Retirement and Benefit Partners Advises Better Plan Sponsor Preparation Is Necessary with Increasing Department of Labor Audits

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Plan sponsors can prepare for the most common triggers of a Department of Labor field investigation using a seven-part framework and innovative fiduciary vaulting technology developed by retirement-plan consulting firm Retirement and Benefit Partners, Inc.

Mark Temple, Managing Director, Retirement and Benefit Partners

The worst thing a plan sponsor can do is to be confused about the information the DOL is seeking during a field audit, or be ill-prepared.

A U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) audit of an employee benefit plan can cause heartburn for plan sponsors if they are unaware of the seriousness, scope, or intention of the audit, warns Mark D. Temple, AIF®, Managing Director of Retirement and Benefit Partners, an Albany-based retirement advisory firm.

Much of the worry can be countered by first understanding the common audit triggers. In the “How to Avoid DOL Audit Heartburn” plan sponsor brief, Retirement and Benefit Partners finds a rise in regulatory enforcement actions often stem from the following fiduciary-level deficiencies:

  • Lack of timely processing of contributions to the plan;
  • Absence of a formal process to determine reasonableness of fees and disclosures; and/or
  • Deviation from investment policy statements.

The “How to Avoid DOL Audit Heartburn” goes a step further by also showing plan sponsors how to prepare for a potential audit with a seven-point prescriptive framework. “The worst thing a plan sponsor can do is to be confused about the information the DOL is seeking during a field audit, or be ill-prepared,” says Temple.

Ready access to secure plan documentation is also helpful during an audit. For its clients, Retirement and Benefit Partners implements an innovative fiduciary vaulting technology that stores all plan-level documentation in a secure, searchable database — including all of the items that the DOL would require in a potential audit.

About Retirement and Benefit Partners
Retirement and Benefit Partners is an ERISA advisory and retirement-plan consulting practice that focuses on providing a complete range of retirement-plan services for plan sponsors. These include traditional 401(k) and 403(b) defined contribution and defined benefit plans, as well as cash-balance and other non-qualified executive benefit plans.

The firm also has a growing wealth management practice catering to the needs of individual high net worth investors and their families. Through its partnership with LPL Financial, Retirement and Benefit Partners offers all the services of a large investment firm but also the high-touch, client-focused fiduciary advisory services of a boutique firm. Headquartered in Slingerlands, New York, the firm maintains six regional offices in New York State, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

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