401(k) Plan Audit Preparation Strategies

Navigating IRS and DOL Standards, Taking Corrective Actions and Minimizing Risks of Penalties

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This teleconference will provide employee benefits advisors with alternative approaches and best practices to improve 401(k) audit planning and plan self-reviews before an audit is scheduled.


Early in the calendar year, 401(k) plan sponsors and their advisors should plan ahead for potential IRS or Department of Labor audits for plans operating on a Dec. 31 fiscal year-end.

Among topics for consideration: Documents typically required by either IRS or DOL such as plan documents, Form 5500s, W-2Ps, canceled checks, summary plan descriptions and annual reports — and common areas of review, e.g. employee participation and service/vesting credit.

Importantly, advisors should seek corrective actions that can be taken prior to an audit to minimize chances of penalties. Recent experiences from peers in preparing 401(k) plans for IRS or DOL audits provide valuable insights in making prudent decisions and preparing for each of these categories.

Listen as our panel of experienced accounting advisors provides a thorough briefing on preparing an effective 401(k) audit strategy.



  1. Documents frequently requested by IRS and/or DOL in initial letter
    1. 401(k) plan document and amendments
    2. Summary plan description
    3. Investment policy statement
    4. Most recent IRS determination letter
    5. Form 5500 and 5500-C
  2. Preparing to explain terms and operations of plan, and applicable test results
  3. Best practices for self-review and corrective actions
  4. Current IRS and DOL audit red flags


The panel will address these and other key topics:

  • Anticipating demands of each step of the exam, from initial information letter through closing letter.
  • Planning for the types of supporting documentation typically requested in an IRS or DOL initial letter and proactively addressing weaknesses in your files.
  • Self-examining Form 5500 and other documents — and understanding the range of potential corrective actions.

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Rance Buss
Rance Buss

McConnell & Jones

He serves as the firm's ERISA partner in charge of the Employee Benefit Plan Assurance and Compliance Services...  |  Read More

Ilene Ferenczy
Ilene Ferenczy

Managing Member
Law Offices of Ilene H. Ferenczy

Her practice specializes in qualified pension and profit sharing, non-qualified and employee stock ownership plans; and...  |  Read More

Russ Dempsey
Russ Dempsey

VP and Chief Legal Officer
United Retirement Plan Consultants

He is in charge of his firm's regulatory compliance and oversees its legal team. He previously worked in the IRS...  |  Read More

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