ERISA auditing has a new standard

| Jun 25, 2021 | Blog, ERISA

ERISA protects New Jersey workers from sub-standard health care and retirement plans a private employer might offer. There are several audit procedures in place to make the evaluation process fair and accessible for everyone. Recently, the AICPA added a new standard.

Why make a change to the ways auditors evaluate benefit plans?

The legal name of the new standard is SAS 136. It focuses attention on how to improve the quality of plan audits. Limits to these processes opened the doors to missing some possible ERISA violations.

Limited-scope audits lose their limitations

What sets apart the new rules from the status quo is the focus on transparency. As a result, auditors no longer have the option of adding a standard disclaimer of opinion. Instead, the auditor now has to issue a pinpointed opinion. It must underscore whether or not the information they received looks like a legitimate representation.

Besides that, an auditor has to determine whether written information reconciles with the facts. However, it’s interesting to note that the new requirements don’t let plan sponsors off the hook, either.

When filling out Form 5500, the law now puts greater emphasis on having plan sponsors offer details and complete information. Moreover, there will be a heightened scrutiny of the information’s accuracy. In this way, plan sponsors and auditors work together on creating the best possible evaluation of the financial statements.

However, what happens if you believe that your employer violated the ERISA standards? Maybe you should be receiving benefits that the business decided to withhold. In such situations, it could be a good idea to discuss the issue with a lawyer who would help you protect your rights.