Government Audits & Investigations
Our experience can help reduce the administrative burdens and costs to the plans.
ERISA contains a myriad of rules and regulations the govern the use of plan assets by the plan’s fiduciaries. The Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) perform routine audits of employee benefit plans. These agencies review the operations of the benefit plans to determine if any fiduciaries or vendors violated ERISA. These investigations can be administratively burdensome, requiring significant document production and interviews of key officials.
For plans that are approaching insolvency, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) audits the plans reviewing their finances and participants along with its operations.
If the audit is not handled properly or violations are found which cannot be negotiated, penalties can result. IRS audits can result in the imposition of tax and penalties or the risk of plan disqualification. DOL audits result in penalties on the fiduciaries of the plan that cannot be paid from plan assets. What seems to be a routine audit letter, is in reality a major risk of liability to the trustees.
How our team can help
Our attorneys understand the process followed by each of these agencies. Our experience can help reduce the administrative burdens and costs to the plans. Our Attorneys can leverage their experience to successfully manage all forms of audits on behalf of our clients. We help our clients manage the document production, prepare for interviews, answer additional inquiries, and address any findings to help demonstrate the plan’s operational compliance with ERISA.
We work with the Plan Sponsor, administrative staff, actuaries, auditors to help our clients identify potential violations prior to an audit. This gives the plan sponsors the option to self-correct the error, or in more serious errors, file an application under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System or Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program.