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Recent Developments in Benefit Plans

Retirement Plan Audits. The IRS reports that it processed 876,881 employee plan returns in calendar year 2013, but audited only 8,909 of those returns in fiscal year 2014. Among those processed were 3,828 Forms 5500, 366 Forms 5500-EZ, and 2,941 Forms 5500-SF.

New Timing for Annual Fee Disclosure. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently added a two-month grace period to the annual participant fee disclosure deadline. Sponsors of 401(k) and other individual account plans that permit participants to direct investments will now be required to provide the participant fee disclosure documents at least once in any 14-month period, regardless of whether the plan operates on a calendar- or fiscal-year basis. No changes have been made to the timing of the quarterly information, although the DOL is soliciting comments as to whether similar flexibility is needed for that information.

Greatest Retirement Fear. Younger generations are not immune from retirement worries. A recent Harris Poll found that 48% of Generation Xers and 32% of Generation Yers said one of their biggest financial concerns is not being able to retire when they want. Among Generation Xers, that ranked second only to their concern about not having enough money in emergency savings (51%).

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