December 12 2018

What’s the Big Change with 401(k) Hardships?

  On February 9, 2018, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 was passed into law, which ended the government shutdown by raising the debt ceiling for the next two years. Sandwiched deep within were changes to rules that govern hardship distributions in 4...

November 14 2018

Can You Have a Maximum DB Plan Without Much Current Compensation? Yes, SIR!

It is generally the case that the more compensation one earns, the bigger the contributions and benefits he may receive from a qualified retirement plan. The limits on salary deferrals in 401(k) plans, annual additions in defined contribution plans, ...

November 07 2018

Qualified Plan, IRA and Social Security Limits Announced for 2019

The IRS, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and Social Security Administration (SSA) have announced 2019 contribution and benefit limits and other numbers of interest. Many of these can be found here. Most limits and thresholds will see mode...

October 10 2018

Participant Loans: Are They Right for Your Plan?

There was a time when a good friend convinced me to go with a car lease instead of a purchase. I never had leased a car, but she pointed out all of the great reasons why leasing was better. I ran out and leased a high-end SUV for three years. When my...

June 13 2018

Deductible Employer Contribution Limits in 401(k)s and Other Defined Contribution Plans

This is the first in a two-part series about deductible contribution limits to qualified retirement plans.  The second part next week will cover arrangements that include defined benefit plans.  Contributions made by a business to a qualified retirem...

June 06 2018

Shouldn't the Discussion About Fiduciary Obligation Include the Quality of Services and Performance ... and Not Solely Be About Fees

As both a career professional in the retirement plan field and a citizen observer reading media coverage about 401(k) plan sponsors having to defend themselves from an onslaught of “excessive fee” litigation in recent years, it seems clearly evident ...

May 09 2018

Get a Fidelity Bond to Insure against Fraud and Dishonesty – and Because It’s the Law

Most qualified retirement plans need a fidelity bond.  This has been the rule for more than 40 years. Even so, it is not the kind of thing the typical plan sponsor spends a lot of time focusing on. A what bond? Fidelity who? We run across a number of...

April 11 2018

Avoid the ADP Test with a Safe Harbor 401(k) Plan

The  ADP test  for 401(k) plans is like a mosquito:  it is annoying and has no known benefit to society.  The worst outcome of a failed ADP test is you have to  refund  excess contributions to  Highly Compensated Employees .  At a minimum, you’ve was...

April 04 2018

How to Avoid 401(k) Administration Mistakes

Here’s a public service announcement for all plan sponsors of 401(k)s.  Remember the quote from "Jerry Maguire," “Help me help you?”  It’s been 22 years since that movie, but it still holds true today. Third party administrators (TPAs) are the people...

March 07 2018

If You Defer Too Much in a 401(k), Your Money Will Be Cheerfully Refunded

When an employee contributes too much to a 401(k) plan, a common fix is for the excess amount to be refunded to the employee. The technical term for this kind of refund is “corrective distribution.” At this time of year, plan sponsors may be scrambli...

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