Mistakes are costly in any industry, but when it comes to employee benefit plans, you're dealing with someone's retirement income and their livelihood. That's why being designated an employee benefits plan fiduciary is much more than crossing your T's and dotting your I's on paperwork.
In this episode of Weaver: Beyond the Numbers podcast, we discuss the role of fiduciaries with CPA Aracely Rios, an audit partner in Assurance Services. She'll discuss the role of good documentation in employee benefit plans and share helpful tips for navigating this landscape successfully.
"Their responsibility is acting solely in the interest of the plan participants for the purpose of providing retirement benefits, and acting prudently," Rios says.
Rios says the most common plan mistakes are not following the plan document exactly. For example, Rios often sees plan mistakes that pertain to plan amendments such as changes to the compensation definition added to the plan document, that were not executed by the fiduciary.
"Another one is untimely contributions. You might be short-staffed and thinking, 'Oh I'll get to it when I can.' But that's not acting prudently on your employees' behalf because that means lost earnings for them."
The important thing to remember, Rios emphasizes, is to have a policy and procedures in place.