EP Examination Guidelines


General overview of the EP Examination program and procedures for audits of Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan:

Specialized topics

The Employee Plans Examination Guidelines provide guidance for Employee Plans specialists on specific technical topics relating to qualified retirement plans. 

Because all retirement plan examinations are different, these guidelines are not meant to cover all situations, but are a guide and reference for Employee Plans examiners. Consequently, the examiners may modify the techniques based on the actual examination issues encountered.

These guidelines are not a comprehensive statement of the IRS legal position on the issues covered and cannot be relied upon or cited as authority. They are for assisting the examiner in performing an audit of certain issues. Each issue may not be relevant in every examination.

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)
Qualified Joint & Survivor Annuity Requirements
Top-Heavy Plans
Nonbank Trustee Investigation Procedures
403(b) Plans
IRC Section 415(b)
IRC Section 404
Prohibited Transactions
IRC Section 415(c)
Single Sum Distributions
Employee Contributions & Matching Contributions under IRC 401(m)
Cash or Deferred Plans (CODAs)
Valuation of Assets
Simplified Employee Pensions (SEPs) and Salary Reduction Simplified Employee Pensions (SARSEPs)
Multiemployer Plans
457 Plans