Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Keep your plan on track year round

Plans with a calendar year-end recently completed required annual compliance testing, while other plans will be completed throughout the year.

Regardless of your timing, it’s neither too late nor too early to take steps to position your plan for success in 2016. By monitoring your plan’s status throughout the year, you can prevent compliance testing surprises. In addition, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your plan is on the right track.

To better serve you, Vanguard provides the following resources:

  • Online Resource for Upcoming Annual Events: Available in the News and Communications section of the employer website, this guide provides key deadlines throughout the plan year that affect year-end processing.
  • Guide to Online Compliance Testing:1 Available in the News and Communications section of the employer website, this guide assists you with the compliance testing process. It offers step-by-step instructions on how to review and approve your plan’s testing.
  • Online access to year-end testing results:2 Shortly following the plan year-end, you’ll receive an email from Vanguard notifying you that your plan’s compliance testing results are available on the employer website.3 You can then submit census corrections and approve testing directly online.
  • Reminder notices: Vanguard emails important reminder notices for key plan deadlines. To make sure we have your current email address, see “Ensure your contact info is current.”
  • Online updates: Regular plan and industry updates are posted to the employer website. Stay on top of the latest news by making a habit of checking the home page and visiting the News and Communications section.
  • Monthly plan confirmation (MPC) report: To ensure your plan is on track to meet compliance requirements, Ascensus runs quarterly ADP/ACP tests.2 Test results are included in your plan’s MPC report, which is available on the employer website.
  • Planillustrator report: This report consolidates data and uses color-coded graphs to make plan information easier to access and understand. You can track key plan metrics, including demographics, participant usage, and investment-related activities—all in a single location.
  • Interim plan testing: Validate your plan’s status by running an interim test at any time using the employer website. The test can be accessed by going to the Processing tab and clicking Plan Level Processing, followed by Compliance Testing, Interim.

Helpful tip! To ensure your testing results are accurate, your plan’s data must be correct and current. Use the Census Integrity Scan to identify any inconsistencies and gaps in data. To run the report on the employer website, go to Processing, Plan Level Processing, Census Integrity, choose the current plan year under the Results box, and click Submit.

Regularly reviewing your plan’s data can help you identify issues that may cause your plan to reflect a failing status so you can take prompt corrective action.

For additional information on compliance testing, please contact your Vanguard Retirement Plan Access Client Service Team.

1This communication is provided only to plans that require ADP/ACP testing.
2Plans such as safe harbor, money purchase pension, and profit sharing only plans generally do not require ADP/ACP testing.
3Plan sponsors without a valid email address on file with Vanguard will receive paper delivery of their compliance testing.