It's rare to find an employer that doesn't maintain a 401(k) plan for employees, especially if the employer has more than 100 employees. Operating a 401(k) plan becomes more complex every year as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues more rules and service providers offer more features and electronic processes.
Frost Brown Todd's employee benefits lawyers advise employers every day on compliance obligations. With our deep bench of lawyers and wide variety of clients, we have experience with most issues employers face. We also help employers evaluate whether to adopt new or different plan features. Many plan service providers are encouraging auto-enrollment, safe harbor plan designs, and even new default investment approaches. Employers need to understand the administrative burdens and fiduciary and other risks the employer will experience with these features.
Some of the hot topics in our 401(k) practice include:
- Fiduciary Compliance – New participant disclosure rules, service provider fee disclosure rules, and court decisions on required monitoring of plan investment funds make it critical for employers to understand their obligations and vendor contracts. Fiduciary compliance standards will continue to develop, and the Department of Labor (DOL) continues to work on new regulations clarifying fiduciary status and obligations. Our attorneys regularly represent employers with Retirement Plan Fiduciary Responsibilities.
- Correcting Errors in Plan Administration or Documents – The IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) allows employers to self-correct many retirement plan errors, and in other cases requires a Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) filing with the IRS. Our attorneys have extensive experience with the Correction of Retirement Plan Errors.
- Required Plan Document Updates: Restatements and Amendments – If an employer wants to be able to rely on an IRS "determination letter" that ensures its retirement plan document meets tax code rules, the plan document must be updated periodically. The IRS is making changes in the process, but historically plans must be restated every five or six years to include new rules that have been issued. Our lawyers review plans prepared by vendors to help employers avoid costly mistakes in plan documents.
- IRS Final Rules Make Plan Forfeitures More Useful
- "Covered Service Provider" Disclosures to Responsible Fiduciaries of Retirement Plans
- Attention 401(k) Plan Sponsors: It is more important than ever to regularly review and evaluate your plan's investment funds
- Federal Appeals Court Rules for a Louisville Employer Confirming QDIA “Safe Harbor”
- Participant-Level Fee and Investment Disclosures are Greatly Expanded
- Retirement Plan Service Providers Have New Fee and Service Disclosure Requirements (The "408b-2 Rule")
- Court Says Doing the Right Thing is the Right Thing to Do
- Warning Regarding IRS 401(K) Compliance Check Questionnaire
- Big Changes to Form 5500 Process for 2009 Plan Year
- FBT Employee Benefits Alert: IRS Updates Rollover Distribution Notices for Retirement Plans
- The Pension Protection Act of 2006 - 401(k) and Profit Sharing Plan Changes and Opportunities
- 401(k) Regs are Final in 2006, and Your Plan Needs to be Amended