Performing a Retirement Benefits Checkup

Performing a Retirement Benefits Checkup

The IRS recommends that all businesses perform a retirement benefits checkup annually. If you haven’t done this recently, the beginning of a new year provides the perfect opportunity. Reasons to perform such a review include the need to update a plan to comply with new legislation as well as the need to add eligible employees to the plan. Additionally, common mistakes made in plan management can be fixed during a regularly scheduled review, and the earlier these mistakes are caught, the easier they are to fix.

Creating a Checklist

The first step in performing a retirement benefits checkup is to complete a checklist. The IRS provides sample checklists tailored to a variety of retirement plans:


A checklist should include questions related to your plan management. Some of the important questions to include are:

  1. Has your plan document undergone regular updates in order to comply with changes in legislation?
  2. Are all plan operations based on the terms set forth in the plan document?
  3. Have all eligible employees been given the opportunity to participate in the plan?


The answers to questions on your checklist will help you in making necessary changes to your plan document and implementation. Any “no” answers to checklist questions indicate an area that needs attention.

Correcting Common Mistakes

Your retirement benefits checkup may shed light on mistakes made in plan implementation. Don’t panic. Many common mistakes can be easily fixed. The IRS has programs in place to help employers make necessary corrections, and your Heartland consultant will be happy to help you find solutions as well. We often work with employers to correct mistakes such as

  • Failure to cover all eligible employees
  • Failure to provide required information to employees
  • Failure to deposit employee contributions in a timely manner
  • Failure to follow the terms of a plan document
  • Failure to properly limit employee deferrals and contributions


Getting the Help You Need

Managing a retirement benefits plan isn’t easy. The process is governed by complex laws that are subject to change, and paperwork must be completed accurately and in a timely manner. Failure to properly administer a benefits program can have grim consequences, but there is hope.

Heartland Consulting Group specializes in helping businesses of all sizes manage retirement benefits plans. We work with owner-only plans as well as plans that include hundreds of eligible employees. Our detail-oriented consultants work tirelessly to assist clients with plan reviews. Our services range from helping employers choose the right plan to filling out government forms required by the IRS. Our consultants maintain professional certifications and participate regularly in continuing education so as to remain current on legislation as well as new trends in the industry.

Retirement plan administration is a complex endeavor. As your company grows, consider getting outside help in order to reduce the time and money you spend on retirement benefits. Heartland Consulting Group is here for you.

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