ESOPs were first authorized by federal legislation in 1974. Since that date, there have been more than 25 separate pieces of legislation that have further defined what an ESOP is and what an ESOP is permitted to do. Despite this fact, significant misconceptions about ESOPs persist. The following describes some of the more prevalent myths and misconceptions regarding ESOPs. Hopefully, the explanations provided below will help to dispel many of the misconceptions that currently exist regarding these matters. MISCONCEPTION #1 – The ESOP is primarily an employee benefit plan. The ESOP is not primarily an employee benefit plan. The reverse is true. The ESOP is primarily a tool of corporate finance that is used as an alternative to a sale or merger as a way of creating liquidity and investment diversification for owners of privatelyheld businesses. An ESOP uses the tax advantages afforded to qualified employee benefit plans in order to ... Read More..
MEMORANDUM TO: ALL CLIENTS FROM: LEGAL DEPARTMENT DATE: JULY 18, 2001 RE: NEW REQUIREMENTS ON FIDELITY BONDING FOR QUALIFIED EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS I. BACKGROUND Current regulations under ERISA require generally that all Employee Benefit Plans engage an Independent Qualified Public Accountant ( IQPA) to perform an annual audit of the Plan, and to include that accountant’s report as part of the Plan’s annual report. An exemption to this requirement has been given to small pension plans with less than 100 participants generally, due to the cost of an annual independent audit. Due to recent losses to small plans because of fraud or theft on the part of Plan Fiduciaries, the Department of Labor has come under pressure to take steps to insure that small plans assets are protected. In order to take steps to protect the participants of small plans, while not causing undue costs on small plans, the following ... Read More..