Plan Compliance

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for retirement and health benefit plans in private industry. ERISA does not require any employer to establish a plan. It only requires that those who establish plans must meet certain minimum standards.

ERISA covers retirement, health and other welfare benefit plans (e.g., life, disability and apprenticeship plans). Among other things, ERISA provides that those individuals who manage plans (and other fiduciaries) must meet certain standards of conduct. The law also contains detailed provisions for reporting to the government and disclosure to participants. There also are provisions aimed at assuring that plan funds are protected and that participants who qualify receive their benefits. 

For Retirement

Model Notice of Multiemployer Plan in Critical Status - The PPA of 2006 amended ERISA and the IRC to require that sponsors of multiemployer defined benefit pension plans that are in endangered or critical status provide notice to participants. The Model Notice is intended to facilitate compliance with this notification requirement. 

Meeting Your Fiduciary Responsibilities

To meet their responsibilities as plan sponsors, employers need to understand some basic rules, specifically the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  ERISA sets standards of conduct for those who manage an employee benefit plan and its assets (called fiduciaries).  This publication provides an overview of the basic fiduciary responsibilities applicable to retirement plans under the law.

Selecting An Auditor For Your Employee Benefit Plan

 Federal law requires employee benefit plans with 100 or more participants to have an audit as part of their obligation to file the Form 5500.  This booklet will assist plan administrators in selecting an auditor and reviewing the audit work and report.

Selecting And Monitoring Pension Consultants

ERISA requires that fiduciaries of employee benefit plans administer and manage their plans prudently and in the interest of the plan’s participants and beneficiaries. In carrying out these responsibilities, plan fiduciaries often rely heavily on pension consultants and other professionals for help. Findings included in a report by the SEC released in May 2005, however, raise serious questions concerning whether some pension consultants are fully disclosing potential conflicts of interest that may affect the objectivity of the advice they are providing to their pension plan clients.

  • Fiduciary Requirements for Disclosure in Participant-Directed Individual Account Plans
  • Fiduciary Requirements for Disclosure in Participant-Directed Individual Account Plans –Timing of Annual Disclosure
  • Service Provider Disclosures Under Section 408(b)(2)& 404(a)(5)
  • Lifetime Income Illustration

For 401(k) Plans

Meeting Your Fiduciary Responsibilities – To meet their responsibilities as plan sponsors, employers need to understand some basic rules, specifically the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  ERISA sets standards of conduct for those who manage an employee benefit plan and its assets (called fiduciaries).  This publication provides an overview of the basic fiduciary responsibilities applicable to retirement plans under the law.

  • Fiduciary Requirements for Disclosure in Participant-Directed Individual Account Plans
  • Fiduciary Requirements for Disclosure in Participant-Directed Individual Account Plans –Timing of Annual Disclosure
  • Service Provider Disclosures Under Section 408(b)(2)& 404(a)(5)
  • Final Rule On Electronic Filing
  • General Reporting And Filing Compliance Assistance
  • General Fiduciary Compliance Assistance
  • Fiduciary Requirements for Disclosure in Participant-Directed Individual Account Plans

For Small Employers

Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for Small Employers - Are you a small business or tax-exempt organization that pays at least half the cost of single health insurance coverage for your employees? If so, you may qualify for a new tax credit part of the Affordable Care Act.

Automatic Enrollment 401(k) Plans - This booklet provides an overview of automatic enrollment 401(k) plans, which can increase plan participation and make it easier for employers to withhold employee contributions and select investments for those contributions.

U.S. Department of Labor and AICPA developed this interactive Website on small business retirement options.
Choosing A Retirement Solution for Your Small Business – A pamphlet describing the retirement savings options available to small businesses.

The Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business video helps small employers and accountants understand the various options for providing a retirement program through four real-life experiences. 

  • Voluntary Correction Programs
  • Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
  • Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program
  • The Abandoned Plan Program