Employee Plans Learn, Educate, Self-Correct, Enforce Project - IRC 415(c) Excess in Forms 5500



We worked this project at the same time as the LESE project on Internal Revenue Code Section 415(c) excesses in Forms 5500EZ. However, because there was a smaller universe of Form 5500 returns with possible IRC Section 415(c) excess allocations, we only examined 15 returns in this project to determine if contributions exceeded the IRC Section 415(c) dollar limit.

Examination agents used focused examinations and considered:

  1. Plan qualification - compliance with current tax law in form;
  2. Contribution limits; and
  3. Eligibility, participation and coverage.

Project results:

The only failure that occurred in more than one plan was the failure to timely amend the plan to comply with law changes.

Other issues included:

  • Contributions in excess of the Code section 415 limits
  • Minimum funding deficiency in a money purchase plan
  • Inadequate fidelity bonding
  • Failure to include eligible employees according to the plan terms

Avoiding the errors:

Talk with your plan administrator or pension professional to determine if your plan is currently up to date with the law. Setting up operating procedures and 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.

If you discover that your plan wasn’t timely amended to comply with the laws, or a self-audit discloses other mistakes, then consider correcting the errors using our Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System.