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401k Audit Issues With Plan Transfers: Identifying Change of Provider Issues in Annual Plan Audits

Auditor's Role in Ensuring Compliance With DOL Rules and Fiduciary Standards

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

This program is included with the Strafford CPE Pass. Click for more information.
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Conducted on Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This course will provide benefit plan professionals, including auditors and plan administrators, with a deep and comprehensive guide to the specific issues involving 401(k) plan transfers from one provider to another. The panel will identify the specific risks and reporting requirements involved in transferring plans, and will detail the auditor’s role in ensuring compliance with DOL rules and fiduciary standards. This program is a high-level topic exploration into challenges faced by auditors and plan administrators when a 401k plan is transferred from one provider to another, either by the plan sponsor or as part of a merger or acquisition of the company maintaining the existing 401k plan.


The transfer of a 401k plan from one provider to another presents significant challenges for both the plan sponsor and the CPA conducting an annual audit of the plan. Whether through a voluntary change of custodian initiated by company management, or a merger or transfer of the provider company, benefit administrators and plan auditors must ensure the transfer and related reporting are accurate and complete to avoid severe penalties.

From determining whether plan assets and liabilities are timely, properly and completely transferred, through review of financial statement reporting, auditors play a key role in ensuring that the plan’s assets, and participant information, are accurate. Plan audit professionals play a crucial role in reviewing the transfer disclosures so that the transfer is accurately presented in the company’s financial statements.

Listen as our experienced panel provides an advanced-level, thorough and detailed guide to the challenges a provider transfer presents to benefit administrators and CPAs conducting 401k audits.



  1. Recording, reporting and communication issues pertaining to plan transfers
  2. Legal requirements and issues that arise with plan transfers
  3. Red flags for plan auditors
    1. Proper period recording
    2. Proper transfer of assets and liabilities
    3. Documenting authorization for transfer
  4. Auditors’ role in financial statement presentation


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What documentation must benefit administrators and auditors pay special attention to verifying in cases where a 401k plan has had a transfer from one provider to another?
  • What is the auditor’s role in verifying the disclosures so the transfer will be accurately presented in the financial statements?
  • Testing protocols in instances where plan transfers have occurred


Jeffrey M. Holdvogt
Jeffrey M. Holdvogt

McDermott Will & Emery

Mr. Holdvogt advises clients regarding a variety of employee benefits matters. His practice focuses primarily on...  |  Read More

Adam S. Lilling, CPA, CFA
Adam S. Lilling, CPA, CFA

Lilling & Company

Mr. Lilling specializes in auditing employee benefit plans, investment entities, broker-dealers, and real estate...  |  Read More

Lisa K. Loesel
Lisa K. Loesel

McDermott Will & Emery

Ms. Loesel focuses her practice on employee benefits matters, including the design, amendment and administration...  |  Read More

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