ERISA Roundup.

Amidst historically high levels of employees quitting their jobs (which has been dubbed the “Great Resignation”), we have focused this quarter’s content on helping employers and human resource professionals find creative ways to retain their existing workforce, while also providing tips and resources to help if your company is experiencing high turnover. You will also find in this issue a discussion of plan correction options available through EPCRS and insight into the Department of Labor’s initiative pertaining to unclaimed retirement plan assets.

If your New Year’s resolutions include staying current on ERISA topics, we invite you to follow along with our regular insights at and our podcast series BDO Talks ERISA. Feedback on our content is always welcomed - you can reach us at [email protected].

Wishing you all the best for 2022, 
Beth Garner, Partner; Leader - Employee Benefit Plan Audits


In This Issue...

New DOL Push for Plan Sponsors to Reconcile Unclaimed Retirement Assets

A new report from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)’s Bureau of Labor Statistics found that U.S. workers born between 1957 and 1964 hold an average of 12.4 jobs between the ages of 18 and 54. It’s not just the baby boomers in America’s workforce who are on the move: recent news articles have focused on the relocations of younger workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the Insight


Workplace Financial Assistance Programs: Five Ways Employers Can Help Employees in Challenging Times

Now that we have moved into the next stage of pandemic recovery, it is a good time to review the ways employers can help employees, so they are better prepared for the next crisis. We describe five ways that employers can provide financial assistance to employees in challenging times.

Explore the Steps


COLA 2022

The Social Security Administration (SSA) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have announced the government’s annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for 2022.

View the Alert


Retirement Plan Corrections Options Available Through EPCRS

Earlier this year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Procedure 2021-30, which provides retirement plan sponsors additional opportunities to use voluntary and self-correction features of the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). This guidance continues a trend of the IRS seeking ways to make it easier for plan sponsors to correct errors that may occur in running a tax-qualified retirement plan.

Explore the Full Insight


Plan Sponsor Alert: Hardship Distribution Amendment Deadline is Fast Approaching

Over the past few years, several laws and regulations were passed to loosen rules on hardship distributions for 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans. These new provisions came in handy for many participants who needed an easier way to access retirement accounts during the pandemic.

Read the Full Alert


2022 Deadlines and Important Dates For Plan Sponsors 2022

January 2022

January 15: Possible fourth quarter 2022 contribution due for defined benefit pension plans.
January 31: Action: Census data due Jan 31. Plan sponsor confirms the accuracy of the prior year’s census data to the recordkeeper. This information is used for ADP/ACP testing.


February 2022

February 15: Action: Review and approve compliance testing results sent by plan administrator by Feb. 15.
February 28: Action: File Form 1096 paper transmittal by Feb. 28 for 2020 tax year.


March 2022

March 1: Action: 1 / Action: Multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) plans must file the annual form M-1 by March 1.
March 15: Action: Highly compensated employees who fail ADP/ACP test for prior plan year must have refunds processed by March 15 (other than eligible automatic contribution arrangements).

View All Deadlines and Important Dates


Contribution Plan Limits and Other Rolling Notices for 2022

In addition to those important deadlines and dates, plan sponsors should be aware of the contribution plan limits and other rolling notices for 2022:

  • Employee salary deferral limits for 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans will be $20,500. Age 50 catch-up contribution limit increases to $6,500.

  • Health Savings Account contribution limit is $3,650 (single) and $7,300 (family). Age 55 catch-up contribution stays at $1,000.

  • Traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Account contribution limit will be $6,000. catch-up contributions for participants age 50 and over is $1,000.

  • Limitation for the annual benefit under a defined benefit plan under Section 415(b)(1)(A) will be $245,000.

  • The dollar amount used to define “highly compensated employee” under Section 414(q)(1)(B) will be $135,000.

  • Newly eligible employees must receive a Summary Plan Description (SPD) within 90 days after becoming covered by the plan.



New Podcast Episodes! BDO Talks ERISA

In February, our ERISA Center of Excellence launched a monthly podcast - BDO Talks ERISA! This series covers best practices around all things ERISA and any other HR-related topics, including:

  • How to avoid common compliance issues

  • How to navigate the ins-and-outs of ERISA’s fiduciary provisions

  • Our own experiences working for BDO’s ERISA Services group

  • A deeper dive into the insights we share through our BDO ERISA Center of Excellence

Listen to new episodes at or subscribe on Apple Podcast or Spotify. If you have suggestions for future topics or have a question for us to answer, send an email to [email protected].


Recent Episodes:

Episode 12: Drum Roll, Please: Top 10 ERISA Violations You Need to Know
Our hosts Beth Garner and Joanne Szupka take a break from deadlines to talk about ERISA Violations. The GAO released an in-depth report on some of the biggest violations happening within this space. Our hosts cover everything from duty of disclosure to fiduciary self-dealing. This is an important episode you don’t want to miss.
Episode 13: ESOPs: What Does It All Mean
On this episode host Joanne Szupka sits down with BDO’s Blake Head to talk about Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) and what it means for an organization to offer an ESOP. Blake is a Partner and leader of BDO’s ESOP Advisory Services practice and regularly advises companies on how to structure their organization to offer competitive plans to their employees. This episode is part one of two and provides an overview of ESOPs and highlights some of the benefits.
Episode 14: Minimizing Uncertainty During the Great Resignation
In our December episode BDO’s Jason Brooks, Managing Director and Compensation Consulting Leader, joins Joanne Szupka to discuss the Great Resignation and the challenges companies, employers, and HR professionals are currently facing. Jason shares his insights on the remote work environment, talent retention, creative ways to structure benefit plans, and so much more.


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