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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.
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
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.
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.
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