Benefit Plan Corrections Programs
The technical requirements applicable to employee benefit plans under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code are extremely complex. Combine those requirements with the challenge of dealing, in many cases, with multiple plans in different locations covering thousands of employees, and with hundreds of daily transactions handled by different internal and external recordkeeping and administrative personnel, and even the most conscientious employer will occasionally find that mistakes have been made. Whether those mistakes are discovered as the result of a Morgan Lewis Employee Plans Audit, or simply come to light as part of day-to-day administration, the professionals of our Employee Benefits Practice have experience in counseling and advising employers in correcting all types of errors.
Our practice, which includes former employees of the governmental agencies charged with enforcement of ERISA and Code requirements, has extensive experience with various formal and informal correction programs, including the IRS's Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System and the Department of Labor's Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance programs, and we maintain an extensive database of common errors, permitted corrections and potential sanctions. We also counsel clients in addressing and correcting fiduciary compliance and prohibited transaction problems, and, where applicable, we assist them in obtaining exemptive relief from the Department of Labor and/or the Securities and Exchange Commission. We work with clients to understand the nature and scope of the problem, to assess the business risks created by the errors, and, where applicable, to help clients effect an appropriate correction, either through self-correction or with governmental agency approval. We also assist clients in implementing improved policies and procedures to ensure that future errors are minimized.