Safe Harbors Internal Revenue Service

News & Analysis as of

Employee Benefits Developments - March 2016

Previously, many advisors had been concerned that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations on safe harbor plan designs covering 401(k) and 403(b) plans may have severely limited the abilities of plan sponsors to adopt...more

IRS Expands Ability of Safe Harbor Plan Sponsors to Make Mid-Year Changes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued Notice 2016-16, which provides safe harbor 401(k) plan sponsors with increased flexibility to make mid-year plan changes. Notice 2016-16 sets forth new rules for when and...more

New ACA Guidance Warrants Another "Checkup" of Employer Health Plans

On December 16, 2015, the IRS issued Notice 2015-87 (the "Notice"), which provides "question-and-answer" guidance regarding how various Affordable Care Act (the "ACA") provisions apply to employer-provided group health plans....more

Is Your 401(k) Safe Harbor Plan Amendment Really Safe?

Finally, the IRS has made it clear that a 401(k) safe harbor plan may be amended during a plan year, with certain restrictions, and not lose its safe harbor status, in IRS Notice 2016-16 (the "Notice")....more

New Guidance From IRS Provides Mid-Year Changes To Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans

Prior to the Internal Revenue Services' (IRS) recent issuance of Notice 2016-16 (the Notice), employers that sponsored safe harbor 401(k) retirement plans were uncertain about whether any mid-year changes to their plans would...more

At Last . . . My Safe Harbor Guidance Has Come Along

At last . . . the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finally provides mid-year safe harbor guidance. Etta James’s legendary cover of that song is fitting considering the many years that employers have waited to receive this...more

Good News from the IRS on 401(K) Safe Harbor Plans

Safe harbor 401(k) plans are attractive because they are not required to perform annual nondiscrimination testing. In the past, one of the biggest reasons not to offer a safe harbor 401k) plan was the prohibition on changing...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - February 2016

The Complete And Total Worthlessness Of The 401(k) Fiduciary Warranty - I am a firm believer in the idea that what you see is what you should get. If you’re promised the moon, anything short of it is wrong. Some of the...more

IRS Announces that Mid-Year Amendments to Safe Harbor Plans Generally Are Allowed

In January 2016, the IRS released Notice 2016-16, announcing the general permissibility of mid-year amendments to “safe harbor” 401(k) plans. Safe harbor plans covered by the Notice include those using a traditional safe...more

The IRS Significantly Increased the Availability of Mid-Year Changes to Safe Harbor Plans

Mid-year changes to safe harbor 401(k) plans have long been thought to be available in only very limited circumstances.  However, the IRS recently released guidance in Notice 2016-16 that significantly increases the scope of...more

IRS approves most mid-year changes to safe harbor plans

On January 29, 2016, the IRS issued guidance that will be of great interest to any employer sponsoring a safe harbor plan. In Notice 2016-16, the IRS approves nearly all mid-year amendments to a safe harbor plan, provided...more

IRS Allows Mid-Year Changes, Further Encouraging Safe Harbor Plans

The IRS has issued new guidance giving sponsors of Safe Harbor 401(k) plans much greater flexibility to amend their plans during a plan year. This is welcome relief from the previous IRS position that had hobbled such plans....more

What’s Safe to Change Mid-Year in Your Safe Harbor Plan?

For many years, plan sponsors, service providers, and practitioners have debated whether mid-year amendments to “safe harbor plans” are permissible given the limited available guidance on this issue. The concern has been that...more

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations Regarding Applicability of Normal Retirement Age to Governmental Pension Plans

In a change that would impact government employers with retirement plans, the IRS has proposed a rule to address whether the normal retirement age under a governmental plan satisfies the requirements to preserve...more

Employee Benefits: IRS Issues Helpful Guidance Regarding Mid-Year Amendments To Safe Harbor Plans (2/16)

In Notice 2016-16, the Internal Revenue Service issued helpful guidance to employers that sponsor so-called safe harbor 401(k) and 403(b) plans. The guidance significantly expands the types of amendments that may be made to a...more

Most Midyear Safe Harbor Plan Amendments Now Allowed

Many employers offering a retirement plan utilize a safe harbor 401(k) plan for the convenience and level of security afforded to the employer by its use. However, until recently, the IRS has not expressly permitted...more

IRS Provides Welcome Guidance on Mid-Year Amendments to Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans

The IRS recently issued Notice 2016-16 (the “Notice”), which permits most mid-year amendments to safe harbor 401(k) plans.  This is welcome news to sponsors of safe harbor 401(k) plans who, prior to the issuance of the...more

Good News for Safe Harbor Plan Sponsors: The IRS Will Allow Mid-Year Changes

On January 29, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance on mid-year changes to safe harbor plans under Internal Revenue Code Sections 401(k), and 401(m). Notice 2016-16 significantly expands the permissible mid-year...more

IRS releases guidance on mid-year amendments to Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans

A few years back, an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official opined that the IRS would not look favorably on safe harbor 401(k) plan making any amendments mid-year except in some circumstances such changing a trustee,...more

IRS Updates Guidance on Certain Midyear Changes to Safe Harbor Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued Notice 2016-16 (the Notice) to provide updated guidance as to when midyear changes to a safe harbor 401(k) plan or 403(b) plan will not violate applicable regulations....more

Safe! Mid-Year Changes to Safe Harbor Plans Permitted

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued long-awaited relief to sponsors of safe harbor 401(k) plans. For years, many employers have relied on various safe harbor plans designs to avoid generally applicable...more

Temporary Regulations Address Allocation of Creditable Foreign Tax Expense

The IRS published temporary and proposed regulations on allocations of creditable foreign tax expenditures (CFTEs).  The regulations make various technical changes to the existing regulatory safe harbor for allocating CFTEs. ...more

February 2016 IRS Issues Notice on Midyear Changes to Safe Harbor Plans and Safe Harbor Notices

On January 29, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2016 - 16 , which provides, effective immediately, significant relief with respect to the ability of a plan sponsor to make midyear changes to a safe...more

IRS Provides Flexibility for Mid-Year Amendment of Safe Harbor 401(k)/403(b) Plans

On January 29, 2016, the IRS issued Notice 2016-16, which provides much-needed guidance and flexibility for mid-year amendments to safe harbor plans. The notice provides that a mid-year amendment either to a safe harbor...more

IRS Significantly Liberalizes Permitted Mid-Year Changes to Safe Harbor Plans

On January 29, 2016, the IRS issued Notice 2016-16 that provides guidance on mid-year changes to a safe harbor plan under sections 401(k) and 401(m) of the Internal Revenue Code. The guidance provides that a mid-year change...more

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