With complicated and ever changing 401(k) rules and regulations, make it easy for plan sponsors and fiduciaries to find their plans out of compliance. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) maze of rubrics can leave some plan sponsors and fiduciaries out of compliance without even knowing it. As advisors, we must stay up-to-date on what changes are being made and inform our clients of what they are required to do to operate within the confines of massive regulations.
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An audit is never fun, and roughly three out of four of plans audited by the DOL have at least one violation. The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), a division of the DOL, handles these audits with legions of attorneys and paraprofessionals. The best way to educate your clients on how to avoid being an easy target is by holding a seminar or webinar with your local DOL representative and an ERISA attorney where your current and prospective clients are educated and updated on the rules. A seminar venue is an ideal time for attendees to ask questions pertaining to their unique situations.
The first step in preparing for a DOL seminar or webinar is to contact your local DOL representatives and invite them to give a presentation to your clients and prospects. You can also invite an ERISA attorney in your area to answer questions and allow their clients to attend as well. Topics for discussion can include EBSA investigations and enforcement actions, DOL’s expectations for plan sponsors, fiduciary responsibilities, litigation updates and the consequences of a DOL audit. These are some general areas in which your clients may have more specific needs and will be able to have their questions answered, without the threat of plan or fiduciary violation. This seminar also provides the opportunity to invite prospective clients, so they see your interest in keeping clients up to date on compliance issues.
Educating your clients about DOL regulation changes can seem like a daunting task. By going directly to the source, you give your clients an exceptional opportunity to be educated and to ask the experts. An additional benefit to a DOL seminar is the prospecting value. Prospective clients will be impressed with your ability to host a seminar with DOL representatives.