This blog commented a few weeks ago on Dan Hynes’ failure to follow through on his own legislation. Since that post, the new Comptroller revised the Annual Report to eliminate references to self-trusted funds. However, funeral homes that transferred out of the IFDA master trust will still find the report difficult to complete.

The Comptroller’s Annual Report includes a schedule called the Annual Statement of Funeral or Burial Trust Funds, which requires the trust fund to be accounted for as though it were a depository account. The schedule seeks contributions, interest and withdrawals. The schedule doesn’t contemplate the losses suffered by the trust when Merrill Lynch liquidated the fund’s insurance investments.

For transferred accounts, the IFDA made those entries to the schedule required to ‘zero out’ the account. The ‘withdrawals’ reported by the IFDA will not reconcile to what the successor trustees received.

Ms. Topinka’s staff will find audit trail from Merrill Lynch to the new fiduciaries difficult to follow when relying upon the Annual Reports due March 15th.