Benefit Plan Sponsors Retirement Plan

News & Analysis as of

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

403(b) Remedial Amendment Deadline Finally Set

On January 13, 2017, the IRS issued guidance setting March 31, 2020 as the last day of the remedial amendment period for 403(b) retirement plans. A remedial amendment period is a time frame during which an employer can...more

Employee Benefits Advisory: White House Orders Review of DOL Final Fiduciary Rule

On February 3, 2017, President Donald J. Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum ordering the US Department of Labor (DOL) to conduct a full review of its final fiduciary rule and related guidance, anticipated to go into...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

We Have A Mistake In Our Retirement Plan - What Do We Do?

Plan Sponsors often make mistakes, many of which are inadvertent, regarding employees’ defined benefits and contribution plans. Once the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) discovers these mistakes, it could audit the plan...more

President Issues Order Calling on the Department of Labor to Reconsider Fiduciary Rule

On February 3, 2017, President Donald J. Trump issued a memorandum directing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to re-examine the DOL’s final rule on who is a “fiduciary” of an employee benefit plan under the Internal Revenue...more

President Signs Memorandum Requiring Further Review of DOL Fiduciary Rule

On February 3, 2017, President Trump signed a presidential memorandum directing the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) to examine its new fiduciary rule. (For details on the fiduciary rule, see our prior Alert, and, for...more

Presidential Memo Directs Department Of Labor to Look At Conflict of Interest/Fiduciary Regulation Again

Many retirement plan sponsors, fiduciaries and retirement plan service providers and investment advisors have been waiting and hoping for a delay in the Conflict of Interest or Fiduciary (the “COI Package”) regulatory package...more

IRS Issues First Required Amendments List for Qualified Plans

In a previous blog, we discussed the IRS’ elimination of its five year staggered determination letter cycle for individually designed plans. The IRS recently provided guidance to help sponsors of individually designed plans...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

The Final Rule: DOL Releases Additional FAQs Related to New Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released two additional sets of FAQs providing guidance related to its final rule expanding the definition of fiduciary “investment advice” (the Final Rule) for purposes of the Employee...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

Plan Sponsors Sued Over Fees on Multiple Plans and Vendors

In a very novel retirement fee lawsuit, a plan sponsor is being sued over the cost of multiple plans and the use of multiple record-keepers....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

Are Individually Designed Retirement Plans Destined to Become Dinosaurs?

The Impact of Changes to the IRS Determination Letter Program - This January 2017 will see the last regular IRS determination letter applications filed for individually designed retirement plans. After this final Cycle A...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

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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