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What to Know About Retirement Plan Compliance



When it comes to retirement plan compliance, there are a lot of things that business owners need to know to stay compliant with the law. This can be a complex process, and if you're not familiar with the rules, you could end up making costly mistakes. Make sure you are aware of some of the most important things business owners need to know about retirement plan compliance.


Understand the Rules

Understanding the rules is critical for retirement plan compliance. There are a variety of rules that must be followed to maintain compliance, and failing to adhere to even one of them can result in costly penalties. For example, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has strict guidelines regarding how retirement plans must be structured and administered. If a plan fails to meet these guidelines, the IRS can impose significant fines or even revoke the plan entirely. As another example, the Department of Labor (DOL) has regulations about fiduciary responsibility.

This means that anyone who manages or controls retirement plan assets must act in the best interests of the participants. Violating this rule can lead to personal liability and steep financial penalties. Retirement plan compliance is a complex and ever-changing landscape, but understanding the rules is a good first step in ensuring a successful retirement for yourself and your employees.


Don’t Favor Higher Paid Employees

One of the most important things to know about retirement plan compliance is that you cannot favor higher-paid employees. A safe harbor plan lets you avoid most annual compliance testing. It's important to make sure that your contributions are fair. You also need to be careful about how you vest your employees' benefits.

Make sure that everyone has the same opportunity to vest, regardless of their position within the company. By following these simple guidelines, you can help to ensure that your retirement plan is compliant with the law.


Keep Records

One of the key things to know about retirement plan compliance is to keep accurate and up-to-date records. This means maintaining detailed records of all contributions made to the plan, as well as any changes in beneficiaries or investment options. Keeping good records will help ensure that the retirement plan remains compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. It will also make it easier to keep track of the plan's performance and make any necessary adjustments. Therefore, anyone who is responsible for a retirement plan should make sure to keep accurate and up-to-date records.


Retirement plans are an essential benefit to offer your employees as a business owner. But offering retirement plans also comes with compliance requirements that you must follow. Be sure to know these three things when operating your retirement plans.


Did you enjoy reading this article? Here’s more to read: How to Keep Your Startup Finances in Order

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