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2023 IRS and DOL Audit Issues for Retirement Plans: Key Areas of Focus and Strategies for Plan Sponsors

Note: CPE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
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Conducted on Thursday, March 9, 2023

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will provide guidance to ERISA counsel, plan sponsors, and administrators on key problem areas identified by the IRS and DOL in audits and methods to ensure compliance. The panel will discuss missing participants, late payroll deposits, missed employee communications, and other DOL areas of focus during an audit. The panel will also discuss the most significant areas of focus during an IRS audit, such as definitions of compensation, distributions, employee eligibility requirements, properly updated plan documents, and other key issues.


The IRS and DOL continue their heightened scrutiny of retirement plans. Plan audits typically reveal noncompliance issues that can result in substantial penalties for employers. ERISA counsel and advisers must understand IRS and DOL audit initiatives and areas of focus and take steps to remedy noncompliance.

Major compliance risks stem from the failure to recognize plan document defects, which is one of many areas of focus during an IRS audit of a retirement plan. In addition, the DOL has focused, and continues to focus, on timely deposits of employee deferral contributions--so much so, that some employers deposit the deferral contributions before paychecks are issued.

Compliance risks include, among others, failing to notify and pay terminated employees, not updating plans with the latest ERISA requirements, and using improper amounts to determine employee compensation. Companies risk exposure to government penalties and sanctions, such as the disallowance of employer contributions and plan disqualification.

Listen as our panel of experts discusses current areas of IRS and DOL focus, correcting areas of noncompliance, and mitigating audit risks.



  1. Recent IRS and DOL retirement plan audit initiatives
  2. Recognizing plan document defects
  3. Remedying compliance issues to avoid liability and penalties
  4. Effective administrative procedures and corrective actions
  5. Best practices to ensure compliance


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Identifying current areas of IRS and DOL focus
  • Recognizing plan document defects
  • Addressing and correcting areas of noncompliance
  • Determining employee eligibility and compensation
  • Making timely payments of deferral contributions
  • Updating plans to meet ERISA requirements
  • Minimizing audit risks


Carrasco, Lisa
Lisa Rhein Carrasco

Smith, Gambrell & Russell

Ms. Carrasco is a Partner in the Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Practice of Smith, Gambrell &...  |  Read More

Jara, Jose
José M. Jara

Fox Rothschild

Mr. Jara has over 20 years of ERISA and employee benefits experience, ranging from governmental compliance, fiduciary...  |  Read More

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