CARES Act changes 401K loan rules

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress issued the CARES Act, which expands eligibility and alters the regulations regarding 401(k) loans. The CARES Act allows you to borrow 100% of your account balance up to $100,000 (less any previously outstanding loans), which is a significant increase from the $50,000 limit prior to the act. Currently, …

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Cost of living adjustments for 2020 for retirement plans and IRA

The tax law places limits on the dollar amount of contributions to retirement plans and IRAs. IRC Section 415 requires the limits to be adjusted annually for cost of living adjustments. Don’t miss: Important information when changing plan administrators The below table shows a three-year comparison (starting in 2020) of certain retirement plan limits. Plan …

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Locating lost 401k plan participants

For many employers, finding lost 401k plan participants can seem an impossible task. Nevertheless, employers are required to take all reasonable actions to locate a missing participant. Employers have a fiduciary obligation under ERISA to locate or “make a reasonable effort” to find a missing participant of a terminated defined contribution plan. Failing to do …

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Fiduciary responsibilities for an employee benefit plan

Many companies offer retirement plans, which is both rewarding and challenging. Managing a plan requires certain actions and involves certain responsibilities that make the person or entity performing them a fiduciary. Fiduciaries play an essential role and are subject to standards of conduct because they act on behalf of the participants. Their responsibilities include: Acting …

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IRS compliance testing: 415 limits testing

To ensure employee benefit plans do not violate certain standards that the DOL and IRS believe are important, plans are subjected to annual compliance tests. These tests are designed to make sure the amounts employees are deferring is within certain maximum limits and that plans are not operating in a manner that discriminates against certain …

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Understanding automatic enrollment in your 401(k) plan

We’ve all been there: starting a new job. The amount of information and paperwork can be overwhelming. It’s no surprise that reading up on and enrolling in a 401(k) plan isn’t at the top of everyone’s priorities. What may be surprising is that about half of all households age 55 and older have no 401(k) …

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A guide to ERISA fidelity bonds for employee benefit plans

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) has rules and regulations in place to protect private sector employee benefit plans from risk of loss. ERISA section 412 and related regulations (29 C.F.R. § 2550.412-1 and 29 C.F.R. Part 2580) require that fiduciaries and any person who “handles funds or other property” of an employee benefit …

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Voluntary fiduciary correction program

Throughout the administration of 401k plans, employers may at times run into fiduciary violations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). If this happens, you may be eligible to apply for voluntary relief from enforcement actions, including assessments of civil monetary penalties through the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (“VFCP”). The VFCP was designed to …

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Importance of Minutes as Evidence of Corporate Governance

Corporate governance is how a company polices itself and employees. It is intended to increase the accountability of the company, serve as a preventative measure, and help build transparency and trust. Corporate governance as it relates to plan administrators involves meeting your fiduciary responsibilities. Under the Employee Retirement Income Savings Act (ERISA), meeting your fiduciary …

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