Developing Optimal Controls and Processes for Managing Employee Benefit Plans [Podcast]
April 14, 2015
Proactively developing the right controls and processes is vital for the proper management of Employee Benefit Plans. In the following SC&H Group podcast, Jennifer Amato, a Director at SC&H Group, discusses more on this topic, as well as other trends impacting retirement plans, which were highlighted at a recent seminar titled, “Staying Ahead of the (k)urve.”
In late March, SC&H Group, Greenspring Wealth Management, Vanguard, and Coastal Pension Services hosted a seminar titled, “Staying Ahead of the (k)urve,” which covered a wide-range of topics impacting HR professionals and plan sponsors.
Some of the trends discussed at the event were:
- Women and Retirement: As the female workforce continues to grow, effectively meeting the retirement needs for women in the workplace is becoming more important.
- Target-Date Funds: As a hot topic in the Employee Benefit Plan arena, target-date funds are becoming more common. As such, plan sponsors need to actively monitor all investments, and ensure that they are seeking the best financial outcomes for participants.
- Top Operational Issues Affecting Employee Benefit Plans: Operational challenges that come with managing plans are growing, which include adhering to the rules of non-discrimination testing and employee contributions and eligibility. Other issues involve updating and following plan documents and the definition of compensation, as well as ensuring that the loans and hardship distributions are being handled properly.
In addition, Jennifer also highlighted how the IRS and the Department of Labor are actively monitoring Employee Benefit Plans — reinforcing the need for the right internal controls and processes. When the right internal controls and processes are in place, operational failures are less likely to occur. There is also a decreased likelihood that regulators will scrutinize plan sponsors.
All of this reinforces the need for Employee Benefit Plan audits, which are annual compliance reviews that help plan sponsors to ensure that they are managing their plans properly. These audits are done independently of the IRS and the Department of Labor, and emphasize the need for compliance audits as a way to proactively develop the right controls and processes. Employee Benefit Plan audits are legally required for companies with more than 100 employees.
SC&H Group has a robust Employee Benefit Audit practice that audits over a hundred plans annually that range in size from 100 to over 200,000 participants. The practice provides plan sponsors with expert EBP audit, audit coordination, and filing services for full compliance and assurance. Our professionals have both EBP auditing and third-party administration experience — bringing a depth and breadth of knowledge to their engagements — as well as dedication to client service that is unparalleled in the industry.
Also, be sure to download our “Top 10 Issues Affecting Employee Benefit Plans” white paper here.