Retirement planning involves various government agencies and bodies that regulate and oversee employee benefits. At some point, even the most meticulous retirement plan could be subjected to an audit by one of the many agencies of oversight, such as the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, or the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.
At this point, PSI would advise our partners and clients to assume a partnership with these agencies. PSI is prepared to assist and lend support in finding and presenting the requested information.
The IRS has more than 400 agents investigating retirement plans. According to IRS communications, the best way to avoid an audit is to avoid inconsistencies in information on forms (versus the prior year); and avoid repeated checks of ‘other’ on certain forms.
While the best defense against at audit is offense– in other words, design a clean retirement program and adhere to the formula– even the best-laid plans can be subject to scrutiny.
At PSI, we make it our business to study the law and know what to expect. While the field grows ever more complicated, changes are laid on a foundation that is decades old. Thus a long history in retirement planning is a powerful weapon against legal or regulatory inquiries.
The Employee Benefits Security Administration– an arm of the Department of Labor– has stated that, as an agency, it is primarily concerned with 1. transparency; 2. lifetime income; and 3. conflicts of interest. Those three areas, of course, cover a great deal of ground.
PSI’s attorneys and accountants have seen a wide variety of cases, and they understand how to apply the guidelines to an individual firm’s retirement plan so as to comply with the latest regulations.
In the case of an audit by the IRS, DOL, or PBGC, PSI’s staff may serve as legal counsel to the client. Our staff is available to help with:
- Preparing written responses to queries from the IRS, DOL or PBGC
- Supporting or representing clients during meetings with the above agencies
- Serving as contact points for correspondence and phone calls with the above
- Helping to resolve the audit and negotiating final decisions
There is no substitute for experience and informed judgment in the case of an audit.
That’s why the staff at Pension Services Inc. specializes in retirement planning and its many nuances.
At PSI, we treat each client as a unique situation, and custom-design their retirement plan. This customization has many advantages, one of which is less chance for ‘generic’ errors or oversights.