(b)lines Ask the Experts – 2013 403(b) Reading List

May 28, 2013 (PLANSPONSOR (b)lines) – “Summer is here, thankfully, and it is time for me to catch up on  my 403(b) reading. Any suggestions?”

Michael A. Webb, Vice President, Retirement Plan Services, Cammack LaRhette Consulting, answers:  

Excellent and timely question, since the Experts are glad that summer is here as well! And this question is particularly appropriate in light of the fact that both the Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have revamped their 403(b) web pages since the last time the Experts provided their summer reading suggestions (see “Ask the Experts: 403(b) Must-Reads”).    

In particular, the IRS has completely overhauled the 403(b) Plans section of its website with a variety of links to existing and updated guidance that can easily keep you busy with reading all summer. Although all of it is a “must-read” for 403(b) plan sponsors in the Experts opinion, you should most certainly review the new 403(b) Plan Fix-It Guide  and the most recent IRS publication on 403(b) plans, Publication 571, which is issued on a annual basis.    

Not to be outdone, the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has its own 403(b) Page which includes some traditional summer reading suggestions such as the Meeting Your Fiduciary Responsibilities brochure, as well as helpful 5500 filing and completion tips and other practical guidance such as how to select an auditor for your plan. Note however, that the links to the IRS website from this page do not work, as the IRS updated its links when it overhauled the 403(b) section of its website. Thus, you should utilize the links provided in this article.    

Finally, College and University plan sponsors may wish to check out the recent IRS Colleges and Universities Compliance Project Final Report. Though much of it is unrelated to benefits, it is a good overview of the type of benefit and non-benefit related issues that the IRS is scrutinizing with respect to such organizations.    

The Experts hope that you have a wonderful and productive summer!  


NOTE: This feature is to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice.