Celebrating 20 Years in Business • 2004 - 2024

Avoid 401(k) Compliance Mistakes

As an employer, one of your main goals should be keeping your employees happy. And you can keep your employees happy without losing favorable 401(k) tax benefits, paying penalties or facing liabilities.

In the process, don’t forget to take the changes caused by the SECURE 2.0 Act into consideration, namely in terms of retirement savings plans. SECURE 2.0 might mean you have to make amendments to any of your company’s existing plans or retirement account offerings.

When you’re looking to avoid costly mistakes while keeping everyone satisfied, keep the following 401(k) compliance requirements in mind.

Amend all retirement plans

Amend all retirement plans in line with changes that are made to the law. These changes can either be statutory, regulatory or government mandated, so stay in the know and pay attention to all the possibilities.

More specifically, take a moment to revise the changes caused by SECURE 2.0, especially because over 90 changes have been enacted. There are also differences between discretionary and optional plan adjustments.

Define the details of the plans

It’s important to make sure the 401(k) plan operates in alignment with the terms associated with it. If this is not the case, negative tax consequences or a breach of fiduciary duty, if not both, may result. Properly define the meaning behind compensation and then use that definition to determine allocations for each employee’s 401(k) plan.

Confirm your employees are eligible for the plans

Always ensure that applicable employer-matching contributions as well as nonelective contributions are distributed in a timely fashion. Making sure the proper allocations are distributed to each employee is essential as well. Double-check the eligibility of your employees and whether they can reap the benefits of your 401(k) plans.

Pay attention to the administrative side of the plans

As an employer, it is important that you ensure all of your employees’ 401(k) plans are properly managed and handled. Employees who participate in work-related 401(k) plans can borrow from their 401(k) plan if that is an option you make available to them.

However, if employees choose to withdraw from their 401(k) plans, then legal compliance must be intact. Ensure your employees understand that the money they borrow must be repaid in a timely fashion in order to avoid interest fees or additional taxes.

Stay on top of tax-related matters

When offering 401(k) plans to your employees, you must file Form 5500, which details your annual returns-related information. This form must be submitted to the Department of Labor so that you can avoid having to pay significant late fees or deal with associated penalties.

Also, it’s your responsibility to deposit elective deferrals on behalf of your employees. Provisions implemented by SECURE 2.0 yield a lot of new benefits that are intentionally designed to make offering retirement plans to your employees more attractive for you as an employer.

Furthermore, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 adds to SECURE 2.0. Ultimately, SECURE 2.0 addresses a number of issues that deterred employees from participating in employer-backed 401(k) plans in the past.

Always make sure you adhere to the rules of contributing and withdrawing from retirement accounts. For example, you have to let your employees make automatic withdrawals or contributions without being subject to the 10% penalty resulting from early withdrawals.

Also, SECURE 2.0 has expanded the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System, allowing for more leeway when it comes to the correction of internal errors. New rules have been added in terms of handling overpayments as well. To see the specifics of the rules surrounding 401(k) compliance, visit the DOL and Treasury Department websites.


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Emily Gooding

Payroll Specialist

Emily is graduating in May with a BA in Business Administration from Lander University. She has gained valuable experience as a payroll intern for BMW. We are so excited to have her on the team and  to see her excel in her role as a Payroll Specialist.

Madison Capps​

Payroll Specialist

Madison received a BS in Psychology from Southern Illinois University in 2019. Since then, she has been working as a supervisor at Starbucks and earning her second degree, a BA in Administration and Accounting, from USC Aiken in the fall. She will be joining us as a Payroll Specialist and a valuable addition to our Paysmart team.

Kristen Wilby

Payroll Specialist

Before moving to South Carolina with her husband, Kristen worked as a Sales & Marketing Specialist for Premium King in Feasterville, PA, where she gained valuable experience in strengthening the brand and generating new business. Kristen also brings to our team several years of professional experience as an Executive Assistant and as an Office Manager, where she was first introduced to payroll. Kristen’s knowledge and her innate ability to establish genuine relationships contribute greatly to the team as we continue to grow and serve our clients.

Meg Whitaker

Payroll Specialist

Meg brings nearly twenty years of professional experience to the team. Most recently, she worked as a Payroll & Benefits Specialist in Centennial, Colorado. She and her husband recently moved back to the Carolinas for his job, and we were fortunate to find her! Before Colorado, Meg worked at CPI Security Systems in Charlotte, NC, for twelve years as a Billing Coordinator and Senior Administrative Assistant. She also gained three years of experience as an HR Assistant for a law firm in Fayetteville, NC. Her expertise significantly adds to our team and benefits our clients as we continue to grow!

