According to a letter from Craig P. Hoffman, General Counsel and Director of Regulatory Affairs of The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA), many of the group’s 403(b) members are reporting issues with meeting the October 15 cutoff for reports on the 2009 plan year.
Hoffman said the problems includedifficulties with source data from vendors, reports that don’t reconcile between systems, a deficit of expert auditors to assist with new requirements, and the discovery of new and unanticipated investments held by plan participants.
ASPPA recommended the following solutions for transitional 403(b) relief:
- Issue a one-year transitional rule to allow time for new auditing procedures to be instituted, or grant a waiver for any late or incomplete filing penalties for plans that have made a good faith effort to collect data.
- Change the definition of “active participant” to eligible employees that make or receive a contribution during the plan year, rather than the 401(k) definition in use.
- Form a committee of industry experts to suggest, review, and modify existing audit guidelines.
The ASPPA letter is at http://www.asppa.org/document-vault/pdfs/GAC/2010/comm100810.aspx.
Two trade groups – including ASPPA – have already called for a Form 5500 deadline delay (see Second Group Repeats Call for 5500 Deadline Extension).