Protecting Union Members’ Data: What You Should Know and Do

With growing frequency, cybercriminals are targeting unions, prompting a greater need for cybersecurity awareness, training, and protocols at all levels.

Last year, the Boston Pipefitters Union saw $6.4 million stolen from its health fund. In November, the Allied Pilots Association was the victim of a ransomware attack. Early this year, an SEIU local in California was breached resulting in the possible exposure of member Social Security numbers, home addresses, birth dates, and more. As unions play a vital role in fighting for members’ rights, like all organizations, they must also proactively put plans in place to protect union systems, funds, and sensitive information about members.

Why? A cyber attack can have far-reaching implications, ranging from financial loss, disruption of operations, recovery costs, and legal fees to damage to an organization’s reputation and loss of member trust. Cyber attacks are also easy to facilitate, with dubious links in emails that look like they come from legitimate sources or thumb drives embedded with a virus. Unfortunately, simple deceptions can wreak havoc on systems and organizations.

While a common misunderstanding is that cyber criminals focus on only the largest of organizations, it’s important to recognize a certain contingency of cyber criminals focus on smaller operations or low-hanging fruit that provides easier access to data and ransom fees. (That’s why school districts and local municipalities are frequent targets. With outdated infrastructure and limited resources, it’s easier for cyber criminals to breach their systems, causing chaos by locking systems for days or weeks and holding sensitive information for ransom.)

With the average cost of a cyber breach estimated to be over $4 million in 2023, organizations of all types and sizes – including unions and locals – need to make cybersecurity an ongoing priority. If your local handles members’ personally identifiable information like birth date, Social Security number, home address, phone number, and email address – not to mention any financial information, it’s critical to take steps to proactively protect this data while also having a plan so you know what to do should a breach occur.

A cyber security plan can include clearly defined roles and responsibilities; annual risk assessments and audits (including audits of third-party service providers); data encryption and controls; a response plan; periodic training and communications; and more. By having one in place, you can reassure members that the union is always looking out for their best interests.

A good place to start is with your union’s parent organization to see what policies, protocols, and tools are available to protect members’ information and union systems. In addition, the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) provides valuable free resources and tools, including the Shields Up program which is designed to help organizations prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the impact of a cyberattack.

As you explore what your local can and should be doing to protect member information, please remember RBT CPA professionals are available to provide accounting, tax, audit, and advisory services. To find out how we can be Remarkably Better Together, give us a call.

 

RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. We do not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your organization’s financial information.

New Generation of Workers Require New Approaches to Union Recruitment

New Generation of Workers Require New Approaches to Union Recruitment

With more Americans than ever supporting unions and more employees expressing interest in joining one, it’s a prime time to explore the best ways to attract the next generation of workers to grow union membership. After all, increasing membership leads to stronger unions, stable finances, and greater collective bargaining power.

According to the AFL-CIO, “71% of Americans support unions. The highest level in nearly 60 years. And our future is bright: 88% of people younger than 30 support unions, too.” These same statistics are being repeated by numerous sources, but there is a disconnect. Union membership growth is stagnant. A contributing factor may be how the recruitment of younger workers is approached.

In general, newer generations of workers:

  • Have different priorities and values. New generations of workers place a priority on work-life balance, respect, having a voice, valuing diversity, taking care of the planet, and making a difference. They also place a lot of value on benefits that can help them today – like higher pay, student loan reimbursements, time off, and childcare.
  • Learn differently and move fast. They never knew a world without the Internet or hand-held devices. Because they grew up as digital natives, they are quick to learn, adapt, and act.
  • Communicate and network differently. Their online identities and networks started in grammar and middle school. They meet, socialize, learn, date, work, find friends and roommates, play, and connect online.

All of this came into play during the grassroots unionization efforts at Starbucks, which apparently started with conversations among local employees who reached out to the local branch of a union to learn more. When their efforts became public, employees at other locations reached out for information. Through social media and digital meeting platforms, experiences were readily shared. While the story continues to unfold, it holds some valuable insights into how to engage the newest generation of workers and grow union memberships.

