As you know, you started filing your 5500 form electronically last year and Dol now has the ability to find the form for "targeted problems". We have discussed some of them in length but only to review them including:
- Investment delay in employee contributions
- Assessment of employer securities
- Costs for your service provider
- Overview of low volume financial auditors
Back in 2004, Dol Audit samples found 30% of them becoming defects which means auditors do not understand or follow predefined practices and requirements. You can get the form 5500 preparation services online at https://www.cxcsolutions.com/compliance/form-5500/.
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The problem of DOL stated is that they have no authority to discipline or sanctions auditors even though they are the main audit supervisor for the ERISA cover plan. So they assigned the Erisa 2010 Advisory Board to review the situation because the main objective of the audit requirements was to protect the participants’ plan. The Board recently released its findings and recommendations including:
- Dol must require a plan administrator to identify on Form 5500 whether the Auditor plan is a member of the American Institute of Public Accountant Certified Plans for Benefits of Audit Center Employees.
- The department must build a fiduciary safe port in the initial election of a plan auditor which is a member of the same organization.
Please remember that only 20% of companies that conduct an employee benefit plan is a member of this organization because membership is voluntary. Recommendations from the council seem to be quite aggressive for me but most professionals work under self rules organization and it seems that this structure will be that version.