Consider a typical retirement plan sponsored by a private employer. The employer is a fiduciary to the plan along with employees who individually serve as trustees or members of the plan’s investment or retirement committee.
July 31st, is of course, the due date (unless extended) for calendar year ERISA plans required to file Form 5500 for the 2016 plan year. And, as in the past, there will be many plan sponsors who must indicate on the 5500 they have outdated fidelity bonds or none. Here’s a timely reminder why they are necessary in Nevin Adams’ article, Fraud Scheme Taps into 401(k) Account for $40,000.
Last month’s Supreme Court decision, Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, upholding ERISA exemption for church-affiliated pension plans was a reminder that not all benefit plans are subject to ERISA. Indeed, non-profit employers who sponsor 403(b) plans can choose to be exempt from ERISA. But they have to tread carefully.
Or six non-alliterative reasons why waiting until the last minute to establish a retirement plan can be costly. And by last minute, I mean year-end. Continue Reading
Many 401(k) plan sponsors have wisely selected investment professionals to assist in selecting the plan’s investment menu, typically a listing of various mutual funds. Other plan sponsors may allocate this duty to company officers and other key employees.
Participant loans from 401(k) plans have never been an employer favorite plan provision. (See Now participant loans from 403(b) plans have come into focus. Continue Reading
Checklists. Doctors use them. Engineers use them, Pilots use them. A checklist is a tool to manage complicated jobs. Atul Gawande, MD, author of best seller, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, puts it this way:
Checklists not only offer the possibility of verification but also instill a kind of discipline of higher performance.
403(b) plans have come a long way since added to the Internal Revenue Code in 1958. The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued regulations governing the plans in 1964, and published a comprehensive revision that was effective January 1, 2009 that made major changes to 403(b) plans.
The effect of which was to lessen the difference with 401(k) plans. Continue Reading
Benefit plan regulators were active in the period leading up to the Federal government’s June 30 fiscal year-end. Significant new rules and regulations were proposed for retirement plans, deferred compensation plans and group health plans.
It’s not a walk on the wild side, but some of the dry regulatory pronouncements will impact most benefit plan sponsors and administrators. So, let’s get down in the weeds – here is the good news and the bad news: