Internal Revenue Service Efforts and Plans To Enforce the Employee Retirement Income Security Act

HRD-79-55: Published: Mar 28, 1979. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 1979.

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Efforts to enforce the provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) were reviewed.

Since the enactment of ERISA, IRS has spent most of its field enforcement effort on determining whether plan provisions comply with ERISA requirements. Weaknesses in the determination process may result in pension plans being approved and operated which do not meet ERISA requirements and impose an administrative burden on plan administrators due to IRS requiring unnecessary amendments to pension plans. IRS officials recognize the need to improve their ERISA enforcement efforts; they stated that IRS has plans to: (1) increase the number of examinations; (2) develop criteria to measure overall compliance with ERISA and develop an objective approach for selecting plans for examination; and (3) upgrade efforts to ensure the quality of determinations.

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