PBMares Accounting Blog

Does My Pension Plan Need to be Audited?

Posted by Jackie H. White, CPA, CGMA on Mar 22, 2018 8:52:25 AM

The first step in determining if your pension plan might need to be audited is in understanding the concepts of large plans and small plans.  A large plan is a plan with 100 or more participants on the first day of the plan year and a small plan has fewer than 100 participants. 

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Topics: Employee Benefit Plans

In the Employee Benefit Plans World, a Year Does Not Always Equal 12 Months

Posted by Christine Flaker, CPA on Mar 19, 2018 10:01:45 AM

We all learned in kindergarten that one year equals 12 months. Pretty simple, right? Wrong. In the Employee Benefit Plans world, a year does not always equal 12 months. In fact, a Year of Service can even be defined differently within the same plan document.

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Topics: Employee Benefit Plans

 Here’s What You, as the Employer, Need to Know About SOC1 Reports

Posted by Christine Flaker, CPA on Jan 17, 2018 9:33:32 AM


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Topics: Employee Benefit Plans

Plan’s Interest in a Master Trust - Disclosure Requirements

Posted by Neena Shukla, CPA, CFE, CGMA, FCPA on Apr 10, 2017 8:50:00 AM

ASU Issued:

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued ASU 2017-06, Plan Accounting: Defined Benefit Pension Plans (Topic 960), Defined Contribution Pension Plans (Topic 962), Health and Welfare Benefit Plans (Topic 965): Employee Benefit Plan Master Trust Reporting (a consensus of the Emerging Issues Task Force), on February 27, 2017.

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Topics: Employee Benefit Plans, Government Contracts

The New DOL Fiduciary Rule – What Plan Sponsors Need to Know!

Posted by Neena Shukla, CPA, CFE, CGMA, FCPA on Oct 4, 2016 11:34:18 AM


The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its long awaited and highly controversial final rule on April 6, 2016, which addresses when a person is considered a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), when providing investment advice to a Plan, its participants and beneficiaries.


Over 40 years ago the DOL issued basic rules defining an investment advice fiduciary under ERISA. While these rules have not changed, the retirement landscape certainly has. Now there are more defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) plans as opposed to defined benefit plans, and the participant has more responsibility for selecting their own investments from the lineup provided. The need for quality investment advice is significant and the DOL in an attempt to protect investors updated the fiduciary definition to help investors make the right decisions.

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Topics: Employee Benefit Plans

Benefit Plans Administration and Compliance

Posted by Barbara Sukramani on Apr 5, 2016 11:40:00 AM

In today’s marketplace, employees often expect some type of retirement program from their employer as an essential benefit. Employers recognize the necessity of offering a retirement program to attract, reward and retain loyal and productive employees. In addition, qualified retirement plans are one of the few remaining tax shelters, where companies receive an up-front deduction and participants have the opportunity to allow the funds to grow tax-deferred.
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Topics: Employee Benefit Plans

The Clock's Ticking: Run Now To Restate

Posted by Anna Griffith, CPA, CPC, QPA on Nov 3, 2015 9:28:00 AM

Time is running out in the retirement plan restatement period.

We are currently in the middle of a document restatement period, required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which applies to a large number of plan sponsors with qualified retirement plans. As trusted advisors, CPAs are in an excellent position to advise employers or clients who are sponsoring a retirement plan and help them meet retirement plan-related deadlines and avoid incurring any corresponding penalties. This article will outline the types of retirement plans subject to the latest deadline requirements, when it might be appropriate to move up those deadlines and how a plan restatement is generally completed.

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Topics: Employee Benefit Plans

Best Practices for Employee Benefit Plan Audits. Find Out Now!

Posted by Carolyn K. "Kerri" Norment, CPA on Feb 26, 2015 8:11:00 AM

An increasing number of studies are finding that more employers may stop providing benefits to their employees once the health care reform takes effect in 2014. The majority of companies are continuing to offer their employees some benefits in the form of a qualified employee benefit plan.

New Call-to-action For those employers that offer employees a qualified employee benefit plan, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will regulate the plan. The majority of employers who offer a benefit plan to their employees understand the significance of their responsibilities to the DOL, the IRS, and their employees. The DOL requires an annual audit for plans that have more than 120 participants. The audit ensures the necessary funds will be available to provide the benefits promised to employees and ensures the plan remains compliant with federally mandated regulations.

As a result of the conditions that contributed to the financial meltdown a few years ago, there is an increased demand for transparency and more regulations in the business world. Therefore, the DOL has dramatically increased its oversight of employee benefit plans, its search for noncompliant transactions, and its assessment of penalties.

Because most employee benefit plan audits are highly specialized, it is important for employers to adhere to best practices as they relate to audits. Here are a few key best practices to keep in mind:

  • Develop a strong team
  • Select a Plan Administrator
  • Establish a Committee
  • Know the Plan Document
  • Document an Investment Policy
  • Segregate Duties
  • Maintain adequate records
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Topics: Employee Benefit Plans

Perfect Timing: Timely Remittance for Employee Benefit Plans

Posted by Carolyn K. "Kerri" Norment, CPA on Feb 12, 2015 3:59:00 PM

In recent years, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has revised its guidance for remitting employee deferrals. The original regulation provided a specific deadline for making sure employee deferrals were remitted in a timely fashion, but the new rule can, and has been, interpreted in many different ways. The new and changing interpretations of the regulation have muddied the waters for plan sponsors, leaving them confused, frustrated and in many instances noncompliant with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). 

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Topics: Employee Benefit Plans

How 401(k) Plan Check-Ups Help Plan Sponsors Maintain Compliance 2014

Posted by Jackie H. White, CPA, CGMA on Oct 22, 2014 1:30:00 PM

Many employers sponsor retirement plans to benefit their employees. While there are a variety of plans to choose from, one of the most popular options is the 401(k) plan.

Special guidelines apply to 401(k) plans, and for the companies who have adopted a 401(k) plan, it is important to be mindful of the rules specific to this type of plan. PBMares partner Jackie White comprised a checklist that will help your company handle efficient compliance check ups.

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Topics: Employee Benefit Plans