Examinations/Enforcement - Compliance Programs/Initiatives


Compliance Planning Groups

EP Examinations dedicates staff resources to ensure consistency in its compliance activities relating to certain plan specialties. Compliance planning groups on each plan specialty include representatives from each of the EP Examinations area offices along with representatives from other EP offices. Each group coordinates regularly in the planning of compliance activities to achieve a consistent approach to customers, uniform application of pension law and EP Examination procedures by EP Employees, information sharing and the leveraging of EP's resources for the greatest impact on compliance.

Below are the specialties for which compliance groups currently exist, including links to helpful information.

403(b) and 457 Plans

General Information - 403(b) Plans
General Information - 457 Plans
Top Ten Examination Issues - 403(b)/457 Plans
Choosing a 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity
Publication 571 PDF (Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans (403(b) Plans) For Employees of Public Schools and Certain Tax-Exempt Organizations)
Publication 4482 PDF (403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity for Participant)
Publication 4483 PDF (403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity for Plan Sponsor)
Publication 4484 PDF (Choose A Retirement Plan for Employees of Tax Exempt and Government Entities)

401(k) Plans

General Information
Establishing a 401(k) Plan
Operating a 401(k) Plan
Terminating a 401(k) Plan
Abusive Tax Transactions
Common Plan Mistakes
SIMPLE 401(k) Plans

Multiemployer Plans

Top Ten Issues
EPCU Project - Multiemployer Actuarial Certification/WRERA Elections
Multiemployer Funding Issues PDF
Spring 2010 article from the Director, EP Examinations.
Internal Revenue Manual
REG-151135-07, 73 Fed. Reg. 14417 (March 18, 2008)
These proposed regulations contain guidance relating to the notice provisions for multiemployer plans under section 432 of the Code as added by PPA '06 where the applicable defined benefit multiemployer plan is in endangered or in critical status.

Large Employee Plans

Employee Plans Team Audit (EPTA) is responsible for the examination of plans with 2,500 or more participants. At the link above you will find useful tools in understanding the EPTA Program and the issues found during examinations of large employee plans.

Other Programs and Initiatives

Although we have not set up a compliance program for small business retirement plans, we are currently taking a look at compliance levels among such plans, including SEPs, SARSEPs and SIMPLEs. Below are links to helpful information and valuable tools that can be used to help employers stay in compliance with pension laws.

Retirement Plans for Small Businesses

Retirement Plans for Small Entities and Self-employed
Check-Up for Your Retirement Plan
Correcting Plan Errors

Employee Plans Compliance Unit

Many problems and questionable items involving retirement plans can be resolved through telephone or mail contact rather than a field office exam. To accomplish more of these “soft contacts,” EP Examination established an Employee Plans Compliance Unit (EPCU).

The EPCU is de-centralized and managed out of Chicago. This unit will focus on some of the most high profile projects affecting EP. In addition, the unit will investigate new ways of using available data and analytical techniques.

The initial projects that the EPCU will focus on include:

  • Minimum Funding - Waivers and Underfunding Cases
  • EPCRS Follow-Up
  • Forms 5330 - Compliance Checks