First, make sure newer generations know what a union is, why it exists and what it can do for them. Explore building membership pipelines by presenting at a high school or tech school’s career day or having a table at a local college’s career fair. Host a multi-generational event to build on the goodwill toward unions that exists today while having an opportunity to explain the role and value of a union. You never know when having that knowledge can inspire a young worker to act.

Second, have an online presence where people can easily find your organization, learn what it stands for, who it represents, and more information. Even better, use an online form to collect contact information from interested parties so a current union member can reach out to them directly.  If you don’t have a local website presence, use social media channels to post about meetings, celebrations, recognition, accomplishments, and events to provide insights that prompt potential members to take the next step.

And third, be prepared to help them get started – fast. Some unions have online training sessions that educate about the unionization process. Others have direct links to information on what unionizing entails.

Along the way, be sure to highlight the many benefits of unions, including the ability to deduct dues from New York state taxes on itemized returns; higher wages; better benefits; scheduling flexibility; paid time off; safer workplaces, and more.

As you focus on building your union’s membership, you can count on RBT CPAs to handle your accounting, tax, audit, and advisory needs. We have been serving organizations and individuals in the Hudson Valley for more than 55 years and show time after time how RBT CPAs and our clients can be Remarkably Better Together. For more information, give us a call.

 

RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

Preparing for a Financial Audit: A Guide for Public Housing Authorities

Preparing for a Financial Audit: A Guide for Public Housing Authorities

Financial audits are a crucial part of any organization’s financial health, and public housing authorities are no exception. Financial audits are conducted under Government Auditing Standards, issued by Comptroller General of the United States. A financial audit provides an independent assessment of an organization’s financial statements, which in turn ensures transparency, accountability, and a strong foundation for future planning. However, the process can be daunting without proper preparation. Here’s a guide on how public housing authorities can prepare for the compliance aspect of a single audit.

A good place to start is with the audit requirements. These requirements may be outlined in grant agreements, regulatory requirements, or the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines. Familiarize yourself with these requirements to ensure that your financial statements align with them. It is also beneficial to keep abreast of any changes in audit requirements to avoid non-compliance.

Next, conduct an internal review of your financial records. This process involves examining your financial transactions, supporting documents, and accounting practices. It’s crucial to ensure all transactions are recorded accurately and all supporting documents, such as receipts, invoices, and bank statements, are organized and readily available. Moreover, review your internal controls to ensure they are robust and effective in preventing and detecting fraud or errors.

Ensure that your accounting systems and procedures are up to standard. This includes maintaining accurate and complete records, implementing segregation of duties, and ensuring the reconciliation of accounts. Regularly update your accounting software to the latest version to benefit from improved features and enhanced security.

Preparing the Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards (SEFA) is also a vital part of audit preparation. The SEFA is a comprehensive list of all federal awards expended during the fiscal year. It should be prepared in accordance with Government or yellow book auditing standards, as well as the Compliance Supplement which is updated annually. Be sure to include all necessary information such as the grantor’s name, the Assistance Listing Number (formerly Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number), and the amount of expenditures.

Communication is key in audit preparation. Regular communication with the auditor will ensure a smoother process. Provide all necessary information and clarify any changes in your financial system or operations. Keep your staff informed about the audit process, what is expected of them, and the timeline. This will help alleviate any potential anxiety and promote cooperation during the audit.

Finally, do not forget to review your previous audit findings. If there were any deficiencies or material weaknesses identified in the previous audit, ensure that corrective actions have been taken. This will not only reduce the likelihood of repeated findings but also demonstrate your commitment to improving your financial management practices.

A financial audit can be a daunting task, but with proper preparation, it can be a constructive process that strengthens your organization’s financial health. Remember, audits are not just about compliance. They are a tool for improving your financial practices, enhancing transparency, and ensuring the effective use of public resources.

If you have any questions or need any audit, accounting, tax, or advisory support, please know RBT CPAs is here for you. We’ve been proudly serving municipalities, businesses, non-profits, and individuals in the Hudson Valley for over 50 years. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call and find out how we can be Remarkably Better Together.

 

RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

LM-2/3/4 Forms: What They Are and Why They Matter

LM-2/3/4 Forms: What They Are and Why They Matter

Each year, unions covered under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, Civil Service Reform Act or Foreign Service Act must file an annual financial report – a.k.a. Form LM-2, LM-3, or LM-4 – to maintain transparency and accountability. Following is an overview of what these annual financial reports are and why they matter.

