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End of Year Retirement Checklists for Accounting Professionals

Aaron Wilson
Posted by Aaron Wilson on Oct 18, 2023 1:36:59 PM

As 2023 is wrapping up, we’re all starting to think about everything we need to finish before we ring in the new year. This time of year can be hectic and overwhelming, and it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks. Having a checklist can be a great way to visualize everything on your plate without missing any items.  

The following checklists can help you understand what conversations you should be having with your clients around retirement benefits, as well as identify additional tax and cost-saving opportunities.

Checklist #1: Tax savings 

Exploring ways to save on taxes can be a huge benefit for businesses. With legislation like the SECURE Act 2.0, launching a retirement plan can be one way for businesses to lessen their tax burden. 

  • Did your client pay a significant amount in taxes last year? 
  • Does your client anticipate paying a significant amount in taxes this year? 
  • Is your client in a position to leverage a 401(k) as a tax shelter? 
  • Is your client maxing out their contributions in a SIMPLE IRA and in a position to save more? 

If any of your clients come to mind when reading the above list, talking to a retirement provider can help educate them on tax-saving opportunities applicable to their business. 

Checklist #2: Benchmarking 

If your clients already offer retirement plans, a new year may be the perfect time to evaluate that plan and determine whether or not it is still the best option for them via benchmarking. To evaluate if now is the right time, ask questions like: 

  • Has your client had a 401(k) plan for at least a year? It could be a good time to benchmark their plan to make sure their fees and services are competitive. 
  • Does their current plan integrate with their payroll platform? 
  • Does your client have an ERISA Bond worth 10% or more of total plan assets?  
  • Has your client ever been late in remittance of employee contributions? 

Checklist #3: State mandates & compliance 

Some businesses hesitate to offer retirement benefits because of the risk and administrative and compliance-related tasks involved. However, many states are now mandating retirement plans making it even more important to start shopping for the right plan for them. If any of the following questions bring a client to mind, they could benefit from a retirement conversation this quarter: 

  • Is your client currently using a state-run retirement plan? 
  • How has the administration been? If poor, are they open to looking at another solution? 
  • Does your client have employees in other states? 
  • Does your client sign the Form 5500? Have they ever filed this form late? 

Understanding where your clients stand at the end of the year can help you set them up for success and provide even more value into the new year.  

Topics: Human Resources


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