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Dear Workforce Where Can I Find the Best Information to Begin a Compliance Audit?

Our general manager has assigned human resources the task of conducting an audit by the end of the first quarter to confirm that we are in compliance with federal labor laws and regulations. It would obviously be a massive project to determine whether there are any possible problems related to any law, regulation or court interpretation, but I’m wondering: Are there tools available that could help us with doing at least a general audit?
February 18, 2009
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Related Topics: Career Development, HR Services and Administration, Employee Career Development, Policies and Procedures, Dear Workforce
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Dear Overwhelmed:

Because retirement-plan administration becomes more complex every day, regular audits are well worth the effort. The Department of Labor, through its Employee Benefit Security Administration, provides a number of online tools that may be helpful in developing an audit.

These include a reporting and disclosure guide and information about fee disclosures, fiduciary responsibilities, qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) and many other topics. They can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/.

Retirement plans also are subject to extensive regulations under the Internal Revenue Code, making it important to review plan operations from that perspective. Online tools, such as audit guidelines for examiners and tips on corrections and resources, can be found at www.irs.gov by clicking the link on "Retirement Plans Community."

Even with the tools provided by the agencies, ensuring your plans are fully compliant is a difficult technical challenge. Some plan advisors have experienced staff and well-developed technical services, should you decide that the task requires help from outside your organization.

SOURCE: Deborah A. Powell, The Segal Co., Washington, February 12, 2009

LEARN MORE: Among a string of developments in the fast-changing arena of retirement plans is this: Participants in 401(k) plans now can sue their employers for losses.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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