Getting It Right: Your Form 5500 Bookmark

If your business offers a 401(k) plan—or another type of qualified retirement plan—you have been completing and submitting a 5500 form every year since the plan was initiated. And every year the IRS, the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation use the information contained in the 5500 to assess your plan’s compliance and its ability to protect the employees who are contributing.

Part-Time Employees in 401(k) Plans Bookmark

Part-time employees may play an important role in your business, which can be a good thing for your bottom line - and can allow welcome flexibility for your employees, too. Many companies, from manufacturing to healthcare, are reaping the benefits of a multifaceted workforce.

But, if you are offering your employees a 401(k) plan as part of your benefits package, it's not safe to assume your part-timers are automatically exempt from the plan. IRS regulations govern this aspect of retirement plans, with formulas for determining minimum age and service requirements, and other stipulations related to part-timers.

This month's newsletter spells out some of the most important need-to-know facts about your part-time team members and your 401(k) program. We hope you'll take a close look, then give us a call. We're here to help you navigate the complexities.

Determining Retirement Plan Compensation Bookmark

It might not surprise you to hear that the IRS has some fairly complicated rules governing compensation levels and retirement plan contributions. In fact, the IRS reports that a good number of plan sponsors get this key issue wrong - a mistake that can cost both time and money.

This month’s newsletter takes a look at current IRS rules to help clear some of the confusion. Find out how bonuses, reimbursements and overtime affect reported compensation. Learn about pre-participation and post-severance compensation. And because a single newsletter can’t cover a topic as complex as this one, we invite you to give us a call. Let us help you navigate the complexities and stay compliant.

A Plan Fiduciary's Responsibilities Bookmark

The term “fiduciary” gets used a lot these days; sometimes, we suspect, without a true understanding of what the term means and how fiduciary responsibility applies to our industry. It’s a corner of the retirement plan industry that can be a little murky.

The IRS is Back with Some Brand New Corrections Bookmark

When Mistakes Happen

When we work with you as your third-party administrator, we commit to keeping your retirement plan compliant and error-free. And we take that commitment seriously. But as the saying goes, mistakes happen, even with the best intentions and cross-check systems in place. And there are more than a few challenges to keeping a retirement plan on the rails and moving forward. IRS compliance is one sure way to avoid running off the track. And, believe it or not, that often-feared agency has programs in place to help plan administrators make the corrections needed to keep things running smoothly.

The Right Combination for Your Retirement Plan Bookmark

Although not a new design, there has been renewed interest in the "combo plan" as a way for higher income business owners to turbocharge their retirement savings. The term "combo plan" generally refers to the combination of a defined contribution plan (usually a 401(k) profit sharing plan) and a defined benefit plan (usually a cash balance plan). The combined benefits in both plans are tested together to allow certain owners or key individuals to receive significantly larger amounts without breaking the bank in contributions to the employees.

The Best Plan to Drive Your Retirement Needs Bookmark

Excuse me, can you tell me what kind of car is best for me? It is impossible to answer that question without getting more information…how will the car be used? What is the budget? For fuel efficiency and driving in a crowded downtown area, maybe a Smart Car is best. Hauling heavy loads of construction materials? Perhaps a truck makes sense. Have kids that need to be shuttled from one activity to another? Maybe the less-stylish but ever-so-practical minivan is the perfect solution.

Timing is Everything Bookmark

For years now, we have been hearing from the Department of Labor (DOL) about the importance of depositing employee 401(k) deferrals and loan payments as quickly as possible. While that continues to be the case, it seems that there is not nearly as much commentary about when to deposit company matching or profit sharing contributions. That is about to change with this article.

Year-End Compliance Testing Overview Bookmark

The end of the calendar year is fast approaching which means the plan year end for many qualified plans. It will be time for plan sponsors to collect complete employee data to enable their service providers to perform the numerous compliance tests required to retain the plans taxqualified status.

Hardship Distributions from 401(k) Plans Bookmark

It's four o'clock on Friday afternoon and there's a knock on the door of the Human Resource Manager's office. It's Zachary, a fairly new employee who entered the company's 401(k) plan last month. He's been deferring $40 a week into the plan, which means he has accumulated $160 by now. But last night his cable TV was shut off because he couldn't afford to pay the bill and from his 23-year-old point of view, retirement seems like a long way off.