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Employee Benefit Plan Voluntary Correction Programs: Fixing Costly Errors and Preserving Tax Benefits

Webinar: ID# 1001587
Date: Recorded
About This Course:
This webinar provides employee benefits auditors with best practices to prevent most of the serious and costly (but all too common) errors in benefit plan audits.

The panel will explain the pitfalls that practitioners often encounter in these audits and outline how to address these issues based on real-world experiences.

Description

Proficiency in auditing benefit plans requires staying on top of the IRS’ and DOL’s ever-changing rules and regulations. An employee benefit plan with more than 100 eligible participants must file audited financials along with Form 5500, which are closely scrutinized during DOL audits.

An employee benefit plan audit is more than substantiating financial statements. Auditors must also be prepared to address plan operations, including an assessment of whether the plan is operating according to the plan document, any plan amendments, and all applicable IRS and DOL rules during the period audited.

Our skilled panel of benefit plan auditors and related advisors, all well versed and experienced with benefit plan audits, will provide guidance on preparing for and getting through audits. The panel will also explain what practitioners can do now to avoid costly mistakes or take action to correct prior plan errors before an audit.

Listen as our panelists offer best practices and insights based on real-world experience for avoiding common high risk mistakes associated with benefit plan audits. The panel will also outline approaches to identify and correct plan errors before an audit or after a filing.

Outline
  • Relevant forms and regulations
    • Form 5500
    • 403(b) plan rule issues
    • 408(b)(2) disclosures
  • Challenges to anticipate
    • Common plan operation errors
    • Denied Form 5500
  • Potential fixes for errors
  • Best practices for audit preparation
    • Benefit plan audit experiences
    Benefits
    The panel will review these and other key issues:
    • Understanding the areas of highest risk in benefit plan audits.
    • Identifying and avoiding the most common mistakes in benefit plan audits.
    • Implementing expedient solutions to the most common plan or filing mistakes after the fact.
    • Pinpointing Form 5500 red flags for the IRS and DOL.
    Learning Objectives

    Upon completing this seminar, you will have a much deeper familiarity with high risk but common mistakes made in completing benefit plan audits. You will have new approaches and insights to utilize in order to address plan operational errors before they cause problems in an audit and how to correct past errors. You will understand areas of highest risk in benefit plan audits, be able to identify and avoid the most common mistakes in benefit plan audits, implement expedient solutions to the most common plan or filing mistakes after the fact, and pinpoint Form 5500 red flags for the IRS and DOL.

    Faculty

    Eric Ernest, Partner
    McConnell & Jones, Houston

    Mr. Ernest has more than 20 years of experience in auditing and accounting for a variety of industries and benefit plan sponsors with extensive knowledge in the accounting, auditing, and reporting requirements of employee benefit plans. He is a specialist in benefit plan accounting, auditing, legislative, and regulatory issues to include SEC and DOL rules and regulations and is also well-versed in compliance requirements related to the preparation of IRS Form 5500., including audit, compliance and tax issues.

    Misty A. Leon, Atty
    Wilkins Finston Friedman Law Group, Dallas

    Ms. Leon has over 11 years of experience in employee benefits and compensation matters faced by public and private employers and tax-exempt entities. In addition to advising clients on benefit plan design and compliance issues, she frequently assists plan sponsors and plan service providers with voluntary correction of qualified retirement plan errors, including related submissions to the IRS and DOL.

    Kelly Pointer, Atty
    Seyfarth Shaw, New York

    Ms. Pointer is assigned to the firm's Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Department. She works with clients on drafting tax-qualified retirement programs and welfare benefit plans, analyzing tax and labor issues, and ERISA reporting and disclosure, among other topics.

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    Employee Benefit Plan Voluntary Correction Programs: Fixing Costly Errors and Preserving Tax Benefits
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