September 07 2016

Can You Be Past Age 70½ and Not Take 401(k) Distributions?

An apparently erroneous response in a recent financial advice column has inspired us to share some basic rules about Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from qualified retirement plans.  RMDs are sometimes called “70½ distributions” because that is...

August 31 2016

10 Tips for Plan Sponsors to get 401(k) Plan Ready for Year-End

Is it my imagination or do we get busier as the fall months come and go at an accelerated pace? Oftentimes, our hectic schedules result in a “priorities first” business model and our 401(k) plan gets put on the back burner.  Here are 10 tips for plan...

August 17 2016

The Nonresident Aliens Have Landed

How to treat nonresident aliens for qualified retirement plan purposes is often misunderstood.  Are nonresident aliens allowed to participate in U.S. plans?  Do you have to cover them?  And what is a nonresident alien anyway?

August 05 2016

Complete Form 8955-SSA Correctly So Future Generations Won’t Hate You

If you were to receive a notice from the Social Security Administration saying you might be owed some money from a long-ago former employer’s retirement plan, you would probably think, “Cool. I’m owed some money from a long-ago former employer’s reti...

July 08 2016

Talk to Your Doctor…Er…TPA Firm about Cross-Testing

You can’t have the TV on very long before one of those ads for the latest prescription drug comes on. “Ask your doctor whether Incredipill is right for you.”  Why would a commercial tell me to ask my doctor about a drug?  If the medicine is right for...

June 20 2016

Ten Guidelines for 401(k) Loans

 If your 401(k) plan allows participant loans, here are 10 rules that will keep you out of trouble and in good graces with the IRS and Department of Labor:

June 01 2016

What Does Retirement Plan Disqualification Mean?

Did your parents or a teacher ever threaten you with dire consequences in order to correct an undesirable behavior? “If you cross your eyes, they’ll get stuck that way.”  “Young man, this will go on your permanent record!”

May 10 2016

Four Great Things the IRS Has Done for Us Recently

Right now, I am loving me some IRS. The agency everyone loves to hate each April 15 has been on quite a roll lately with some really great news for those of us in the 401(k) and pension world.  Here’s what they’ve done this year:

April 14 2016

Use Caution When Putting Real Estate in Your Retirement Plan

Mutual funds.  ETFs.  Treasury notes.  Stocks.  Bonds.  All of these are investments commonly found inside qualified retirement plans.  How about real estate?  Is that permitted?  I am not talking about REITs or a real estate mutual fund.  I mean, ca...

April 01 2016

Read Form 5500 EZ Instructions & Work with Competent Advisors

There is some confusion in Retirement Plan Land about who needs to file Form 5500-EZ and who doesn’t, according to an IRS compliance project. Some plan sponsors are turning to the wrong people for advice, not reading the form’s instructions, or both.