We examined 50 money purchase pension plans where the returns disclosed no employer contributions were received or receivable during the year to determine what issues existed in potentially frozen money purchase pension plans. We picked up an additional 12 related plans in the course of the examination.
Failure to timely amend the plan document was the most common issue identified in this project – found in almost 13% of the plans. This issue was resolved under Audit CAP, which generally required correction through the adoption of retroactive plan amendments and the payment of a negotiated sanction.
Other identified issues included:
- Failure to meet the minimum funding standards. This issue resulted in the collection of excise taxes and additional employer contributions to the plan.
- Failure to properly reflect the assets, income and expenses of the trust on the return.
- Failure to make required minimum distributions.
- Failure to completely distribute accounts to terminated employees.
- Inadequate fidelity bond.
Avoiding the errors:
Talk with your plan administrator or pension professional to determine if your plan is currently up to date with current law changes. Setting up operating procedures and appropriate internal controls for the plan is an important first step. If you need help, a benefits professional can help you set up a system that works for you and your retirement plan.
Ensure that you are aware of your plan’s terms and that your plan is timely amended for law and regulatory requirements. Failure to timely amend can cause the plan to become non-qualified.
Conduct a self-audit of your retirement plan. If you discover that your plan was not operating in accordance with its terms or with the laws, then consider correcting the errors under our Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System.