November 02 2016

2017 Qualified Plan Limits Announced

Autumn is here, which means leaves are changing color, football season is in full swing, and it’s time for government agencies to release new retirement plan limits for the upcoming year. 

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 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.

March 23 2016

401(k) plan request for proposal (RFP) process

While requests for proposal (RFPs) are a common practice among large companies and government organizations, very few small businesses use them, especially for a 401(k) plan.  However, much can be learned from the process of an RFP and what questions...

February 23 2016

Simplicity of a SEP Comes With a Price

When you first think about it, the idea of a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan seems appealing. Qualified retirement plans like 401(k)s can be complicated and confusing.  With a SEP, you don’t need to hire a Third Party Administrator, there are ...

February 05 2016

A Gray Day: Goodbye to an Old Friend

I am registered to attend the national Enrolled Actuaries Meeting in April. I have missed this annual conference only once since 1997.  Unfortunately, a friend that has been there with me every time will not be joining me this year and may never agai...