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No Fooling – Don’t Forget to Take Your First “Required Minimum Distribution” by April 1st

Generally, if you turned 70 ½ during 2014 and have a traditional IRA or other qualified retirement plan, you will need to take your first required minimum distribution (RMD) by April 1 of this year. This rule applies whether...more

A Good Retirement Plan Doesn’t Grow On Trees

It doesn’t grow on trees, it’s not in the water, and it doesn’t happen by accident. It didn’t happen overnight, it didn’t happen in a vacuum, and it certainly didn’t come out of thin air. A good retirement plan takes a lot of...more

Recent Guidance on Charter School Participation in State Pension Plans

In Illinois, charter school teachers and certain administrators are eligible to participate in the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) and the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF). Both of these pension systems are...more

Can Retirees Use HSAs?

Yes – and no. A Health Savings Account (HSA) is like an IRA but for the payment of medical expenses instead of retirement income. HSA contributions are not taxed, and like IRA accounts, they belong to the employee. ...more

Congressional Report Takes Aim At Nonqualified Deferred Compensation

A recent report from ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden and the Democratic staff on the Senate Finance Committee indicates that nonqualified deferred compensation plans continue to be in the crosshairs of potential tax reform...more

Massachusetts Unveils Limited Amnesty Program

Beginning March 16, 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue is offering an aptly described “limited” amnesty program for taxpayers with certain tax liabilities. Technical Information Release 15-2....more

Another 10 Wrong Ideas That Plan Sponsors Have About Their Retirement Plans

Most of the time, sequels suck. Except for perhaps Terminator 2 and The Godfather Part II, most sequels are like such bombs as Caddyshack II and Beyond the Poseidon Adventure. Despite this dislike of sequels, giving Plan...more

2014 Pension Plan Regulatory Highlights

The start of the new year is as good a time as any to look back at some of the employee benefits regulatory developments of 2014 that were not previously covered in this column. Originally published in Employee Benefit...more

Companies Should Monitor Deferred Compensation Arrangements For Section 409A Compliance Purposes

Given the complexity of the rules under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code, which govern the timing and taxation of payments made under non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements (NDCAs), companies are encouraged...more

The Top 10 Wrong Ideas That Plan Sponsors Have About Their Retirement Plans

People can get the wrong idea at times. I’ll never understand what Fred Silverman was thinking when he made Jean Doumanian the successor to Lorne Michaels as Executive Producer of Saturday Night Live or when he imported Pink...more

IRS Issues Further Revisions to Form 8938 Instructions

As part of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) passed by Congress in 2010, individual taxpayers are now required to report “specified foreign financial assets” on an information reporting form entitled Form 8938,...more

When you get a call about your Plan, call an ERISA Attorney

It’s unfortunate, but the facts are that most people don’t respond to a complaint until there is a letter from an attorney. Service providers and companies hate correspondence from attorneys because that suggests litigation....more

Reminder: Filing Deadline is Near for Qualification Amendments to Puerto Rico Qualified Retirement Plans

The annual deadline to file plan qualification amendments with the Puerto Rico Treasury (the "Hacienda") for most qualified retirement plans that cover Puerto Rico residents is fast approaching: for plan sponsors filing taxes...more

Australian Tax Alert: The Meaning Of "Creditable Purpose" In The Australian GST Act

Justice Davies recently handed down her decision in the case of Rio Tinto Services Ltd v FCT [2015] FCA 94, reported at 2015 WTB 7 [174]. This important test case considers the meaning of the expression "creditable purpose"...more

Week in Review - March 2015

Minnesota Budget Forecast/Surplus - Management and Budget shows the State’s previously forecast $1.038 billion surplus for the next biennium has grown to $1.87 billion. Governor Mark Dayton said he will propose using...more

Monthly Benefits Alert - February 2015

Health & Wellness Plans - Anthem Data Breach Requires Plan Sponsor Attention - On January 29, 2015, Anthem Inc., one of the largest managed health care companies in the country, disclosed that the sensitive...more

DOL Sends Proposed Conflict of Interest Rule to OMB for Review

The White House backs a “fiduciary rule” for IRAs. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has sent its proposed “Conflict of Interest Rule-Investment Advice” to the president’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for...more

Human Emotional Mistakes A Retirement Plan Provider Should Avoid

We are all human unless someone of us are cyborgs sent by Cyberdyne Systems in the future. Seriously, humans are controlled by emotions and everyone knows that after going through their teenage years. Human emotion can make...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: $42,268. The projected average taxable income of all tax returns in 2015, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation’s Feb. 27 report on “Fairness and Tax Policy.” The report also projects that the top...more

It’s The Plan Sponsor’s Responsibility, Just Because

I have been a fan of Sesame Street since I was a child and again as an adult when my children were younger. It’s a brilliant show that has educated millions of kids in the past 45 years. One of the great events in Sesame...more

White House Budget Recommends Elimination of in-Plan Roth Rollovers of After-Tax Contributions

As reported, the Internal Revenue Code currently permits a plan design that allows plan participants to convert non-Roth after-tax contributions to Roth contributions through in-plan Roth rollovers. This design would allow a...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. February Vacation Results in Relatively Quiet Week in Augusta, Except the Tax Package...more

Upcoming New Rules for New Category of PEO

The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 ("TIPA") was signed into law by President Obama in December of last year. One of the changes made by the Act (Section 206) was a change in the Internal Revenue Code to create – and to...more

Employers: Properly Administer Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans, or You May Be Held Liable to Participants for Adverse Tax...

An employer’s liability to retirees for “improper” FICA tax withholding illustrates the importance of diligent administration of nonqualified deferred compensation plans. In the recent case of Davidson v. Henkel Corp.,...more

White House Budget Proposal Includes Many Retirement-Related Provisions

On February 2, 2015, the White House released its Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, which includes a number of tax code changes targeting retirement savings. If enacted as presented, the proposals would have a significant effect on...more

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