Rachel McClaran, EA


Rachel plays a crucial role in developing Paysmart’s core processes and procedures, as well as overall strategy within the company. Rachel graduated from Bob Jones University and is an active member of the Junior League of Greenville and the South Carolina Association of CPAs. Her desire to serve her community has led her to become involved with several nonprofit organizations and to serve as the past Vice President of Finance for the Junior League of Greenville. Outside of the office,Rachel enjoys spending time on the water and traveling with her husband and their two children.

Hina Rogers

Payroll Specialist

Hina joined the Paysmart team in August 2022. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, before moving to Greenville, SC. She earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education. After college, she represented her alma mater as an enrollment counselor in the Southeast and Western states. She enjoys traveling, road trips, cooking, and quality time with her family. Hina looks forward to serving your company’s needs! 

Sharon Quantrille

Payroll Specialist

Sharon has spent several years in the accounting industry and has completed courses to hone her skills as a Payroll Specialist. Her background as an educator, professional musician, and Human Resources Generalist has contributed to her communication skills, commitment to professionalism, and organizational skills that make her a tremendous benefit to her Paysmart clients and colleagues. A graduate of Bob Jones University with a B.S. degree in Music Education, a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and a Human Resources Generalist Certificate, Sharon spends her free time gardening, hiking, playing the piano, and spending time with her four adult children.

Haleigh Bates

Payroll Specialist

Haleigh joined our team in May of 2022 as a payroll specialist. Haleigh has over eight years of experience helping personal and small business clients with their financial needs. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Georgia Southern University. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children, Caden, Addie, and Mason.  She likes to go hiking, spend time at the beach, and volunteer at her church in the children’s ministry. 

Courtney Rossello

Payroll Tax Manager

Courtney joined the team at Paysmart Payroll Services in September 2020.  She was raised in Simpsonville, SC, and graduated from Clemson University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a concentration in public administration.  Courtney began her payroll career in 2011 and currently works in the payroll tax department at Paysmart.  She strives to make every client feel comfortable knowing their payroll taxes and tax returns are handled accurately and efficiently.  Courtney is also a volunteer Treasurer for a local middle school in Greenville County.  In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with special needs children, road trips, and spending time with her two daughters. 

Emily Hargrave

Senior Payroll Specialist

Emily received her bachelor’s degree in music from West Coast Baptist College. Since her college days, Emily has gained nearly 18 years of experience in office operations and project management. Emily joined Paysmart in 2017 and enjoys using her skills to support clients and the Paysmart team.

 At heart, Emily is a small-town country girl from the Midwest but is happy now to call the Upstate home, where she doesn’t have to endure harsh winters. Emily’s favorite ways to spend her free time are reading a good book, challenging herself with puzzles, and doing her best not to kill the plants in her garden.

Julie Shull

Client Success Specialist

Julie is the Client Success Specialist for Paysmart Payroll.  She joined the team as a Payroll Specialist in March of 2020. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from NC State University and earned an MBA from Gardner-Webb University while playing on the GWU women’s tennis team. After starting her career with Wilson Sporting Goods as a Financial Analyst, she took a few years off to raise twin boys until she began working for Greenville County Schools in 2014.  Julie enjoys spending time with her family and outdoor activities.

Brad Detandt

Payroll Administrator

A graduate of Northland International University with a BA in Counseling, Brad Detandt leads the day-to-day operations of the Paysmart team. He is eager to grow the firm’s client portfolio. He brings a diverse employment background in retail, manufacturing, nonprofit ministries, and business development, with
a specialized focus on team development and process improvement. Brad’s professional – and personal – mission is to “Be Great. Serve!” Brad enjoys spontaneous activities and weekend trips to state parks with his wife Miranda and his three children.

Stephen C. Stokes

Managing Partner

Stephen has more than 14 years’ experience working with individuals and businesses to meet their tax, accounting, and payroll needs. He has been the managing partner of Paysmart Payroll Services since January 2009. He is a licensed certified public accountant in South Carolina and Georgia. Stephen is also a member of the South Carolina Association of CPAs, the Georgia Society of CPAs, the American Institute of CPAs, and the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants. He has a bachelor’s degree from Bob Jones University and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. Stephen was born and raised near Atlanta, Georgia and moved to Greenville, South Carolina, several years ago. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Tiffani, and daughters, Madeline and Julianna. He is actively involved in his church and enjoys reading, sports, and other outdoor activities.