How's this for good timing?
On Feb. 1, TIAA-CREF issued a report saying many plan sponsors of 403(b) plans were mystified by new regulations issued by the Internal Revenue Service and guidance from the Department of Labor regarding the Form 5500 reporting requirements.
On Feb. 4, TIAA-CREF announced a new preparation service to help clients navigate the mysteries of Form 5500.
“The results of the survey further validated the needs of the new service,” said Abby Aylman Cohen, a spokeswoman for TIAA-CREF in New York.
Ms. Cohen said TIAA-CREF started planning its service — called Signature-Ready Form 5500 Preparation Service — in 2008, adding that the organization decided to work with Deloitte LLP in mid-2009. “Plan sponsors will have a dedicated, experienced contact to manage the process from start to finish,” said a TIAA-CREF news release in reference to Deloitte's role in the new service.
While the organization was working on its new service, the TIAA-CREF Institute started preparing its survey on how plan sponsors were coping with new IRS rules that took effect Jan. 1, 2009, Ms. Cohen said. The telephone survey of 401 plan administrators was conducted in June and July. The survey found that 45% of respondents have difficulty in understanding the regulations and the Form 5500 reporting requirements. The survey quoted a few respondents. “It was written for those with law degrees,” said one. — Robert Steyer