403(B) Plan Compliance Issues Unearthed: Problems Encountered In 2010


In the past, unless a 403(b) program (or plan) was subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, it had no documentation requirements and, even if subject to ERISA, very few reporting obligations. The last several years changed all that: In 2007, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor issued regulatory guidance1 that vastly altered documentation and reporting obligations for 403(b) plans. As a result, the 403(b) plan environment is overhauling itself: plan administrators are learning plan administration duties, applying new regulations, complying with deadlines, re-examining single-and multi-vendor relationships . . . And, not surprisingly, 2010 is the year that is illuminating retirement plan problems plaguing 403(b) plan sponsors.

This ERISA Strategist assumes that the reader has at least a medium level of understanding regarding the 403(b) plan environment. Listed below are the most common problems we have seen thus far. The astute plan adviser will anticipate and resolve these issues for his or her 403(b) plan.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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