News & Analysis as of

The Headache of Plan Loans

They often say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I don’t know who said it first (I heard it was originated with St. Bernard, the saint, not the dog), but perhaps they were a 401(k) plan sponsor that had a...more

Oops, I Forgot To Distribute A Safe Harbor Notice For My Company's 401(k) Plan, Now What?

The Internal Revenue Service often publishes correction methods for common errors involving qualified retirement plan administration issues. One of the most common errors is failing to notify eligible employees of their safe...more

This is What a TPA Does and Why a Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Hire a Good One

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Deer Hunter. It’s a story about the Vietnam War and the post-traumatic stress disorder a group of friends from Western Pennsylvania who were drafted together and fought alongside...more

The needs of the Plan outweigh the needs of the Plan Provider

A family member once said: “there are a lot of yous (sic) and only one me.” That may not be the nicest and most selfless thing to say, but that’s something retirement plan sponsors should think when it comes to the needs of...more

Retirement Benefits: Which Way Does the Whistle Blow?

The Issue: A terminated employee makes a claim against the employer for damages. The company says it fired him for stealing from the company. He says it was in retaliation for reporting law violations by the employer (that...more

The Wild Wild West of non-ERISA 403(b) Plans

I always say that as bad as 401(k) plans may be, 403(b) plans are in much worse shape. It didn’t help that the Internal Revenue Service only issued regulations that governed them only 30 years too late, back in 2008. It also...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2014

The employee benefits issues to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court continue to be of great significance to plan sponsors and fiduciaries. This month we review the Court's employee benefit decisions from 2013 and also...more

Who's Checking The Person Who Checked The Boxes?

A Lesson In 401(k) Prototype Documents - Most small to mid-size employers sponsoring a 401(k) plan maintain their plan on a pre-approved prototype document. If you’re not familiar with the term pre-approved prototype...more

And still the #1 issue with 401(k) Plans

The fixation and discussion about plan expenses usually flares up when the stock market isn’t doing well. Two major corrections within a 10-year period (2000-2010) made fee disclosure regulations inevitable. With the way the...more

New Developments Impact Retirement Plans and Other Employee Benefits

Year-End Amendments - The month of December is a bit different in 2013. Typically, we mark this time scrambling to amend 401(k), profit sharing, and money purchase plans in order to maintain their tax-qualified status....more

Employee Benefits Alert: New Developments Impact Retirement Plans & More

Year-End Amendments - The month of December is a bit different in 2013. Typically, we mark this time scrambling to amend 401(k), profit sharing, and money purchase plans in order to maintain their tax-qualified status....more

Offering Self Directed Brokerage Accounts in a 401(k) Plan is a Bad Bet

I love Las Vegas and I hate to gamble, which explains why I haven’t been to Atlantic City since 1995. I love the sights, sounds, the entertainment, the food, and everything but gambling. I hate gambling because I don’t like...more

Law Firm Review - December 2013

Why a Plan Review Shouldn't Be Treated Like a Trip to the Dentist. Why it should and needs to be less painful than a trip to the dentist. When it comes to their health, people dread going to the dentist. I dread...more

Looking for Ways to Improve Your Business? A List of Things Every Business Owner Should Do At the End of the Year

As a business owner, all year you have likely been running around acting as manager, capital raiser, developer, business generator, marketer, human resource manager and administrative assistant. Given the numerous roles, it...more

Many Employee Retirement Plan Dollar Limits Adjusted For 2014

The Internal Revenue Code provides for various dollar limitations on benefits, contributions, and compensation for tax-qualified employee benefit plans. Recently, the Internal Revenue Service announced cost of living...more

How Plan Providers can deal with employees

A snippet from my forthcoming Kindle e-book, “How to Succeed in the 401(k) Plan Business (and 401(k)’d: A Life)”: I always say that the main reason that I don’t want to have employees is because I was an employee once...more

Employee Benefits Update: 2013 Year End Plan Tasks

As we approach the end of the year, employers and plan sponsors of qualified retirement plans and health and welfare plans should take time to meet various upcoming deadlines. Failure to comply with the deadlines may result...more

Final Regulations Issued on Safe Harbor Contribution Suspension

The Treasury Department has issued final regulations regarding the ability to suspend employer contributions to "safe harbor" 401(k) and 403(b) plans during a plan year. Employers that maintain safe harbor plans should...more

Mid-Year Changes To Safe-Harbor Plans

On November 14, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations modifying some of the conditions for making mid-year changes to employer matching or nonelective contributions under plans that utilize the...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

2014 COLAs For Employee Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2014 cost of living adjustments to various limits on employee benefit plans. The adjusted amounts generally apply for plan years beginning in 2014. ...more

IRS Announces Employee Benefit Plan Limits for 2014

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits on various employer-sponsored retirement and welfare plans for 2014. Although many dollar limits currently in...more

A Recent Stock Drop Case Reminds Plan Sponsors That Clear Plan Language Is The Primary Defense To Benefit Plan Litigation

Recently, a federal district court in Georgia, on remand from an appellate court, dismissed a suit brought by participants of the SunTrust Bank 401(k) savings plan alleging fiduciary breaches based on defendants’ decision to...more

A Plan Sponsor’s Guide to 401(k) Compliance Testing

My great uncle was in the meat provisions business for over 40 years. When Uncle Jack told us which hot dogs we should eat, we trusted his opinion because he knew how hot dogs were made (the company he worked for made...more

You Cannot Take The Embezzler’s 401(k) Plan Balance

Many employers know that with few exceptions a participant’s benefit in a tax qualified retirement plan is protected from the participant’s creditors. One exception is for court orders, known as qualified domestic relations...more

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