Members of Congress Call Out the Department of Labor on its Enforcement Activities Regarding ESOPs

Twenty-seven members of Congress sent a letter to the president which, in its essence, claims the DOL is engaging in enforcement activities against ESOPs without providing meaningful guidance. This letter states the DOL “has released very little guidance on substantive issues including, for example, valuations….” It goes on to state that “the Department has also … More Members of Congress Call Out the Department of Labor on its Enforcement Activities Regarding ESOPs

As 2019 is fast Approaching, a Reminder about the Changing Rules for Hardship Withdrawals

The opportunities to take in-service distributions from retirement plans are limited prior to age 59½. An exception is hardship withdrawals. The requirements for hardship withdrawals are changing as follows: No Plan Loan– To qualify for the safe harbor for hardships, plans no longer have to require that participants take the maximum loan available before requesting … More As 2019 is fast Approaching, a Reminder about the Changing Rules for Hardship Withdrawals

IRS Guidance Indicates Employer Contributions to Retirement Plans may be Linked to Student Loan Payments

In August, the Internal Revenue Service issued a private letter ruling (PLR) clarifying that employer contributions to retirement plans may be tied to student loan payments. Since the great recession of 2008-09, student loan debt in the U.S. has mushroomed. It is estimated that Americans now hold approximately $1.5 trillion in student loans. As a … More IRS Guidance Indicates Employer Contributions to Retirement Plans may be Linked to Student Loan Payments

DOL’s New Fiduciary Rule & the SEC’s Best Interests Rule – Hopefully they will Intersect

This past March, almost 10 years after the “new” Fiduciary and Best Interest Contract (BIC) rules were first proposed, the Fifth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals vacated the rules in their entirety. The Department of Labor (DOL) elected not to appeal to the Supreme Court. Quickly following this, and to no one’s surprise, … More DOL’s New Fiduciary Rule & the SEC’s Best Interests Rule – Hopefully they will Intersect

IRS Announces 2019 Retirement Plan Limits

IRS Limits on Retirement Benefits and Compensation As published in IRS News Release IR-2018-83, Nov. 1, 2018   2019 2018 2017 401(k), 403(b), 457 Elective Deferral Limit $19,000 $18,500 $18,000 Catch-Up Contribution Limit (age 50 and older) $6,000 $6,000 $6,000 Annual Compensation Limit $280,000 $275,000 $270,000 Defined Contribution Limit $56,000 $55,000 $54,000 Defined Benefit Limit … More IRS Announces 2019 Retirement Plan Limits

Hey Joel! – Can I avoid an audit by splitting my employees into two plans?

Welcome to Hey Joel! This forum answers plan sponsor questions from all over the country by our in-house former practicing ERISA attorney. Hey Joel, Can I avoid an audit by splitting my employees into two plans? ~ Fingers Crossed in Florida Dear Fingers, There are some organizations out there promoting this approach. Here is the … More Hey Joel! – Can I avoid an audit by splitting my employees into two plans?

Don’t Let Your Retirement Plan Turn from Benefit to Liability

A retirement plan is important to your business — and to all the employees relying on it for income later in life. However, mistakes and confusion can turn retirement plans from an attractive benefit into a liability. A properly administered retirement plan avoids unnecessary costs and administrative problems, and ultimately mitigates liabilities for plan fiduciaries. … More Don’t Let Your Retirement Plan Turn from Benefit to Liability

How and When to Pay Plan Expenses With Plan Assets

Some retirement plan expenses can be paid for with plan assets — but many can’t. Which are the “reasonable and necessary” retirement plan expenses that can be paid out of plan assets? Generally, services required to maintain the plan’s compliance and administration can be paid from plan assets. Obvious examples include the annual nondiscrimination testing … More How and When to Pay Plan Expenses With Plan Assets

The Cartography of Innovation – NAGDCA Keynote Session

The opening keynote session at the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) addressed innovations around the world, and specific to this conference, how to make people take retirement seriously. Keynote speaker, Scott Wayne suggested that the more we talk of innovation, the less innovative we are. When addressing problems such as retirement savings … More The Cartography of Innovation – NAGDCA Keynote Session