How do you audit a 403(b) in-kind distribution? There is no financial transaction, no cash changes hands, there is no change in investments. It really is only a nominal change in the records of the insurer. Yet, somehow, GAAP requires that the “transaction” be verified. There is no answer, yet, to this question, which means the industries (that is, auditors, insurers, and lawyers) will be pressed for finding a standardized approach for bringing audit certainty to this process. It even becomes a bigger issue than 403(b)s: QLACs and other distributed annuity contracts are all able to be distributed as “in-kind” distributions from 401(a) plans as well, and there is no acceptable “recordkeeping” method to audit.
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 The DOL’s release of FAB 2009-2 may well more significant than I took at first glance. Soon after blogging on the release of the FAB and how it sets us up to develop a more permanent solution, Ellie Lowder and my colleagues Evan and Monica let me know of a different view: they believe that