In essence, Forms LM-2/3/4 are financial statements with varying levels of detail. Form LM-2 is the most comprehensive, encompassing a wide range of financial information, including receipts and disbursements, assets and liabilities, direct and indirect disbursements to officers and employees, and loans receivable and payable. LM-2 forms also provide information about membership numbers, political spending, grants, and more.

The forms promote financial transparency, empower stakeholders to make decisions, impact a union’s reputation, and foster accountability.  They serve as a check against potential financial mismanagement. Inaccurate or incomplete forms can lead to legal issues (including penalties and potential legal actions); hurt trust in leadership; and threaten a union’s credibility, reach, and impact.

A union’s total annual receipts determine which form is required. Organizations with:

  • $250,000 or more in annual receipts, file Form LM-2.
  • At least $10,000 but less than $250,000 in annual receipts, file Form LM-3.
  • Less than $10,000 in annual receipts, file Form LM-4.

The deadline for the annual filing is within 90 days of the end of the organization’s fiscal year. The form must be filed electronically using the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) Electronic Forms System (EFS). Before filing, an organization must register in the system.

A union’s president and treasurer or corresponding principal officers are personally responsible for the annual financial report’s accuracy and filing. Failure to file a report or keep required records for at least five years or knowingly misrepresenting or failing to disclose a material fact can result in significant financial fines, imprisonment, or both.

  • For information on how to register for an EFS User ID and Password; obtain a union PIN; and obtain, sign and submit an LM form, click here.
  • For detailed instructions for completing an LM form, visit the OLMS website.
  • For compliance tips and information on how to avoid common reporting errors, click here.

One of the best ways to help promote LM-2/3/4 accuracy and compliance is to work with an experienced accounting professional, like the ones you’ll find at RBT CPAs.  We’ve been operating in the Hudson Valley and beyond for over 50 years and we believe we succeed when we help our clients succeed. Interested in learning more about our accounting, tax, audit, and advisory services? Give us a call.

 

RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

Are You Ready to E-file Benefit Information Returns?

Are You Ready to E-file Benefit Information Returns?

Starting January 1 of this year, e-filing requirements under the Taxpayer First Act take effect. Now, employers that file 10 or more returns in total during a calendar year must do so electronically. This includes Affordable Care Act (ACA) filings. Failing to comply can result in significant financial penalties.

Under the ACA, Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) must report whether they offered affordable, minimum essential coverage to full-time employees. All employers that sponsor self-insured plans must also report months of coverage for enrolled individuals. IRS Forms 1094-C and 1095-C are used to file this information with the IRS; they must also be provided to employees.

Before 2024, employers filing less than 250 returns for Form 1094-C and 1095-C had an option: file via paper or electronically. The 250-threshold applied to each type of return filed. Now, if the aggregate number of returns for all required filings (including W-2s and 1099s plus others) are 10 or greater, electronic filing is the only option.

As noted on the IRS website, “T.D. 9972 affects filers of partnership returns, corporate income tax returns, unrelated business income tax returns, withholding tax returns, certain information returns, registration statements, disclosure statements, notifications, actuarial reports and certain excise tax returns.”

Different filings must be submitted via the appropriate system. For example, ACA documents will be filed via the Affordable Care Act Information Returns or AIR system, while Form 1099s can be filed for free via the Information Returns Intake System (IRIS). Other returns will be filed via Filing Information Returns Electronically or FIRE system.

You need a separate Transmitter Control Code (TCC) for each system, and it can take some time to receive your code. So, if you don’t already have your TCCs, now is the time to apply.

For 2024, the e-filing deadline for Forms 1095-C and 1094-C is April 1 (since March 31 is a Sunday). Different reporting requirements and deadlines may apply in certain states (i.e., California, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island).

For more information on e-filing regulations, including hardship appeals, click here. Then, make sure you have the appropriate processes and resources lined up to comply with electronic filing requirements.

Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your RBT CPAs client manager. Our experts are also available to help with all of your accounting, audit, tax and business advisory needs throughout the year. Give us a call to learn more.

