On June 26, 2019, Lisa Tavares was featured in PlanAdviser discussing her experiences interfacing directly with IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) officials on issues related to retirement plan administration, regulatory compliance, and government enforcement initiatives. According to the article, there are many fiduciaries out there who are not educated on the voluntary corrections programs run by DOL and IRS.
Tavares says the most common issues she comes across in her practice are untimely deferrals. Such issues can be effectively and efficiently self-corrected, she says, but many plan sponsors don't avail themselves of this opportunity.
"Again, your average small or mid-sized employer may not have expert employee benefits counsel, and they are not fully informed about these programs," Tavares says. "Many rely on their recordkeeper for this type of support, and that's helpful to some extent, but it's not going to replace the level of compliance advice a skilled attorney can give."
In terms of next steps, Tavares recommends that, at a minimum, plan fiduciaries should be correcting errors within the guidelines of the various self-corrections programs, even if they are not going to decide to formally enter the program.