News & Analysis as of

IRS Guidance on Windsor Decision May Require End-of-Year Amendments for Qualified Retirement Plans

Earlier this year, the IRS published updated guidance on the application of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor to qualified retirement plans. In Windsor, the Court held that the Defense of Marriage Act’s...more

Reminder: Amendments needed to reflect $2,500 limit on Health FSA contributions by year end

As mentioned in a prior Alert, beginning in 2013 employees’ salary reduction contributions to a health flexible spending account (health FSA) may not exceed $2,500 per plan year. This limit is to be indexed for inflation in...more

IRS Updates Special Tax Notice for Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service has issued Notice 2014-74, updating its safe harbor model notices for use by qualified retirement plans to satisfy the special tax notice requirement under Section 402(f) of the Internal Revenue...more

Are You Forgetting Something?

In This Issue: - Qualified Plan Administrative and Compliance Deadlines (based on calendar year plan) - Health and Welfare Benefit Plan Administrative and Compliance Deadlines - Are Your Plans Subject to...more

It's November – Do You Know Where Your Plan Document Is?

Every year around this time (and hopefully even earlier), many plan sponsors begin the arduous task of preparing determination letter applications for their qualified retirement plans (i.e., their profit-sharing, 401(k),...more

IRS Announces 2015 COLA Increases for Dollar Limitations on Benefits and Contributions

On October 23, 2014 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the cost-of-living adjustments impacting tax-qualified pension plans for 2015. The increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that...more

IRS Announces 2015 Cost-of-Living Increases to Benefit Plan Limits

On October 23, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service announced cost of living adjustments affecting the limitations applicable to pension and other retirement plans, in IR 2014-99. Some of the limitations remain unchanged...more

Health Plan ID Requirements and Other End-of-Year Considerations

Employers and other health plan sponsors may be focused on preparing for the commencement of the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act on January 1, 2015, but a number of other deadlines and developments are emerging...more

Final and Proposed Regulations on Hybrid Pension Plans

Plan sponsors have been granted limited relief to bring cash balance interest crediting rates into compliance. On September 18, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published final and proposed regulations for cash...more

What Employer Shared Responsibility Does Not Say

So much energy has been spent on what the final regulations on the employer shared responsibility tax and the related final reporting regulations (the “ESRR”), that some of the most significant considerations have been missed...more

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

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