Catherine Jones, Employee Plans Director with the Internal Revenue Service's Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Division, laid out the IRS's thinking regarding top compliance issues for employee benefit plans, during a November 10 webinar hosted by the American Institute of CPAs. 

Not surprisingly, with the CARES Act changing the qualified plans landscape, loans and required minimum distributions are a high priority, as these areas are creating a lot of operational errors in qualified plans. Further compliance areas include: Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs); Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 404 deduction limits, IRC § 403(b) plans and IRC § 457 plans.

All plan sponsors should take a proactive approach to employee benefit plans' compliance and identify areas of weakness in their benefit plans. This type of self-auditing and constant vigilance of ERISA, IRC and related laws will help prevent problems before they are discovered by employees or worse the IRS, the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, etc. 

At Chamberlain Hrdlicka, we have self-audit tools for all types of plans (welfare, qualified, nonqualified, etc.), based on years of handling government audits of such plans.  Our Employee Benefits attorneys can help you document what a great plan sponsor you are and have you completely prepared for any government examination of your benefit plans.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.