One of the main goals of EBSA is to ensure that plan professionals comply with the reporting and disclosure requirements for their plans. In an effort to educate plan professionals on their responsibilities, OCA has established and participates in a number of educational outreach programs. Education is one aspect of the three-pronged approaches used by OCA to enhance the quality of audits of employee benefit plans. Educating IQPAs is a high priority. OCA's educational outreach programs are aimed primarily at plan administrators, plan auditors, and other plan professionals to heighten awareness regarding the reporting and disclosure requirements and accounting and auditing issues impacting employee benefit plans.
Published Materials: OCA participates in the development of various published materials useful to plan administrators, plan professionals, and accountants and auditors of employee benefit plans. Some of this material is published by the Department of Labor itself. Other material is published by other organizations, such as the AICPA, that request the input of OCA.
Internet: EBSA's Website contains both general and detailed information that is helpful for plan administrators, plan professionals, accountants and auditors, and plan participants and beneficiaries. EBSA's Website can be accessed via the following internet address: http://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa. Additionally, the EFAST.dol.gov Website provides information concerning the filing of the Form 5500.
Seminars/Conferences: OCA works primarily with other organizations in presenting seminars targeting plan administrators, plan professionals, and accountants and auditors. In addition, OCA personnel are often asked to speak at events sponsored by outside organizations.
EBSA Outreach Conferences: OCA, in conjunction with the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, has established a nationwide series of Educational Outreach Conferences. These outreach conferences are conducted annually in various cities throughout the United States and focus on the annual reporting and disclosure requirements for employee benefit plans, reporting and disclosure enforcement programs, and legislative changes and developments. These conferences are primarily attended by accountants and auditors and plan administrators.
OCA believes proper education is a key element in helping to ensure understanding of and compliance with employee benefit plan reporting and disclosure requirements.