A retirement plan with 100 or more participants at the beginning of a calendar year is required to file a financial audit with their Form 5500. The process can be daunting, especially if you are facing it for the first time.
We are here, ready to help.
In the meantime, here are some basic tips to get you started.
Preparing for your annual plan audit
Your auditor will need current versions of your plan document, including: Summary Plan Description, amendments, previous audit reports and filed 5500 forms, and determination letters.
If your plan assets are held by a trust company, you may be able to reduce the cost of your audit if you are eligible for a limited-scope exemption. The trust company must provide certification for the completeness and accuracy of any investments or related transactions held for your plan.
Your auditor will need an annual census report for the year in which your plan is being audited, including all eligible and in-eligible plan participants. To avoid errors—which often happens in this section of the audit—reconcile the census data and your annual payroll data.
Ask your recordkeeper to perform a discrimination test and a participant allocation report. Any excess contributions must be returned within 2.5 months after the plan’s year-end. Failure to do this will result in a 10% penalty.
If your plan has distributed loans to participants, you will need to reconcile them at the plan’s year end and provide your auditor with a loan summary.
Participant loan payments and contributions must be deposited on the earliest date that contributions to the plan can be segregated from the employer’s general assets. Usually, all employer contributions must be deposited, including extensions, by the due date of the plan sponsor’s income tax return.
Undergoing the scrutiny of a plan audit is daunting.
But… you don’t have to do it alone.
Pension Plan Services provides expert support to mitigate your stress and the burdens associated with the audit process. Put a team of experts behind your next plan audit.
Your plan auditor will have a better understanding of your plan’s accounting and internal controls—and your risk of fraud—once all required information is submitted.
After you submit the field work and financial statements, your auditor will provide you with a report of any control deficiencies found during the audit. You will also receive a report with any adjustments made to the Planning-for-Retirement accounting records.
You will then sign the report and return it to your auditor. Once the draft of the financial statement is approved, you will be provided a final financial statement to be filed on Form 5500.