 

RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

New York’s Weatherization Assistance Program Helps Lower Energy Costs

New York’s Weatherization Assistance Program Helps Lower Energy Costs

While the winter months in New York can be particularly tough for low-income households, there’s a special program to help lower energy costs, reduce energy use, and boost a healthy and safe environment.

It’s called the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).

WAP provides assistance to low-income households, based on thresholds announced in November of 2023. It is available to homeowners, renters, and rental property owners (of houses or apartment buildings), with priority given to seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children.

A household with a member receiving Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) or other public assistance benefits is automatically eligible for WAP. Homeowners, affordable housing developers, property managers, and other housing and community development agencies may also be eligible.

To apply, contact a WAP service provider for your area. You’ll submit an application and the provider will determine your eligibility.  If approved to participate, the provider’s own crew or subcontractors perform the work.

The program kicks off with an on-site energy audit which helps evaluate a home for services. Approved services are performed and quality assured with a follow-up inspection.

Example of services that may be performed include attic and wall insulation; repair or replacement of heating system; efficient lighting and refrigeration; crack and hole sealing; window and/or outside door replacement or repair; minor repairs to maximize weatherization services; and services to mitigate health and safety issues related to heating and cooling.

There is no cost for services to the home’s occupant. Property owners help cover any costs. For more details about WAP, click here. For a list of WAP providers by county, click here.

While you focus on keeping tenants warm and safe this winter, please remember RBT CPAs is here to help with all of your accounting, tax, audit, and advisory needs. Give us a call today.

 

RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

AI and Healthcare: The Evolving Regulatory Environment

AI and Healthcare: The Evolving Regulatory Environment

No doubt, artificial intelligence (AI) has been one of the most talked about topics of the year, especially with the release of Chat-GPT-4 in March.

Suddenly, it seemed everyone became aware of the very real possibility of AI replacing humans in a variety of professions, prompting a plethora of discussions about everything from ethics and global regulations to societal impacts and future industry disruption.

While the initial hype has evolved into an ongoing drumbeat of multi-faceted discussions, AI is moving forward and when it comes to healthcare, there are opportunities to transform virtually every aspect of the industry. Now, governments worldwide are stepping up to address how AI will be monitored and regulated.

On December 8, European Union officials announced a provisional deal finalizing what will become the world’s first comprehensive laws regulating artificial intelligence. Called the AI Act, it seeks to regulate uses for AI rather than the technology itself. It also strives to protect democracy and uphold the law and fundamental rights, while encouraging innovation and investment.

The Act’s rules work along a risk spectrum, with lighter rules for low-risk applications like content recommendations and stricter rules for high-risk applications, like medical devices. Violations could result in fines up to the equivalent of $38 million or 7% of a company’s global revenue.

The Act won’t take effect until two years after final approval, which is expected early next year.  Still, many believe it will serve as a global framework for classifying risks, ensuring transparency, and penalizing non-compliance.

What about the U.S.? On October 30, President Biden issued an Executive Order (EO) on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence. Its purpose, as noted in Section 1, is as follows:

“Artificial intelligence (AI) holds extraordinary potential for both promise and peril. Responsible AI use has the potential to help solve urgent challenges while making our world more prosperous, productive, innovative, and secure. At the same time, irresponsible use could exacerbate societal harms such as fraud, discrimination, bias, and disinformation; displace and disempower workers; stifle competition; and pose risks to national security. Harnessing AI for good and realizing its myriad benefits requires mitigating its substantial risks. This endeavor demands a society-wide effort that includes government, the private sector, academia, and civil society.”

Interestingly, within the EO, an entire section (Section 8) is devoted to safe, responsible deployment and use of AI in healthcare, public health, and human services. Among other things, it includes key deadlines and deliverables (mostly driven by the Secretary of Health and Human Services):

