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Latest Published Articles, Papers, and Research From Across the Web

Tips to Prepare for Your Upcoming 401k Plan Audit: From the Auditor Perspective

Audit request lists will soon be going out to Plan Sponsors to confirm audit dates and information request dates. While the receipt of these request lists can cause blood pressure to rise at the plan sponsor, there are some simple tasks the plan sponsor can perform to prepare for the annual audit of their 401k plan, and make the audit process smoother. Whether you are a plan sponsor, TPA, or advisor, here are some tips which will help to make the audit process go smoother for all parties involved.

Source:, January 2021

DOL Issues Missing Participants Guidance

On January 12, 2021, the DOL issued three pieces of guidance detailing the DOL's view of what steps plan fiduciaries should take to locate and distribute retirement benefits to missing or non-responsive participants. The guidance is largely consistent with positions taken by DOL in investigations.

Source:, January 2021

Love Hurts: Have Your QDRO Procedures at the Ready

Retirement Plans should ensure they are ready in case the pandemic also leads to an increase in QDROs. Qualified plans that are subject to ERISA are required to have written QDRO procedures to determine whether a domestic relations order submitted to the plan meets the requirements for approval as a QDRO.

Source:, January 2021

Best Practices for ERISA Plan Fiduciary Governance

Plaintiffs' class action lawyers in fiduciary breach lawsuits, the DOL in ERISA plan audits, courts, and insurers have focused increased attention on how well ERISA plan fiduciaries follow procedural due process. Actions (or inactions) of committees and individual fiduciaries are scrutinized and judged in increasing detail, causing fiduciaries to wonder if they are up to date on all best practices for plan governance. This article is about best practices for ERISA plan fiduciary governance.

Source:, January 2021

SECURE Act Guidance for 401k Plan Sponsors to Remember in the New Year

The IRS continues to provide important guidance for 401k plan sponsors regarding the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019. Most immediately impactful is additional guidance concerning long-term, part-time employee eligibility for 401k plans and qualified birth and adoption distributions from 401k plans.

Source:, January 2021

COVID Pressured a Few Employers to Suspend Their 401k Match

Data suggest that less than 1% of plan sponsors (with more than 100 participants) covering 1.6% of plan participants have suspended the match. A similar calculation for the Great Recession in 2008-2009 showed 5% of participants saw their employer’s match suspended. The conclusion seemed to be that companies were not affected by the pandemic, did not experience liquidity pressures, and saw no need to suspend the employer match.

Source:, January 2021

Households Are Plundering 401ks to Survive the Covid-19 Crisis

Large numbers of American households were forced to plunder their retirement accounts to make ends meet during the last year, even as the federal government plunged trillions of extra taxpayers' dollars into the economy to keep it afloat. And that grim news is going to add to the looming retirement crisis already faced by tens of millions.

Source:, January 2021

When You Have to Tailor Your 401k Plan

When it comes to 401k plans, most plan sponsors forget to realize that the plan should be perfectly tailored to fit their needs. And those needs change from time to time. This article is all about how you need to make sure that the 401k plan is tailored to your needs as a plan sponsor and employer.

Source:, January 2021

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Collected Wisdom™

Our researchers look for what they think are some of the better resources available to assist you in administering your plan or helping your clients. We group these resources in our COLLECTED WISDOM™ topics to make it easy for you to locate the information you need. Each item in a category contains a summary and date of when it was placed in the group.

We also maintain some older material in these collections for perspective and context.

Go to Collected Wisdom »

Tools and Resources

Calculators, charts, samples, directories and other resources to help you run and manage your plan or practice.

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