Retirement Plan Audits: Recognizing Plan Errors, Remedying Noncompliance, New IRS and DOL Audit Initiatives

Effective Procedures and Corrective Actions for 401(k), 403(b), and Other Retirement Plans

Note: CPE credit is not offered on this program

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

Conducted on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will guide ERISA counsel and plan sponsors on potential audit risks relating to their 401(k) and other retirement plans, as well as methods on how to bring these plans into compliance. The panel will discuss recent IRS and DOL audit initiatives, recognizing plan document defects, identifying other typical plan deficiencies, corrective actions, and insights into avoiding plan audits.


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, which is a specific area of focus during an IRS audit of a retirement plan. Effective as of April 19, 2019, the IRS expanded its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System to permit employers additional opportunities for self-correcting operational failures by plan amendment.”

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 the disallowance of deductions for 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


Delano, Dannae
Dannae Delano

The Wagner Law Group

Ms. Delano concentrates her practice in employee benefits law, executive compensation and taxation. She counsels...  |  Read More

Gregory, Eric
Eric W. Gregory

Dickinson Wright

Mr. Gregory’s practice is focused primarily in the areas of ERISA, employee benefits, and executive compensation....  |  Read More

Oxford, Brad
Brad Oxford

Clark Hill

Mr. Oxford is a tax attorney who practices in the areas of employee benefit law, executive compensation, estate...  |  Read More

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