Port in the Storm

Port in the Storm

Natural disasters can cause upheaval in many aspects of victims’ lives and this destruction often extends to financial matters. What should otherwise be routine compliance for plan deadlines can prove difficult in these extreme events and the government tends to grant temporary relief in such cases.The Department of Labor announced Oct. 26th that it has published employee benefit plan compliance guidance and relief for victims of recent Hurricanes Florence and Michael. The relief incl...
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Helping Hands

Helping Hands

One of the most prevalent and difficult challenges for many twenty somethings these days is the repayment of their, often substantial, student loan debt. Statistics show that the average college graduate with a bachelor’s degree left school in 2016 with $28,446 in student loan debt.  While paying off this mountain of debt is certainly a difficult task on its own, doing so and contributing toward retirement can be a seemingly insurmountable challenge. But, there’s hope. A recent ...
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'Tis the Season

'Tis the Season

It’s the time of year when Plan Sponsors scramble to deliver the myriad notices required to be given to their participants.  Even with the help of service providers, the sheer number of notices can be overwhelming.  Below is a summary of the notices that may apply to a calendar year 401k plan.Safe Harbor Notice – December 1st marks the deadline to distribute a notice of intent to use a safe harbor formula in the 2019 plan year. This notice must be provided to part...
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Hardships Get a Little Easier

Hardships Get a Little Easier

Earlier this year, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 was passed by Congress and signed into law.  While this law made several changes that impact retirement plans, one provision changing the rules around hardship distributions is particularly notable. As a result of the act, changes to the hardship distribution rules for 401(k) plans will take effect for the 2019 plan year (e.g., as of January 1, 2019, for calendar year plans). There are three primary changes to the current hardsh...
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Compliance Essentials

Compliance Essentials

At a glance, compliance tests assure that every retirement plan is producing a meaningful benefit to rank and file employees and that it demonstrates a level of fairness in the benefits those same employees get as compared to the benefits achieved by owners and other highly compensated employees. While it's not your responsibility to oversee these tasks, we think it's important to keep in mind that data requests and compliance tests are part of how clients experience their retirement pla...
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Use Benchmarking to Your Advantage

Use Benchmarking to Your Advantage

In some ways you can divide clients into two groups - those who are primarily motivated by lowest cost and those who seek value. That doesn’t necessarily align nicely with retirement plan benchmarking since it’s much easier to compare and report things that are more easily quantified than things like expertise and quality and the care of consulting that we deliver together.
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Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions

Everyday companies large and small make decisions to combine forces. In fact, in 2017, more than 15,000 companies announced a merger or an acquisition. And it probably won’t surprise you, but M&A activity spans all major industry sectors and nearly all geographies. For some, it’s a strategy for growth. For others, it’s a defensive move to survive as markets and business requirements change.
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Helpful Hints for Plan Sponsors

Helpful Hints for Plan Sponsors

Being a plan sponsor comes with a good bit of responsibility. You’ve taken the important step of hiring a third-party administration firm to help you navigate the myriad of processes that are required to keep your plan in compliance with applicable regulations. Below are a few helpful hints to keep your plan in compliance, avoid unnecessary corrections, and help to better serve your participants.Don’t ignore participant complaints – Dissatisfied employees can file compla...
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The Retirement Income Gap

The Retirement Income Gap

Many American workers participate in company retirement plans, methodically contributing to their accounts over time to fund for life after work. Beyond benefiting from employer-funded plans, retirees commonly draw from additional savings tucked away in IRAs or after-tax savings accounts as well. Add Social Security payments to the mix and it should be a recipe for a secure retirement, right? While many retirees thoroughly plan for their retirement, the rising cost of living and unforeseen...
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Four Things to Know About ERISA Fidelity Bonds and Fiduciary Liability Insurance

Four Things to Know About ERISA Fidelity Bonds and Fiduciary Liability Insurance

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act known as "ERISA" regulates 401k and most other types of employee benefit plans. Under ERISA, anyone who handles plan funds must be covered by a fidelity bond. The bond protects the PLAN from losses that may result from fraudulent or dishonest acts. Here are some important things to know about Fidelity Bonds. An ERISA Fidelity Bond is not the same thing as Fiduciary Liability Insurance.
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