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February 17, 2009


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Person who conducts an examination of any financial statements of the plan, and of other books and records of the plan.

An audit is generally required for qualified plans with 100 or more participants.

The plan administrator is required to engage an independent qualified public accountant to conduct examination as the accountant may deem necessary. The examination enables the accountant to form an opinion as to whether the financial statements and schedules required to be included in the annual report as defined by ERISA §103(b), are presented fairly in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles applied on a basis consistent with that of the preceding year.

Referring Cite

ERISA §103(a)(3)(A),

Additional Helpful Information

  • Federal law requires that an auditor engaged for an employee benefit plan audit be licensed or certified as a public accountant by a State regulatory authority
  • Auditors of employee benefit plans should not have any financial interests in the plan or the plan sponsor that would affect their ability to render an objective, unbiased opinion about the financial condition of the plan.
  • The examination must be conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards,
  • The opinion by the independent qualified public accountant must be made a part of the annual report.

Written By

Denise Appleby

Denise is CEO of Appleby Retirement Consulting Inc., a firm that provides IRA resources for financial/ tax/legal professionals. She has over 20 years of experience in the retirement plans field, which includes training and technical consultation.

Denise writes and publishes educational /marketing tools for advisors; available at Denise co-authored several books on IRAs

Denise is a graduate of The John Marshall Law School, where she obtained a Masters of Jurisprudence in Employee Benefits, and has earned 5 professional retirement designations.
She has appeared on numerous media programs, sharing her insights on retirement tax laws.


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Annual Benefit Limit

Definition The annual benefit limit for defined benefit plans is the lesser of: A) 100% of the participant’s average compensation for his or her highest

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