Under U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations issued on November 16, 2007, retirement plans sponsored by charitable organizations and schools under Internal Revenue Code section 403(b) and covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) are subject to the annual reporting and audit requirements of ERISA.
ERISA-covered 403(b) plans with 100 or more participants generally are required to file audited financial statements. 403(b) plans with fewer than 100 participants may be eligible to use abbreviated reporting forms without audited financial statements.
Tools and Resources
403(b) Plans Primer
The AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center has developed this primer to provide Center members with a general understanding of the nature and characteristics of 403(b) plans, a discussion of recent regulatory developments, and information about other helpful resources.
403(b) Filing and Audit Requirements
The AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center has prepared this analysis of Form 5500 reporting and audit requirements for 403(b) retirement plans to help understand the U.S. Department of Labor's Notice of Adoption of Revisions to Annual Return/Report Forms issued on November 16, 2007.
403(b) Questions to Expect from Your Plan Auditor
The AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center has developed this tool to provide examples of the types of questions that plan management may be asked by the plan's independent auditor. [Word version]
403(b) Sample Auditor Request List for Plan Information
The AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center has developed this tool to provide examples of the types of documents, schedules and information that plan management may be asked to provide or make available to the plan's independent auditor. [Word version]
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Use the EBPAQC Member-to-Member Discussion Forum
The EBPAQC Member-to-Member Discussion Forum includes a 403(b) Plan Audit forum to help you network and discuss issues and exchange information with other members. The Forum is easy to use and can provide you with a wealth of information. Share your 403(b) experiences with other Center members on the Forum. Click here to visit the Forum.
Questions about the Form 5500 filing and audit requirements for section 403(b) retirement plans?
Visit the DOL EBSA's Reporting and Coverage for 403(b) Plans Web site at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/403b.html.
EBSA also has a toll-free Form 5500 help desk available from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Eastern Time, at 1-866-GO-EFAST .
Questions concerning the information contained in the DOL Field Assistance Bulletins may be directed to the DOL's Division of Coverage, Reporting and Disclosure at 202-693-8523 .
Questions concerning individual plans facing specific transition issues should be directed to EBSA's Office of the Chief Accountant at 202-693-8360.
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Plan Sponsor Resource Center
Also visit the EBPAQC Plan Sponsor Resource Center where you can find information on selecting your plan auditor, resources on the request for proposal (RFP) and auditor evaluation process, and a directory of Center member firms.
Other Useful Resources
Below are links to helpful resources:
- November 16, 2007 DOL regulations
- DOL Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2007-02
- DOL Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2009-02
- DOL Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2010-01
- IRS Web site on IRC 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans
- IRS Publication 571 Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans (403(b) Plans) (Rev. November 2007) Cat. No. 46581C
Other IRS Publications:
- Pub. 4482, 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity for Participants
- Pub. 4483, 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan for Sponsor
- Pub. 4484, Choose a retirement plan for employees of tax-exempt and government entities (schools, hospitals, churches, charities)
- Pub. 4530, Designated Roth Accounts under a 401(k) or 403(b) Plan
- Pub. 4546, 403(b) Plan Checklist
- Pub. 3066, Have you had your check-up this year? for 403(b) Retirement Plans