Benefit Plan Sponsors 401k

News & Analysis as of

IRS Views on Self-Certification of Financial Hardship

In today’s virtual world, we suspect most plan sponsors rely upon the self-certification process to document and process 401(k) distributions made on account of financial hardship. The IRS has recently issued examination...more

Don’t hire relatives as your plan providers

I have some simple rules to live by. I never bet on the Mets, eat at a place called Mom’s, play cards with a guy named Doc, or do business with family. Yet I have come across so many financial advisors who bemoan to me...more

Advisors Advantage - February 2017

How You Can Stand Out From The Crowd As A Retirement Plan Advisor. It would be a detriment to focus only on this stuff. There are lots of financial advisors who claim they handle retirement plans, but there are...more

New IRS Memorandum Is a Hardship Act to Follow

In an internal memorandum to its examination agents dated February 23, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance regarding the types of documentation that agents should request in verifying hardship withdrawals...more

Guidance to IRS Examiners on 401(k)/403(b) Hardship Withdrawals

Substantiation Requirement Clarified for Examination Purposes - Over the past few years, employers and plan administrators have frequently asked how hardship withdrawal requests can/should be substantiated from 401(k)...more

401(k) Plan Design and its Effect on Employees’ Retirement Readiness

Most American adults are concerned that they will not be able to retire or will outlive their retirement income. In fact, research shows that Americans are not saving enough for retirement. This retirement crisis is, in part,...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - February 2017

Why an Employer Should Sponsor A 401(k) Plan. Lots of good reasons. As an employer, a big reason for setting up a retirement plan is because it's an employee benefit and it can be used to recruit and retain...more

Sometimes Plan Sponsors just want to throw you off their “scent”

When you meet retirement plan sponsors just at different networking events and they find out that you’re a retirement plan provider, they may volunteer that their retirement plan is in perfect shape. As we know as retirement...more

Education is an important part of the fiduciary process

Advisors ask me all the time of the role of education in participant directed 401(k) plans. Participant directed 401(k) plans that are governed under ERISA §404(c) offer the plan sponsors liability protection based on a...more

The Problem With Loans

When I draft a new 401(k) plan for a client, I’ll recommend a loan provision even though it can be an administrative headache. The reason that I add it because I think participants need to have access to money if in their...more

Being a Plan Sponsor is all about the Process

Imagine a diet where it doesn’t matter how much weight you lost. Imagine a golf game that wasn’t about your score. Imagine about a job and not how much money you make. Being a plan sponsor isn’t about a specific result, it’s...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - January 2017

Concepts You May Not Be Aware Of As A 401(k) Plan Sponsor. Quite a few things out there. As a child, I was never taught the birds and the bees. I was actually handed some cartoon book from my parents when I was...more

Newly Proposed IRS Rules Permit the Use of Forfeitures for QNECs and QMACs

On January 18, 2017, the IRS issued proposed regulations that expand the permitted uses of forfeitures in a 401(k) plan. Under the proposed rules, the definitions of “qualified nonelective contributions” (QNECs) and...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2017

Editor’s Overview - In 2016, we saw a considerable uptick in the number and variety of excessive fee lawsuits commenced against plan fiduciaries of defined contribution plans. We begin the year by taking a look at these...more

IRS Relaxes Rules on Use of Forfeitures to Fund Safe Harbor Contributions and QNECs to 401(k) Plans

The IRS recently issued welcome guidance for sponsors of 401(k) plans. On January 18th, the IRS issued proposed regulations that permit forfeitures to be used to fund the employer’s safe harbor contributions, qualified...more

Important Changes to the IRS Determination Letter Program for Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has modified procedures governing favorable determination letters for individually designed qualified retirement plans, including 401(k), profit sharing, defined benefit, and cash balance...more

Don’t blame the 401(k)

I’ve seen the articles that pop up about how 401(k) plans are somehow to blame for the lack of retirement savings or their replacement of defined benefit plans as the savings vehicle for private employers. I don’t like to...more

Automatic enrollment is growing in 401(k) plans

The Plan Sponsor Council of America’s newest annual report shows that in 2015, 25.5% of small 401(k) plans offer automatic enrollment. In their survey, small plans are considered plans with less than 50 participants....more

Now You Can Be Up to Your QNEC in Forfeitures

On January 18, 2017, the IRS issued proposed regulations allowing amounts held as forfeitures in a 401(k) plan to be used to fund qualified nonelective contributions (QNECs) and qualified matching contributions (QMACs). This...more

Fiduciary Rule will clear out the Alphabet Soup of Share Classes

When it comes to mutual funds offered under 401(k) plans, I’ve always believed that the multiple share classes was something out of an alphabet soup. I’m not an advisor, so I don’t know how or why there is so many share...more

A Poet's Guide to Employee Benefits Law - 2017 Edition

The employee benefits world, with all its legal rules and regulations, is viewed by human resources people, financial people, and for that matter most lawyers, as forbidding territory - the "darkest forest" from the Wizard of...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - December 2016

The Potential Liability of Participant Directed 401(k) Plans. There is a liability lurking there. As children, we were told the story of Jack and The Beanstalk. Jack sells a cow for some "magic beans" and his...more

Your Business Can Fall A Lot Quicker That It Rose

One of the business philosophies I learned while working for third party administrator is that it’s a lot easier to lose a client than to gain one. I know that first hand, seeing bad service that gets plan sponsors to fire...more

Best Practices for 401(k) Plan Administration Includes Using Forfeiture Accounts by Year-End

Since at least 2010, the IRS has publicly stated that forfeitures must be used by the end of the plan year in which the forfeiture occurred, or as soon as possible thereafter. Some IRS pre-approved prototype or volume...more

ERISA 404(c) lineup are a much bigger headache

When I first started in the business in 1998, daily valued, participant 401(k) plans were starting to become a big deal because the technology caught up with the idea of plan participants directed investments and that their...more

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