FAQS About Retirement Plan Hardship Distributions

Typically, retirement plan sponsors intend for the funds contained in a retirement plan to be held until the participant retires. Under some circumstances, a participant may need the money now. Some retirement plans – like 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, and 457(b) plans – allow participants to receive hardship distributions, though they are not required to do so. In this article, we will examine some common questions Read More

Rising Penalties for Non-Compliant Employee Benefit Plans

The use of employee benefit plans is so widespread that it may be easy to become complacent about developing and maintaining them. However, plan administrators and employers who understand the rising penalties for non-compliant employee benefit plans may be able to avoid being an EBSA statistic. The Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) is tasked with finding and addressing ERISA violations. In 2017, the Read More

Auto Portability Programs: Fiduciary Responsibilities Under New DOL Guidelines

Plan sponsors and employers face an issue with the portability of employees’ retirement plans. When the employee leaves, but doesn’t take their retirement fund, the plan often transfers the funds to an IRA. After five years, the company administering the retirement account automatically sends the IRA funds to the retirement account sponsored by the employee’s new employer, if it can be found.  Such auto portability Read More

New Tax Bill May Offer Big Changes for Retirement Savings Plans

A bill introduced by GOP lawmakers proposes big changes for taxpayers and retirement savings plans. The Retirement Savings and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018 has received bipartisan support and promises major impact for taxpayers. In fact, there are nine key areas that affect taxpayers’ retirement planning. Open Multiple Employer Plans.   The new bill would remove the “one bad apple” rule that penalizes an entire Read More

A Brief Comparison of MEWA and AHP Requirements

In the field of employee benefit plans, programs may be similar except for a few key factors. Multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs) and Association Health Plans (AHPs), for example, differ in the areas of development, maintenance, and compliance. Development When forming a MEWA or an AHP it is important to consider the following: ERISA. Not all plans are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Read More

IRS Hands Employers Relief from Once-in-Always-In Violations

Employers with tax-exempt Section 403(b) plans are held to a “universal availability” eligibility rule that requires them to allow all employees to make employee elective deferrals to their plan. In the past, there has been confusion about whether part-time employees are permitted to make elective deferrals. Some employers inadvertently violated the rights of certain part-time employees by misinterpreting a policy Read More

New Rules Address Religious and Moral Objections to Certain Preventive Services Mandated Under the ACA

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers Americans new opportunities to find and purchase health care insurance. Employers with 50 or more full time employees (and full-time equivalents) are required to offer health insurance to their employees. However, some non-governmental entities object to providing contraceptive care through employee benefit plans on religious or moral grounds. New rules recently released by the Read More

12 Reasons to Comply with COBRA

Having health insurance is critical in this time of rising medical costs. Many employees enjoy access to insurance through employer-offered plans. But what happens when employee is terminated? The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986, as amended (“COBRA”)  provides relief to employees in danger of losing health insurance due to a qualifying event like the loss of a job. However, that relief comes at Read More

Adding a Student-Loan Benefit Program to Your Company’s 401(k) Plan

Saving for retirement is an important consideration for most Americans. Social Security retirement payments are sometimes not enough to fully fund retirement, so many employers offer retirement plans to their employees. For example, a company might establish a 401(k) then match a certain percentage of deposits made by employees. However, many workers find themselves caught between paying down student loan debt and Read More

ACA Reporting Failures Can Lead to Stiff Penalties

The Affordable Care Act, enacted in March 2010, was intended to make affordable health insurance possible for millions of Americans. However, with that expanded access came the need for new and complicated reporting by employers. As with many government programs, ACA reporting failures happen, bringing with them stiff penalties for violators.       ACA REPORTING REQUIREMENTS The number and type Read More