Department of Labor targets retirement plans with missing participants

It’s a familiar story: you or your retirement plan’s third party administrator (TPA) need to make a benefit distribution to an ex-employee. But the employer’s records are out of date and the former employee cannot be located. Worse yet, the missing participant has attained age 70½ so the plan is required to make minimum distributions (RMDs) but cannot do so.

Can you sit back and wait for the missing ex-employee to come forward and claim their benefits? If they never show up, can you forfeit their benefits? Continue Reading

SIMPLE vs. 401(k): November 1 Deadline Approaching

Tax planning as in life can be a series of trade-offs. Whether to have a SIMPLE-IRA vs. a 401(k) plan is one of those trade-offs. And if you currently have a SIMPLE-IRA and want to change to 401(k), then you’ve got a November 1, 2017 deadline approaching.

That’s the date by which employers have to provide notice to their employees that 2017 will be the last year for the SIMPLE-IRA and will be replaced by 401(k).

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October 1 401(k) Safe Harbor deadline gets closer

That’s No. 3 in my Pension Plan Procrastination Perils Proper Personal Planning list. If you want to set up a new Safe Harbor 401(k) plan for 2017, it has to be done by October 1. A Safe Harbor plan permits owners and other Highly Compensated Employees (HCEs) to maximize their contribution regardless of how much the Non-HCEs contribute. For 2017, the maximum is $18,000 plus a $6,000 catch if age 50 or older.

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Seven ways a fiduciary can follow “Procedural Prudence”

“Procedural Prudence” is not a new concept. It’s underlies one of ERISA’s bedrock requirements. A fiduciary must discharge its duties prudently with care, skill, and diligence.

It’s the process by which a fiduciary can accomplish this. In other words, it’s the “how” a decision gets made which is what the courts have focused on in ERISA fiduciary litigation.

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Red flags on Form 5500 alert Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor to plan issues

For calendar year ERISA plans, today is the due date for filing their 2016 Form 5500 unless extended. While the vast majority of employers will meet that deadline, some will have red flags on their returns that could pique the interest of the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and the Department of Labor (“DOL”). Continue Reading

Timely reminder why an ERISA fidelity bond is necessary


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.

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