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IRS Correction Rules for Retirement Plans: Plan Administration, Remediation of Noncompliance

IRS Self-Correction Program, IRS and DOL Areas of Focus, Excessive Payments, Delinquent 401(k) Loans, Spousal/Survivor Rights

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.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide employee benefits counsel, plan sponsors, and administrators guidance on identifying critical retirement plan issues and correction methods. The panel will discuss IRS self-correction rules and procedures and the primary focus areas of IRS and DOL examinations and audits. The panel will address fiduciary liability and risks stemming from excessive payments to retirement plans, delinquent 401(k) loans, spousal/survivor rights under ERISA, and other challenges.


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 procedures, identify audit risks, and take steps to remedy noncompliance.

Major compliance risks stem from the failure to recognize plan document defects, a specific area of focus during an IRS audit of a retirement plan. The IRS continues to enhance its plan correction programs to permit employers additional self-correcting operational failures.

Also, 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 to the latest ERISA requirements, and using improper amounts to determine employee compensation. Companies risk exposure to government penalties and sanctions, such as disallowing deductions for employer contributions and plan disqualification.

In addition, recent litigation and penalties against fiduciaries, plan sponsors, and administrators have focused on excessive payments, delinquent 401(k) loans, and spousal/survivor rights. Employee benefits counsel must also navigate the nuances surrounding these issues in their analysis of their clients' administrative and operational practices.

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



  1. IRS and DOL key areas of focus
  2. Recognizing plan document defects
  3. Remedying compliance issues to avoid liability and penalties
  4. IRS self-correction rules; effective administrative procedures and corrective actions


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • IRS self-correction rules
  • 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
  • Minimizing audit risks


Bokert, Mark
Mark E. Bokert

Davis + Gilbert

Mr. Bokert is co-chair of the firm's Benefits + Compensation Practice Group. His practice encompasses nearly all...  |  Read More

Calhoun, Carol
Carol V. Calhoun


Ms. Calhoun is a member of  the firm’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice. She has more...  |  Read More

Hamilton, Jeffries
Jeffries M. Hamilton

Frost Brown Todd

Mr. Hamilton concentrates his practice in the area of employee benefits law. He has over 20 years of experience...  |  Read More

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