Audits & Assurance

Employee Benefit Plan Audits

The Right Plan

Recent studies have identified significant deficiencies both in retirement plan operations and in plan audits. Accordingly, the Department of Labor (DOL) has dramatically increased and revised its enforcement strategies, which can leave plan sponsors with costly penalties. It is extremely important to engage an audit firm with highly experienced, qualified professionals to perform a retirement plan audit.

Olsen Thielen’s Employee Benefit Plan Group works with companies across a wide range of industries to conduct audits and provide consulting for their retirement and pension plans. Utilizing our extensive experience with 401(k), 403(b), pension, retirement, ESOP, and health and welfare plans, we assist employers with retirement plan administration, plan design, and other consulting needs.

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Enacted in 1974, ERISA set minimum standards and compliance for most employee benefit plans. Over the years, these plans have received increased scrutiny from the Department of Labor (DOL), including the establishment of audit requirements.

As a plan sponsor, you have the fiduciary responsibility to file an accurate and timely annual Form 5500. Once meeting the audit threshold of 120 participants, your fiduciary responsibilities include the selection of the independent auditor and attaching an audit report with the filing. Increased DOL scrutiny of audit quality has found that ERISA audit deficiencies occur at an excessively high rate. In response, the DOL has increased its enforcement to find and correct audit deficiencies. The DOL can impose penalties against the plan sponsor for attaching an unsatisfactory audit to the Form 5500, so selecting a quality auditor that specializes in employee benefits is more important than ever.

Olsen Thielen takes pride in the expertise and efficiency we have delivered in ERISA-related services over the past 25 years. We are a proud member of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC) which demonstrates our commitment to being leaders in the employee benefits area.

Member, EBPAQC

We are committed to adhering to the highest quality standards by voluntarily agreeing to the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC) membership requirements, which include designating a partner responsible for the employee benefit plan audit practice, establishing quality control programs, performing annual internal inspection procedures, and making our peer review report findings publicly available.

Our employee benefit plan audit practice includes:

Contact a Specialist

Employee benefit plan specialists are also available internally. These specialists are Olsen Thielen staff who have dedicated their careers to maintaining a high degree of knowledge in ERISA compliance and administration. All of our auditors undergo extensive training to keep them abreast of the specific rules and regulations that govern retirement plan audits. To learn more, contact one of our industry specialists:

Articles & News

Americans are placing more of their wealth in retirement accounts. A mistake while filling out beneficiary forms can cause the form to be deemed invalid or may cause account holdings to be dispersed in a way not intended by the account holder. Because beneficiary designation forms on accounts such as
The IRS has announced the inflation-adjusted 2024 HSA Amounts. Here they are, along with the benefits of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
The SECURE Act 2.0 was signed into law on December 29, 2022. It covers numerous changes to retirement provisions that affect individuals. The provisions are intended to increase retirement savings; facilitate access to retirement savings; and provide employees the opportunity to save more and longer for retirement, at a lower cost.


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