  • Within 90 days of the EO, create an HHS AI Task Force. Within 365 of creating the task force, develop a strategic plan including policies and frameworks, and possible regulations, on AI and AI-enabled technologies in the HHS sector, including research, discovery, drug and device safety, healthcare delivery, finance, and public health.
  • Within 180 days of the EO, develop an AI assurance policy to evaluate important aspects of AI-enabled healthcare tools’ performance, as well as infrastructure needed for pre-market and post-market oversight of algorithmic system performance against real-world data.
  • Within 180 days of the EO, consider actions to advance understanding of and compliance with Federal nondiscrimination laws related to AI by HHS providers receiving Federal financial assistance.
  • Within 365 days of the EO, establish an AI safety program with a common way to identify and capture clinical errors resulting from AI in healthcare settings. Create a central repository for incidents that cause harm – including through bias or discrimination. Analyze data and outcomes to create recommendations and best practices for avoiding harm, and processes for disseminating them to stakeholders.
  • Within 365 days of the EO, develop a strategy to regulate the use of AI or AI-enabled tools in drug development processes.
  • Ongoing: create incentives under grantmaking authority to promote responsible AI development and use.

So, it looks like 2024 is going to be a landmark year for AI frameworks, potential regulations, and more. Stay tuned. As you consider what AI and related applications may mean to your organization, please remember RBT CPAs is here to provide accounting, audit, tax, and business advisory services. Interested in learning more? Give us a call today.

 

RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

Benefit Limits for 2024

Benefit Limits for 2024

2024 limits for certain employer sponsored retirement and welfare plans, as well as the Social Security Wage Base, were released earlier this month.

Payroll and plan administration systems should be updated to reflect the new limits. In addition, plan sponsors should communicate the 2024 limits to employees in summary plan descriptions and other plan communications (i.e., enrollment).

RETIREMENT PLAN LIMITS FOR 2024

Annual compensation limit: $345,000
Highly compensated threshold: $155,000
Key employee compensation threshold: $220,000
401(k), 403(b), most 457s and Thrift Savings Plan before-tax contributions: $23,000
401(k), 403(b), most 457s and Thrift Savings Plan catch-up contributions for age 50 and over: $7,500
Defined contribution plan annual contribution limit: $69,000
Defined benefit annual benefit and accrual limit: $275,000
IRA annual contributions: $7,000
IRA catch-up contributions for age 50 and over: $1,000
SIMPLE contribution limit: $16,000
SIMPLE catch-up contributions limit: $3,500
ESOP limit for lengthening of general five-year distribution period: $275,000
ESOP limit for maximum account balance subject to general five-year distribution period: $1,380,000

HEALTH & WELFARE PLAN LIMITS FOR 2024

High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs):

  • HDHP maximum out-of-pocket limit self-only/family coverage: $8,050/$16,100
  • HDHP minimum annual deductible self-only/family coverage: $1,600/$3,200
  • HSA annual contribution limit for self-only/family coverage: $4,150/$8,300
  • HSA catch-up contributions for age 55 and over: $1,000

FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT LIMITS FOR 2024: Final numbers not available yet

  • Healthcare contribution
  • Healthcare carryover
  • Dependent care contribution

SOCIAL SECURITY

Taxable Wage Base: $168,600

For more details refer to IRS.gov or Notice 2023-75.  If you need to free up time to focus on benefits compliance, you can count on RBT CPAs to handle all of your accounting, audit, and tax needs. To learn more, give us a call today.

 

RBT CPAs do not outsource work to any other country. All of our work is prepared in the U.S.A.

Please Note: RBT CPAs is an accounting, audit, tax, and business advisory firm. We are not a law firm and the information provided should not be construed as advice. As always, if you need legal counsel, it’s in your best interest to contact a law firm.

HOTMA Sections 102 and 104 Guidance Provides Breathing Room for Implementation

HOTMA Sections 102 and 104 Guidance Provides Breathing Room for Implementation

On September 29, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued Notice PIH 2023-17 guidance for Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) Sections 102 and 104. Among other things, implementation deadlines have been updated.

As stated in the notice, “Sections 102 and 104 of HOTMA make sweeping changes to the United States Housing Act of 1937 (1937 Act), particularly those affecting income calculations and reviews. Section 102 changes requirements related to income reviews for Public Housing and Section 8 programs. Section 104 sets maximum asset limits for Public Housing and Section 8 applicants and participants.”

A detailed final rule was published in Federal Register Notice 88 FR 9600 on February 14, 2023. The recent notice issued on September 29th provides implementation guidance for Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) and Multifamily Housing (MFH) Owners.

