Tag Archives: Defined Benefit Pension Plans

IRS Establishes Pilot Penalty Relief Program for Late Form 5500 – EZ Filings

That’s the collective sigh of relief by those business owners who, for whatever reason, haven’t filed Form 5500-EZ for their retirement plans. It’s a big deal especially for those business owners with so-called Solo-K plans. 401(k) plans were introduced in 1978, but it took a tax change starting in 2002 to allow business owners to … Continue Reading

Retirement plan beneficiary designations shouldn’t be one and done

What did Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Heath Ledger, and Whitney Houston have in common? No. not just being in the celebrity spotlight, but rather, estate planning done wrong or not at all. You can add one more celebrity to the list who Darla Mercado writes about in her InvestmentNews article, He needed a script: Actor … Continue Reading

The Impact of the Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Decision on Retirement Plans: The Cliff Notes Version

If you’re anywhere near a retirement plan, you have probably received a ton of emails from law firms and 401(k) providers on the recent Supreme  Court decision involving same-sex marriages. With the caveat that I’m not an attorney, here’s my Cliff Notes version on the June 26, 2013, United States Supreme Court ruling in U.S. … Continue Reading

“Reasonable Compensation”: A Matter of Perspective Between S Corporation Shareholders and the Internal Revenue Service

Most business owners think they are undercompensated. The Internal Revenue Service does too for many business owners who are shareholder-employees in an S corporation. Their perspective is not exactly the same. The focal point is a sometimes hotly contested issue called "reasonable compensation", and the IRS has come out the big winner.  Here’s the story. … Continue Reading

Retirement Plan Beneficiary Designations and the Law of Unintended Consequences

For many participants in a 401(k) or pension plan, filling out that beneficiary designation is a one and done activity. Then, forgotten, but sometimes changing circumstances intervene to invoke the Law of Unintended Consequences. As in a recently decided case in which a U.S. Court of Appeals held that a pre-nuptial agreement does not waive … Continue Reading

ERISA, take me back to 1982

I’m a big NBA fan, and I love those time traveling Kia commercials featuring Blake Griffin, the All Star forward of the Los Angeles Clippers.He’s in his Kia Optima and says, "Kia, take me back to 1992." There he meets himself and learns valuable life lessons. I can also imagine time traveling. Not with a … Continue Reading

EGTRRA Restatement Deadline for Defined Benefit Pension Plans Fast Approaching

While much of the retirement plan world is understandably focused on the upcoming fee disclosure deadlines, there’s another deadline that’s looming closer. It’s April 30, 2012, the date by which pre-approved defined benefit pension plans must be restated for EGTRRA. Here are frequently asked questions that should be helpful in helping you understand this important … Continue Reading

IRS announces 2012 dollar limits on contributions and benefits

Each year the Internal Revenue Service announces the cost-of-living adjustments applicable to qualified retirement plans for the following year. Unlike 2001 in which most limits did not change from the prior year, most limits increased: Following are the key retirement plan limits announced yesterday by the IRS: The 401(k) and 403(b) limit for employee contributions … Continue Reading

Book Review: THE VIGILANT INVESTOR: A Former SEC Enforcer Reveals How To Fraud Proof-Your Investments

My blogging buddy security lawyer Bill Singer on his blog, Broke and Broker, An Irreverent Wall Street Blog (always a good read), posts frequently about investment scams and scoundrels. In one of his latest, Bill writes that Feds Bust Bank Guarantee Scam. But the Feds don’t have the manpower and resources to get to all … Continue Reading

What do modern art and defined benefit pension plans have in common?

The answer is obvious. Both can be difficult and often impossible to understand. Modern art enthusiasts do have help. They can turn to the Understand Modern Art instantly Breath Spray as shown here from the website Photography Uncapped. Unfortunately, there is no such canned (pardon the pun) explanation to help communicate a defined benefit plan to … Continue Reading

Four misconceptions about fiduciary liability insurance

With the increasing spotlight on fiduciaries and their responsibilities for ERISA plans, many employers are asking themselves whether it’s time to buy fiduciary liability insurance. With personal assets on the line for breach of fiduciary responsibility, there is no “one size fits all” answer. But, if you are a fiduciary considering fiduciary liability insurance, here … Continue Reading

The other union benefit crisis: multiemployer (Taft-Hartley) plans

The political and often emotional debate over unions continues to escalate, a timeline for which is reported in the Washington Post’s article, Protests Over State Budget Cuts, Anti-Union Bills Spread Throughout U.S. The focus, of course, is public employee unions. But flying under the radar – or rather limping – are the issues affecting multiemployer benefit … Continue Reading

Federal and State agencies “T”ing up employers for worker misclassification

 A "T", or technical foul, is part of the game of basketball. If you’re a fan of the game, you know it’s any infraction of the rules which doesn’t involve physical contact such as unsportsmanlike conduct.  The retirement plan equivalent of a "T" is when an employer misclassifies a worker in situations regarding whether: The worker is … Continue Reading

“When I’m Sixty-Four”… Eh, better make that 75

When I’m Sixty-Four is, of course, one of the classic songs by The Beatles, written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon/McCartney) and released in 1967 on their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  The theme is about aging with a young man singing to his lover about his plans of them growing old together. It was also one of … Continue Reading

Geraldine Ferraro’s ERISA legacy

Geraldine Ferraro who died yesterday at age 75 was a political trailblazer.  She was, of course, the first woman named to a major-party presidential ticket when Walter Mondale picked her to be his Democratic party running mate in 1984. But while the Mondale-Ferraro ticket lost 49 out of 50 states to the Republican ticket of President … Continue Reading

IRS announces 50% fee discount to “fix” plans not timely amended for EGTRRA

 Retirement plans can get get pretty complicated also, but "fixing" one doesn’t necessarily have to be. That’s the focus of the recent IRS announcement reaching out to employers who did not timely amend their Plans for EGTRRA. Here’s the background. Most retirement plans had to be amended and restated no later than April 30, 2010 to … Continue Reading
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