Pension attorneys are the experts in Plan documents, which are a type of written instrument. Plan documents describe how a defined benefit plan works. Experienced pension attorneys make sure that the plan document is compliant and clear. There is a dearth of statutes, regulations, and agency guidance, by which defined benefit plans are regulated. pension attorneys near me assist you for this complicated task. Several areas such as coverage and non-discrimination testing, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (“QDROs”), Interpretation of the Plan document, and Participant disclosures, can be consulted with pension attorneys.
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Legal interpretation is the most important service offered by pension attorneys, which is also taken up by actuaries and TPAs. Nevertheless, they should suggest the advice of a qualified pension attorney who is well equipped with the knowledge required to assist with the interpretation of pension laws, regulations, and Plan document provisions. Many a time, government agencies prescribe the disclosure language. In other cases, agencies only provide general guidance. A pension attorney can suggest language to ensure clarity in the same and check if it is in compliance in case the guidance is not prescriptive.
As we are also required to correct the defined benefit plan in various circumstances. Sometimes the defined benefit plan does not comply with the pension law or might not have been administered in accordance with the plan document. In such cases, pension attorneys assist the plan sponsor to correct the issue through the EPCRS (Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System) which provides the guidelines and the correct approach. In some cases, employers make self-corrections without reporting to the government. In other cases, they must submit a description of the issue with the proposed correction to the IRS. In determining the correction approach, employers can consult with pension attorneys for guidance.
Assuming the employer must report the issue, a pension attorney, in conjunction with the Plan actuary and TPA, can help the employer draft the submission. In other cases, issues are discovered as part of a Plan audit conducted by a government agency. The pension attorney assists the employer with government interactions. If the auditor discovers any issues, the attorney can help negotiate the steps for correction. In both of these capacities, the attorney helps the employer navigate these complex communications. Thus, it can be said pension attorneys are an invaluable resource to employers with defined benefit plans.