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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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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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HSA vs 401(k)

HSA vs 401(k)

If your company has decided to offer a high deductible health plan, don’t worry, you are not alone. Recent studies show that an increasing number of employers have elected to offer high deductible health plans (HDHP) either to completely replace or be offered in conjunction with a more traditional Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan or Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan. When sponsoring an HDHP, employers typically offer their employees the ability to contribute to a H...
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Who is an Employee?

Who is an Employee?

Maintaining a retirement plan for your employees is no easy task. At various points during the year, employers and HR departments field participant questions, help with enrollments, deliver notices and statements, and participate in the distribution process. However, an additional responsibility, and one of the most important, is the collection of data that is used for compliance testing and government reporting. Though all of these duties are important, one task drastically affects the ou...
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Under the New Tax Law

Under the New Tax Law

After many rounds of negotiations, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 20th, 2017.  Though retirement plan limit reductions were included in many iterations of the bill, the ultimate effect on qualified plans was relatively minimal.  There are two items of note that were included in the new law affecting loan repayments and IRA conversions. 401(k) Loan Payback Period gets extended!Many defined contribution plans include provisions for a participant to take a ...
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Navigating Distributions

Navigating Distributions

The first quarter of the calendar year typically sees an uptick in the number of retirement plan distributions and participant loans. This year may be even busier than most, given the relief announced by the IRS for victims of the recent hurricanes and wildfires. Whatever the reason, participant distributions present a complex set of rules for Plan Sponsors to navigate. Participants can receive distributions from retirement plans for a myriad of reasons. While some are requested by the par...
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