DC Plan Termination Video Series Part 2: Common Mistakes Plan Sponsors Make

By Michael Wilder | February 19, 2016

Mike Wilder DC Plan Terminations Part 2 Video SeriesRetirement Clearinghouse (RCH) is pleased to offer a three-part series of educational videos on plan terminations, presented by Mike Wilder, RCH’s Senior Vice President, Strategic Accounts. These videos are intended to provide plan sponsors with a basic understanding of key plan termination process steps, the common mistakes that are made by plan sponsors, and the key criteria for selecting a plan termination services provider. We hope you’ll find these videos interesting & informative!
For more information, contact a Retirement Clearinghouse sales representative at sales@RCH1.com, or call us at (866) 827-9608.


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DC Plan Termination - Common Mistakes Plan Sponsors Make

Terminating a retirement plan is complicated. The importance of having a well thought out plan in place before beginning the plan termination process is imperative, because making mistakes can be costly. To better understand why plan sponsors were making mistakes in qualified plan terminations the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Unit conducted a “Termination Project” in 2011. Over 75% of the sampled sponsors made errors!

So what kind of errors did plan sponsors make?

  • Did not file a final Form 5500 series return
  • Did not actually terminate their plan
  • Mistakenly indicated the plan was terminated when it was frozen
  • Mistakenly used the same plan number from a previous or different plan
  • Distributed all plan assets but didn’t mark the final Form 5500 series to show it was the final return
  • Distributed all plan assets but did not indicate zero assets at the end of the plan year
  • Did not distribute all plan assets as soon as administratively feasible (*generally within 12 months)


Why did plan sponsors make these errors?

  • Length of time required to find missing participants
  • Difficulty in distributing certain types of plan assets (real estate or partnership investments)
  • Not aware all plan assets must be distributed
  • Not aware of the difference between a frozen and terminated plan
  • Not aware there were still assets in the trust

 For more information on the “Termination Project” conducted by the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Unit click on the link – (Errors). If you would like help terminating your plan call RCH at 866.827.9608.

Previous video: 1 Project, 5 Phases (part 1 of the three-part series)

Next video: 5 Criteria for Selecting a Services Provider (part 3 of the three-part series)