With more and more Americans focusing on saving for retirement at an early age, employer-sponsored retirement plans are a great way to recruit and retain employees at your business. Offering a 401(k) or pension plan is considered par for the course for most jobs, and failure to offer one can leave you in a constant talent search to keep your company operating efficiently.
However, while offering a retirement plan is a necessity to compete with other companies and secure top talent, it can also be very complicated and can require legal expertise.
These plans are governed by ERISA, the Department of Labor, the IRS, and other regulatory requirements because of the amount of money being invested in retirement plans. Trying to establish these on your own – and meet all of the compliance requirements – can be risky. Instead, setting these plans up with an experienced business attorney should be a priority for your company to ensure you are compliant and fiduciary requirements are being met. This will keep you out of legal trouble and will save you time and stress.
Some reasons you need an attorney can include:
1. Make sure your retirement plan is compliant: An attorney can help you create processes and procedures to ensure your plan is compliant with all federal regulations. These processes are set up to identify potential risks and mistakes so you can correct them before it’s too late and you’re in violation of state or federal laws. A lawyer knows the ins and outs of the IRS and Department of Labor laws and regulations and can help you avoid any risky areas when setting up your retirement program.
2. Provide guidance in case of an audit: If your company’s plan is audited by the IRS or Department of Labor, you need an experienced attorney to help you determine where the mistake was made and how to correct it. An attorney can represent you in interactions with the federal agencies and help rectify the situation with your best interests in mind.
3. Ensure plan details are communicated properly: When rolling out an employer-sponsored retirement plan, you must take proper action to correctly notify employees. This can include sending notices at specific intervals, forms, and other communications describing the plan, any actions they need to take, how to add beneficiaries, and more. An attorney can ensure the correct steps are taken and there are no fiduciary mistakes.
4. Fiduciary governance: ERISA fiduciary matters can be extremely complex and must be handled by an experienced attorney. It’s essential to use best practices when navigating the fiduciary governance structures and provide proper oversight and guidance to ensure their plans are legal and compliant.
There are many other unique issues your company might encounter when setting up a retirement plan that requires legal expertise. If you have a pension plan at your company, an attorney can help you navigate pension plan fiduciaries, and handle hybrid plans that include a cash balance and pension equity. Attorneys can also offer expertise in handling Employee Stock Ownership Plans and Safe Harbor 401(k) plans.
Why Hire Us to Assist With Retirement Planning
When you need a business attorney, let the experts at Johnstone Adams LLC represent your company.
Ranked in the 2022 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list regionally in 12 practice areas, we have experts in many areas of law to give our clients top-notch representation. In business for more than a century, our firm can mix its experience with the ability to evolve with the changing times.
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