For covered PHAs and HUD-assisted MFH Owners, the final HOTMA rule effective date is January 1, 2024, with full compliance mandated by January 1, 2025. (Previously, January 1, 2024 was the deadline.) The delayed timeframe is due to HUD’s recognition of the time required for software compliance and the fact that there are new additions to programs on an ongoing basis.

Per the guidance:

  • Each PHA will set its own compliance date between January 1, 2024 and January 1, 2025, based on when its annual plan is due to HUD.
  • Each MFH owner is required to update Tenant Selection Plans and income verification policies and procedures by March 31, 2024. In addition, Tenant Selection Plans must be publicly available as of March 31, 2024. (Refer to the List of Discretionary Policies to Implement HOTMAso you can state where you are exercising discretion in the Tenant Selection Plans.)
    MFH Owners have until January 1, 2025 to achieve full compliance. Until then, if there are any HOTMA-related tenant file errors during Management and Occupancy Reviews (MORs), observations and corrective actions will be issued. Failure to take corrective action or to implement HOTMA by January 1, 2025 may result in the owner being found in default of business agreements with HUD.

For more information, be sure to review Notice PIH 2023-17, especially Section 6 for additional compliance deadlines and activities. For additional resources – including a quick start guide, forms, training, and more – visit the HOTMA page on HUD.gov.

If you need to free up time to focus on HOTMA compliance, you can count on RBT CPAs to handle all of your accounting, audit, and tax needs. To learn more, give us a call today.

RBT CPAs does not outsource work to any other country. All of our work is prepared in the U.S.A.

 

Please Note: RBT CPAs is an accounting, audit, tax and business advisory firm. We are not a law firm and the information provided should not be construed as advice. As always, if you need legal counsel, it’s in your best interest to contact a law firm.

Is It Time to Check Your Cybersecurity Strategy for Employee Benefit Plans?

Is It Time to Check Your Cybersecurity Strategy for Employee Benefit Plans?

Not a day goes by when the war on cybercrime isn’t headline news. World powers, including the U.S., are stepping up their defenses and strategies daily. What does this mean to employee benefit plan sponsors, fiduciaries, record-keepers, and even plan participants?

On July 26, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued rules requiring public companies to “disclose material cybersecurity incidents they experience and to disclose on an annual basis material information regarding their cybersecurity risk management, strategy, and governance.”  While intended to provide investors with timely, consistent information, this action serves as a strong reminder to review and strengthen cyber security strategies.

Benefit plan sponsors, fiduciaries, record-keepers, and others may want to revisit the Department of Labor (DOL) and Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) enforcement focus areas and guidelines launched in April of 2021 to address cybersecurity risks associated with employee benefit plans.

With a likelihood of an uptick in DOL enforcement activities following the end of the COVID National Emergency and Public Health Emergency earlier this year, now may be a good time to review the DOL/EBSA resources, including:

  • Tips for Hiring a Service Provider: These can help plan sponsors and fiduciaries select service providers with strong cybersecurity practices and monitor their activities.
  • Cybersecurity Program Best Practices: These are designed to help plan fiduciaries and record-keepers manage cybersecurity risks.
  • Online Security Tips: These provide tips to plan participants and beneficiaries who check their retirement accounts online to reduce the risk of fraud and loss.

As noted in the original DOL press release accompanying the launch of these resources, “The guidance announced today complements EBSA’s regulations on electronic records and disclosures to plan participants and beneficiaries. These include provisions on ensuring that electronic recordkeeping systems have reasonable controls, adequate records management practices are in place, and that electronic disclosure systems include measures calculated to protect Personally Identifiable Information.”

Considering December 2022 reports issued by the ERISA Advisory Council included Cybersecurity Issues Affecting Health Benefit Plans and Cybersecurity Insurance and Employee Benefit Plans, this is likely an evolving story.

For more information and resources about our country’s efforts to protect and enhance cyber infrastructure, visit the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency website (which includes resources for small and midsized businesses).

As you work with legal counsel, IT experts, Human Resources staff, and other resources to fulfill responsibilities for employee benefit plan cybersecurity, you can count on RBT CPAs for all of your accounting, tax, audit, and advisory needs. To learn more, give us a call today.

 

RBT CPAs does not outsource work to any other country. All of our work is prepared in the U.S.A. 

NOTE: This article is informational only and not intended as legal advice or direction.