Oak Brook, IL (June 25, 2014) - Millennium Trust Company, a leading provider of custody solutions, in conjunction with Great-West Financial, the nation’s fourth-largest retirement plan record keeper, hosted a webinar yesterday titled “Preparing For and Surviving a Plan Audit.”
According to Planadviser.com, plan sponsors paid a collective $1.7 billion in plan reimbursements and fines to settle criminal cases and violations in 2013. Hosted by Mark Koeppen of Millennium Trust and Marilyn R. Collister of Great-West Financial, the webinar, available here, examined the various factors that can trigger an IRS audit. Additional topics covered included how plan sponsors can effectively review internal controls and plan design as well as tips on how to effectively communicate with both the IRS and the Department of Labor to resolve issues.
“The IRS relies on a number of triggers to direct their investigation efforts, including identifying the specific plans that they will audit,” said Mr. Koeppen. “Once a plan has been identified for an audit, in most cases the plan sponsors are left having to scramble to prepare. The goal of our webcast was to give our insights on what can be done to make this process as painless as possible.”
“The IRS has primary jurisdiction over the qualified status of defined contribution plans, while the DOL’s primary concerns are fiduciary standards, reporting and disclosure requirements, fees and other rules not affecting plan qualification,” said Ms. Collister. "We recommend training your plan fiduciaries on their basic fiduciary responsibilities and developing internal controls to detect and prevent plan document and operational mistakes in advance of a possible audit.”
In conjunction with the webinar, Millennium Trust also announced the launch of a new white paper, “The Upside of Audits: Streamlining Your Retirement Plan”. Given the often complex nature of plan management, the paper suggests the key for today’s plan sponsors is to streamline their plans as much as possible so it comes through audits as cleanly as possible.
Among the article’s suggestions are: establishing strong internal controls, identifying and correcting any outstanding issues and finding solutions that both reduce the plan’s cost as well as its fiduciary exposure such as automatic rollover solutions or utilizing uncashed check services.
For more information about Millennium Trust Company visit: http://www.mtrustcompany.com
The material in the whitepaper and webinar is presented for informational purposes only. Certain elements for reviewing an employee benefit plan have been mentioned, but there was no intention to suggest a comprehensive review program for any plan. The information presented is not legal, tax or compliance advice. No action should be taken with any plan without consulting an attorney, or other employee benefit plan professional. Millennium Trust Company acts only as a directed custodian and does not offer tax, legal, or compliance advice.
About Millennium Trust Company
Millennium Trust Company is a leading financial services company offering niche alternative custody solutions to institutions, advisors and individuals. The firm serves as a complement to services offered by other custodians. Their innovative solutions include rollover solutions, alternative asset custody, private fund custody and advisor support solutions. Millennium Trust performs the duties of a directed custodian and, as such, does not provide due diligence on prospective investments, sponsors or service providers and does not sell investments or provide investment, tax or legal advice.
About Great-West Financial®
Great-West Financial® is the nation’s fourth-largest retirement plan record keeper based on total participant accounts at Sept. 30, 2013 and is market leader in providing administrative and record keeping services to defined contribution plans, enrollment services, communication materials, investment options and education services, as well as fund management, investment and advisory services. Great-West Financial® refers to products and services provided by Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates.