403(b) Plans: (b) as in Boy, They Can Be a Mess

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Law is a system of rules and guidelines, usually enforced through a set of institutions. If society didn’t have laws, there would be absolute chaos. Law creates order and acts as a social mediator between people. The Wild West was a society with few laws and even less law enforcement which has inspired films until today. When dealing with qualified retirement plans, we work within a system of laws codified in the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. Without these laws, retirement plans would not be run correctly and benefits under these plans would discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees. While much consideration and concern has been shown to 401(k) plans, 401(k) plans have a step-sibling straight out of the wild, wild, west called 403(b) plans. As bad as people think 401(k) plans are, governmental and employer neglect have made 403(b) plans far greater compliance concerns.

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