News & Analysis as of

Five New IRS Private Letter Rulings Confirm IRS’s Position Allowing Retiree Cashouts

We reported in 2012 on two private letter rulings (“PLRs”) issued by the IRS (PLR 201228045 and PLR 201228051) blessing certain retiree cashout programs. A retiree cashout program is a de-risking strategy used by defined...more

Mitigating Longevity Risk in DC Plans

401(k) participants face the risk of outliving retirement assets. However, earlier this month, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department issued final regulations that make it easier for 401(k) plans, individual...more

July and August 2014 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties and excise taxes. To...more

Yeah, I know, Everyone does it

I was never part of the in crowd. Look at my picture, could I ever be in the “in crowd”? I’m always the odd one out, that’s why I dressed up as the Rodney Dangerfield character, Al Czervik from Caddyshack on Halloween. While...more

IRS Releases Additional Rulings on Lump-Sum Windows

The practice of offering lump-sum distributions has become increasingly popular among defined benefit plan sponsors looking to decrease volatility or other defined benefit plan risks. In some situations, plan sponsors offer...more

IRS updates determination letter request forms

In December of 2013, the IRS released new final versions of the Form 5300 and the Form 5310, forms which are used by individually designed retirement plans to request a determination as to the plan’s tax qualification status....more

Final Regulations Allow Retirement Plan Payments for Accident, Health and Disability Insurance

On May 9, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service finalized regulations that govern the tax treatment of payments made by retirement plans to pay accident or health insurance premiums. Under the final regulations, accident or...more

Employee Benefit Plan is Governmental Plan, Even Though Employees are Not, says District Court in 11th Circuit.

It is a deceptively simple statement: Governmental employee benefit plans are exempt from ERISA. 29 U.S.C. § 1003(b)(1). But what about an employee benefit plan of an entity affiliated with a governmental entity, but whose...more

New IRS Program for Delinquent Form 5500 Filers of Non-ERISA Plans

The Internal Revenue Service recently established a one-year pilot program that provides plan administrators and plan sponsors of certain non-ERISA and foreign plans subject to the annual Form 5500 reporting requirements...more

New IRS Guidance Regarding Same-Sex Spouses: Employer Action Needed

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the landmark case, United States v. Windsor, found the provisions of that portion of the “Defense of Marriage Act” (“DOMA”) which provided that only opposite-sex individuals could...more

Calendar Year Plans Need To File Form 5500 By July 31, 2014

Executive Summary: Administrators or sponsors of employee benefit plans subject to ERISA generally must file information regarding each benefit plan every year. This information is filed using Form 5500. For calendar year...more

How a Plan Sponsor Can Avoid Being a Deer Caught in the Headlights

The term “deer in the headlights” explains the mental state of a person who shows behavioral signs that remind us of a deer subjected to a car’s headlights where the deer is in such panic that they show no motor reaction to...more

Good News for Employers: IRS Simplifies Rollover Validation Process

To simplify the rollover validation process, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a new Revenue Ruling 2014-9 that provides guidance on the process for a trustee-to-trustee tax-free rollover between tax-qualified...more

Health Care Reform – Employer and Plan Reporting Requirements

Health Care Reform requires applicable large employers and plan sponsors of self-insured medical plans to report certain information to the IRS and employees. The first reports will be due in 2016, based on 2015 calendar year...more

A Retirement Plan Sponsor’s Guide for Selecting Their Financial Advisor

When it comes to your role as a retirement plan sponsor, outside of hiring a TPA (third party administrator), the most important plan provider that you need to hire is a financial advisor. Unfortunately, like my favorite...more

Mistakes a Plan Sponsor Should Correct Before an IRS/DOL Audit

I have been in the retirement plan business for over 15 years and I have met too many plan sponsors who don’t care that their plan isn’t being run correctly. What makes them eventually care is when they are audited by the...more

Is There An Elephant In The Room?

401(k) Plan documents can read like Russian novels. They are often long and difficult to understand, so it’s no surprise that administrative errors in operating such plans happen frequently. Common errors include omitting or...more

BB&K's Isabel Safie Discusses the Implications of IRS’ Definition of Governmental Plan Status [Video]

The IRS’ proposed rules to determine governmental plan status are impacting public agencies looking to join a CalPERS benefit plan....more

The Law Firm Review - January 2014

Future Threats That a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Be Aware Of. What might be good today, may not be good tomorrow. What was good yesterday might not be a good today. Asbestos was a great fireproof building...more

The New, New (EPCRS Voluntary Correction) Thing: 457(b) Plans

The IRS’s Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (or “EPCRS”) permits corrections, both voluntary and on audit, of a broad range of “qualification failures” — i.e., violations of sometimes arcane and complex tax rules —...more

More Post-Windsor Guidance from the IRS Relating to Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses: Cafeteria Plan Changes, Flexible Spending...

Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor decision that repealed Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same-sex spouses were not recognized as spouses for federal tax and benefits purposes. In the immediate...more

IRS Issues Temporary Non-Discrimination Testing Relief for Closed Defined Benefit Plans and Request for Comments

On December 13, 2013, the IRS issued Notice 2014-5 which provides temporary relief for satisfying the nondiscrimination requirements under Section 401(a)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) for plan sponsors that...more

New Health FSA Carryover Rule Poses Tough Choices for Plan Sponsors

The IRS has announced new, long-requested relief from the “use it or lose it” rule that will allow health flexible spending account (FSA) participants to carry over up to $500 of unused contributions to the next plan year if...more

Year 2014 IRS Dollar Limits

The IRS announced the Year 2014 cost-of-living adjustments for various provisions affecting employee benefit plans. The following table shows certain Year 2014 limits and those from prior years. ...more

IRS, DOL Rulings Clarify Treatment Of Same Sex Couples For Benefit Plan Administrators And Sponsors

The United States Supreme Court's landmark Windsor decision in June of this year invalidated certain key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act by holding that the disparate tax treatment of validly married same sex...more

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