Category Archives: 403(b) Plans

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2010 retirement plan limits unchanged but have future implications

Most annual retirement plan limits are indexed to inflation; and because of the decline in the Cost of Living Index in 2009, many of the limits remained unchanged for 2010. Following are the key retirement plan limits for 2010 as announced by the Internal Revenue Service. 401(k) and 403(b) Deferrals: $16,500. Catch-Up Limit (Age 50 … Continue Reading

403(b) and 457 Seminar at John Marshall Law School

On October 31 and November 1, I participated in a seminar at the John Marshall Law School, “New Rules for Non-Traditional Retirement Plans”, as part of the Law School’s LLM Program in Employee Benefits. The seminar was led by attorney Bob Toth with whom I collaborated in our 403(b) Crunch Time Series. Bob is considered one of the … Continue Reading

Treasury issues new Retirement and Savings Initiatives

In a recent series of three Revenue Notices and four Notices the Treasury Department issued Retirement Savings & Initiatives to help Americans save for the future. The new Initiatives: Expand automatic enrollment in 401(k) and other retirement savings plans Create easier ways to save tax refunds Allow unused leave to be converted to 401(k) savings … Continue Reading

2009 Form 5500 not just about new disclosures – it’s also about electronic filing

Form 5500 isn’t just transforming disclosures as fellow blogger, Bob Toth, explained in his post 2009 Form 5500 Schedules A and C Will Create New Fiduciary Burdens For Plan Sponsors. The reporting road will be also be different. Beginning with the 2009 plan year, the Department of Labor (DOL) will require retirement and welfare plans … Continue Reading

Wall Street: “If it can be broke then it can be fixed”

That’s Bloc Party, a British indie rock block pictured above. And If it can be broken then it can be fixed is the opening line from Pioneers, one of the tracks on Silent Alarm, their 2005 debut album. The album was crafted by chief lyricist Kele Okereke to examine the feelings and hopes of young … Continue Reading

QDROs: The view from 30,000 feet

  If you’ve been around retirement plans for any length time, you’ll know that the acronym QDRO (one of many in the benefit business) stands for Qualified Domestic Relations Order. It’s a court order that creates a right for an alternative payee to receive some or all of a participant’s benefits in a qualified retirement … Continue Reading

The EGTRRA Restatement Series, Part 4. The Summary Plan Description, electronically speaking

This is the fourth in our EGTRRA Restatement Series, the purpose of which is to help retirement plan sponsors handle the required amendment and restatement of their retirement plans. Last week, I discussed plan document choices. Today’s post is about the Summary Plan Description ("SPD") and its distribution requirements – electronically speaking. For many retirement … Continue Reading

You say “independent contractor”, they say “employee”

It’s the age-old story: worker classification, or rather misclassification. I wrote about it this past February, Independent Contractor or Employee? Employee Classification Still A High Priority Enforcement Matter.That was about the IRS auditing employers to determine whether those "independent contractors" were actually employees with required tax withholdings and possible inclusion in benefit plans. I cover … Continue Reading

ERISA: the new meeting place for the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission

If you provide retirement plan services, here’s a "must read" blog post by our fellow blogger, Bob Toth, Of Counsel to Giller and Calhoun. Bob writes about The SEC’s and DOL’s Cross Agency Retirement Plan "Compliance Waltz". Bob’s post also includes a link to his article of the same name that appears in the May-June … Continue Reading

“I asked you what time it was, not how to make a watch”

Every once in a while I’ll start to wander off into “Pensionspeak” when I’m talking to a client. And when I do, I’ll catch myself by remembering what one of our important business partners once told me when I started to get too technical. Or even technical at all depending on the audience. He told … Continue Reading

Giller and Calhoun launch new blog, the Business of Benefits

We welcome a new blog to the employee benefit blogging community. It’s the Business of Benefits, the focus of which is issues facing insurance companies, financial service providers, and plan sponsors. It’s being published by the law firm of Giller & Calhoun. The named partners are Evan Giller in New York City and Monica Dunn Calhoun, Denver. Bob Toth in Ft. Wayne, Indiana … Continue Reading

403(b) compliance picture getting clearer

The new 403(b) compliance picture seems to be getting clearer. Much needed light was provided on the new regulations at the February 6, 2009 Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Joint Council Meeting in Baltimore attended by senior IRS officials and tax practitioners.   Attorney Bob Toth, of counsel at Giller and Calhoun was at that meeting. Bob, … Continue Reading

What Americans want from a retirement plan

With a new Administration and a new Congress about to take over, we’re going to start to see the think tanks and not-for-profit organizations issuing research and recommendations regarding public policy for retirement plans. One of those organizations is the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), a not-for-profit organization whose stated mission is to “encourage the development of public … Continue Reading

Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo: The 2008 Retirement Plan Year in Review

That’s the title of Sergio Leoni’s 1966 movie considered the greatest of the Italian spaghetti westerns. We know it in this country, of course, as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. The movie starred Clint Eastwood (the Good), Eli Wallach (the Bad), and Lee Van Cleff (the Ugly). And just like the movie,  the year 2008 had The Good, The Bad, and … Continue Reading

December 2008 Client Briefing: FAQs on Fiduciary Liability Insurance

A Risk Management Tool for Fiduciaries in A New Retirement Plan Environment Updated for the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PDF) Introduction My last post was a year-end ERISA fidelity bond reminder. ERISA does not require liability protection; the only mandatory insurance is an ERISA Fidelity bond to protect the plan assets from losses due to misuse or … Continue Reading

Plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a 403(b) relief it is: IRS Notice 2009-3

The Internal Revenue Service provided relief to 403(b) plan sponsors today in the form of  Notice 2009-3. The Notice states that the IRS will not treat a 403(b) plan as failing to satisfy the requirements of Section 403(b) and the final regulations during the 2009 calendar year, provided that: On or before December 31, 2009, the plan sponsor has adopted a … Continue Reading

403(b) Crunch Time Series #6: Timing of Depositing Employee Contributions

This is the sixth in our 403(b) Crunch Time Series, the purpose of which is to help 403(b) plans get ready for the January 1, 2009 compliance deadline for the new Internal Revenue Service regulations. On Monday, Bob Toth , our guest blogger, discussed 403(b) Service Agreements: “Harmonizing” the 403(b) Plan. Now it’s my turn, … Continue Reading

403(b) Crunch Time Series, #4: The Change in 403(b) Universal Availability

This is the fourth in our 403(b) Crunch Time Series, the purpose of which is to help 403(b) plans get ready for the January 1, 2009 compliance deadline for the new Internal Revenue Service regulations. On Monday, Bob Toth , our guest blogger, wrote about Terminating Tax Deferred Annuity Plans. Now it’s my turn, and … Continue Reading

403(b) Crunch Time Series #2: Complying With The 403(b) Contribution Limits

This is the second post in our 403(b) Crunch Time Series, the purpose of which is to help 403(b) plans get ready for the January 1, 2009 compliance deadline for the new Internal Revenue Service regulations. On Tuesday, Bob Toth , our guest blogger, wrote about Avoiding Problems with Custodial Accounts. Now it’s my turn, … Continue Reading
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