Retirement Plan News

Could Your Plan’s Internal Controls Be Stronger?

When it comes to operating a retirement plan, there are a lot of moving parts. A strong system of internal controls can help keep a plan operating smoothly and in compliance with the law. What are internal controls? The IRS describes internal controls as policies and procedures designed to detect and prevent errors in a retirement plan.

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2017 Limit Announcement

The Internal Revenue Service announced cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for retirement plans for tax year 2017.

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Best Practices in Hardship Distributions

These days, many plans are experiencing an uptick in the number of participant request for hardship distributions. Much of this increased activity may be attributted to our prolonged and tepid economic recovery. As these requests are considered, you want to be sure not to act to the detriment of your plan.

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Record Retention—The “Paper” Trail

As plan sponsors are well aware, the pension law (ERISA) includes specific reporting and disclosure obligations with respect to qualified retirement plans. A lesser known fact is that ERISA also has specific requirements regarding the retention of plan records.

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Failure to Provide a Timely Safe Harbor Notice

Situation: We had a very busy fourth quarter last year and somehow missed sending out the 401(k) plan safe harbor notices for 2015. Questions: Can this mistake be corrected? And if so, how?

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What you can expect from Social Security?

Social Security benefits are funded primarily through the payroll contributions of working Americans. In 1965, there were 4.0 workers contributing for each retiree.

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Locating Missing Participants

At one time or another all plan sponsors will likely be in the position of having to locate missing participants. This may be related to delivery of regulatory required communications, distribution of assets, or communication of fund changes to active and/or terminated participants.

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Passing the ADP Test

To retain their tax-favored status, 401(k) plans have to demonstrate that they don’t discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees. Actual deferral percentage (ADP) nondiscrimination testing is an annual ritual for 401(k) plans that do not have a safe harbor design or a qualified automatic contribution arrangement and that are not SIMPLE 401(k) plans

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2016 IRS Limits

The Internal Revenue Service announced cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for retirement plans for tax year 2016. In general, the limitations will not change for 2016 because the increase in the cost-of-living index did not meet the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustments.

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Ready for RMD Time?

With year-end getting closer, you may want to review your plan’s procedures in preparation for making required minimum distributions (RMDs) to retired employees and beneficiaries.

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Four Basics Participants Need to Know

Studies show that employees who understand the need to save for retirement and the fundamentals of their employer’s plan are more likely to participate in and contribute to the plan. Receiving information on the following four topics can help participants successfully save for retirement. How many of them are covered in your employee education materials?

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Curbing Enthusiasm for Plan Loans

Situation: We allow our employees to borrow against their 401(k) plan account balance. We understand that the ability to take out a loan can reassure employees that they have access to their account assets if they need them and can increase plan participation and contribution rates.

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Target Date Funds - A Popular Choice

Target date funds are an increasingly popular 401(k) plan investment choice, especially among participants in their 20s. A study recently released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute found that the end of 2012 (the most recent data available.

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Pension Protection Act of 2006 Restatements

If your retirement plan document is a “pre-approved” document (prototype or volume submitter), every six years you are required to restate your plan. Your last required restatement was likely your EGTRRA (Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001) restatement.

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Retirement Planning Puzzle

As your trusted retirement plan consultant we are always happy to make retirement planning less puzzling. But if you’re the type who still enjoys a puzzle now and then, see if you can spot the eight retirement-related terms in our Retirement Word Search!

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IRS Stops Letter Forwarding

In the past, many retirement plan sponsors have relied on the IRS to help them reach employees who still participate in their plans and plan beneficiaries for whom the sponsors no longer have current address.

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Recent Development: Disappearing Pension Plans

As more employees consider the need for a steady retirement income payable for life, fewer employers are offering defined benefit pension plans that could provide that income.

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2015 Contribution Limits

The IRS has announced the indexed dollar limit for 2015 qualified retirement plans and employer-sponsored retirement plans.

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A Look at Plan Contributions

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Recent Developments: Workers Opt for Lump-sum Payouts

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Recent Developments: Sponsors' Top Goals

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Recent Development: Few Americans Are Financial Literate

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Impact of the Supreme Court Decision

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Recent Developments

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DOMA Decision: Assessing Its Impact

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Fees

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"Let Plan Design Show Us the Way"

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New DOL Guidance on Target Date Funds

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Using Your Match More Effectively

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Why is it so hard to take a Hardship Withdrawal

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Setting Plan Defaults

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Courageous Plan Design

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Is Your Company Match Achieving its Objective?

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Hardship Distribution for Casualty Losses

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Understanding Plan Eligibility

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Considering a Safe Harbor Retirement Plan

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Record Retention

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Auto Escalation Results

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2014-Contribution-Limits

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Be Aware of the Top-Heavy Rules

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Designated Roth 401(k) Accounts

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Handling Breaks in Service

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Recent Developments In Benefit Plans

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Stop Plan Leaks

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Using Your Match More Effectively

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Could Plan Loans Be To Blame?

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It Pays to Get Help

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Participant fee disclosure - Are you Ready?

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Prepare Your Employees For Fee Disclosure

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A DOL Audit ¨C Are You Ready?

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Are Your Employees Getting the Help They Need To Be Retirement-Ready?

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Avoid Compensation Errors

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Design Employer Contributions To Maximize Your Plan Objectives

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Enrollment Methodology Impacts Participation

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Making the Right Connection

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Plan Health: Is Your Retirement Plan Right For Your Employees?

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Understanding What It Means To Be a Plan Fiduciary

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2013-Contribution-Limits

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