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Anyone have a pipeline to the DOL? The calculator is great, but it would be GREAT if they could allow you to input the final payment date just once. Frequently there are a gazillion entries that have the same final payment date, and having to enter it each time is a PIA. Or is there some way to do it already that I don't know about? If so,  I'd greatly appreciate someone instructing me in the error of my ways!

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There are instructions for doing the calculations yourself somewhere on the DOL website. When you have more than a handful of entries it might be easier to use a spreadsheet.

Edit: The instructions are on this page: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/employers-and-advisers/plan-administration-and-compliance/correction-programs/vfcp. Scroll down to "Performing the calculation manually" under "Examples." The interest rates and factors needed are linked at the top of the page.

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Thank you. Now another question re technical perfection and administrative convenience. When you have a bunch of entries, and piddling little amounts where the total interest correction for late deposits adds up to about 11 dollars. Do you, for each entry, actually get out the calendar and count 7 business days (taking into account weekends and holidays) and use that 7th day for your loss date, or do you just use the payroll date, and the employer pays an extra 17 cents in interest? I can't judge anyone on this, because I frankly have done the latter, but I'm wondering if I'm the only one...

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Just because 7 business days is the DOL safe harbor for small plans does not mean the loss date is automatically the 7th business day. The loss date is the date the contribution would have been deposited, absent the error. If the business normally deposits employee contributions the day after payday, then that is the loss date, even if they could have done it up to a week later and not run afoul of this rule.

What I have done in the past (not always, but when the situation calls for it) is filter a transaction history report down to just the timely deposits, add a column equal to the difference between the pay date and the deposit date, and take the mode of the values in that column. That is how many days it typically takes the employer to deposit the contributions. Then I add that value to the pay date for the late transactions, and use that result as the loss date.

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I understand your point, although I think a pretty reasonable argument can be made that the 7th day should still be acceptable as a "loss date." I'll be interested to see how other folks handle these situations, as I'm not sure it is necessarily crystal clear. I do think that using an earlier "loss date" than the 7th day cannot be faulted in the event of a DOL audit, so your method seems essentially unassailable in terms of satisfying compliance requirements.

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1 hour ago, Belgarath said:

I understand your point, although I think a pretty reasonable argument can be made that the 7th day should still be acceptable as a "loss date".

Eh, I'm going to disagree. If you do not have reliance on the safe harbor, its back to earliest date when it could have been segregated from employer assets.  You don't get the 7 days as a freebie if you don't qualify for the safe harbor.

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Thanks to you both for the input. Very helpful. As I said, I have typically used payroll date (which I know is technically incorrect) because when the interest difference is literally a few cents to a few dollars, it hardly seems worth taking the time to have to look at the calendar to determine (x) business days by looking at weekends and holidays and subtracting those days for a bunch of deposits. Seems to me everyone is better served if the participants get a cumulative deposit of some amount, rather than paying us a few extra bucks to have to take the time to count weekend days and holidays and apply it to each late deposit.

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1 hour ago, Belgarath said:

As I said, I have typically used payroll date (which I know is technically incorrect) because when the interest difference is literally a few cents to a few dollars, it hardly seems worth taking the time to have to look at the calendar to determine (x) business days by looking at weekends and holidays and subtracting those days for a bunch of deposits

Same here.  It is reasonable for many of them to do it on the payroll date, and it it is pointless to make the correction process longer (especially if the client is paying for the time) when the difference is in pennies.  

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We have made VFCP submissions indicating the number of days the employer typically uses to segregate the contributions, but added that the actual payroll date was used in the calculations, and have not had any negative comments from the DOL. 

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