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February 25, 2016
CBIZ MHM Memphis hosted an Employee Benefit Plan seminar last week called Retirement Plan New Year’s Resolution: Is Your Plan Ready for 2016?  This session covered understanding of fiduciary duties and responsibilities, financial planning for 2016, and the DOL’s audit quality study.

With a room full of plan sponsors and administrators eager to start their 2016 planning right, Jennifer Kiesewetter, ERISA, ACA, & Executive Compensation Attorney at Kiesewetter Law Firm, began discussing the various fiduciary duties and responsibilities that are overlooked or unknown.  Furthermore, Jenny educated attendees on consequences of breach of fiduciary duty as well as ways to limit fiduciary liability.

Jeff Barnes, Senior Consultant at Gavion, LLC, shared with the group how to determine goals and best practices for Plans in 2016.  He also covered various plan considerations and proposed many questions sponsors and administrators should be answering during their planning processes.

In closing, Linda Lauer, Lead Managing Director for the Memphis Office, reviewed key findings and conclusions that were found in the recent DOL Audit Quality Study.  The statistics in the study confirmed that the more plans audited by a firm, the less deficiencies performed.  Linda concluded the presentation with the DOL enforcement, regulatory, and outreach recommendations.

To attend one of our future seminars, join our mailing list by clicking here.  For questions regarding the study and/or the impact on your company’s benefit plans, please contact Linda Lauer at llauer@cbiz.com or 901-685-5575.





February 10, 2016

The Memphis office is focusing on different specialties and services by featuring a Q & A with one of our local experts each month.

Linda Lauer serves as Lead Managing Director and Co-Attest Practice Leader and leads the employee benefit plan (EBP) audit practice in Memphis.  With more than 25 years of experience in accounting and employee benefit administration, Linda has become a well-known source of EBP knowledge in the Memphis area.

Not only does this series allow you to get to know Linda on a more personal level, but Linda also answers important questions like “What should you ask your benefit plan auditor?”  The conversation continues with Linda discussing the uniqueness of EBP audits, common issues found during EBP audits, and how companies should comply with ERISA.

More resources featured on Linda’s Conversation page include previously featured articles, an EBP audit whitepaper, and information on the audit quality study that was just released by the Department of Labor.

Read the full conversation by clicking here.




January 20, 2016
Linda Lauer, Co-Attest Practice Leader and Lead Managing Director for the Memphis Office, was recently featured in a Q & A article with the Memphis Business Journal.  In the article, Linda provides valuable insight in regards to the recent employee benefit audit study performed by the Department of Labor (DOL).

Linda covers what companies should expect with these new findings, how employee benefit plan audits differ than typical financial audits, and what could happen if your firm is not in compliance.

"While it seems simple, the number-one thing companies should look for in their CPA firm is the experience the auditor has specifically with benefit plans,” Lauer stated. “The DOL study clearly substantiates that the more plans a firm audits, the fewer deficiencies are found.”

For questions regarding the study and/or the impact on your company, please contact Linda Lauer at llauer@cbiz.com or 901-685-5575.  To view the full Q & A with Linda, click the button below.





December 3, 2015
Linda Lauer, Co-Attest Practice Leader and Lead Managing Director for the Memphis Office, published an article, Audit Quality Study Signals Changes Ahead for Employee Benefit Plans, in the November 2015 issue of HR Professionals Magazine.  In the article, Linda provides valuable insight in regards to the recent employee benefit audit study performed by the Department of Labor (DOL).

"Nearly 4 in 10 employee benefit audits in the 2011 plan filing year failed to meet regulatory standards,” Linda shared. Her article touches on the study’s findings, including areas of noncompliance, deficiency rates, a response from the regulators, and implications for plan sponsors.

“The 2014 Study has ramifications for everyone involved with benefit plan financial statements...Staying on top of these changes will be critical for future benefit plan compliance,” Linda concludes.

For questions regarding the study and/or the impact on your company, please contact Linda Lauer at llauer@cbiz.com or 901-685-5575.  To view the full HR Professionals Magazine article, click the button below.




September 23, 2015

Fiduciary Training: Roles, Responsibilities & Liabilities

A plan fiduciary’s failure to comply with the strict fiduciary standards imposed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) may have serious consequences, including personal liability and enforcement actions by the Department of Labor (DOL). Therefore, CBIZ MHM feels it is vital to educate those who oversee and administer ERISA plans about their fiduciary obligations. This training will assist those responsible for overseeing employee benefit plans in understanding the fiduciary responsibilities under ERISA and how to manage the associated liabilities from both a legal and corporate compliance perspective. 

Many corporate officers do not feel comfortable with their level of understanding of even basic issues regarding plan governance. Frequently, plan documents do not accurately reflect day-to-day plan administration. In both of these circumstances, corporate officers and boards of directors could be exposed to potential ERISA liability for matters over which they inadvertently exercise improper control or for which they really do not have any functional control.

By going through a good fiduciary training program facilitated by CBIZ MHM, those responsible for administering and overseeing ERISA plans can gain a better understanding of the legal rules and how to manage liabilities in light of their company’s particular circumstances and governance goals.




September 1, 2015

The Memphis Office of CBIZ MHM hosted a lunch seminar on "How DOL Enforcement and Recent Litigation is Impacting Your Employee Benefit Plan."

Co-Presenters for the seminar included Linda Lauer, Co-Attest Practice Leader and Lead Managing Director, and Jennifer Kiesewetter, Attorney and Managing Partner of Kiesewetter Law Firm, PLLC.

Linda and Jennifer reviewed the recent Department of Labor (DOL) enforcement actions and court cases to help benefit plan sponsors develop best practices in plan administration.  In addition, the presentation looked at how the DOL’s inspection of audit firms has impacted plan sponsors. According to a recent EBP Audit Quality Study published by the DOL, nearly 4 in 10 EBP audits in the 2011 plan filing year contained major deficiencies and failed to meet regulatory standards making it even more important for companies to conduct thorough due diligence when selecting an auditor for their plan.

For more information on recent DOL activity and how it impacts your employee benefit plan, contact Linda at 901.685.5575 or llauer@cbiz.com.




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