401(k) and 403(b) Plans to Disclose Fees Charged to Participants

If you’re like most people, it’s not easy to determine exactly how much you’re being charged for your employee benefit plan fees.  Some expenses are disclosed on your statement, but some are not.  Instead, they’re deducted from earnings, and only the net earnings amount is shown.  New rules issued by the DOL last week will …

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Consider Giving Your 401(k) Plan a Mid-year Check

As we’re now into the second half of 2010, I thought I’d share some advice I read recently in Sunday newspaper.  Charles Schwab is encouraging individuals to perform a mid-year review of their 401(k) investments through the following simple processes: • Rebalance – Rebalancing means adjusting the allocations to the funds in your account back to …

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Defined-Benefit Plans – Recent Report of Deficits

Lately I’ve run across several articles in the news that give a gloomy outlook for pension plans, including the State of Arizona’s Public-Pensions.  According to a recent report in the Arizona Republic, tightening budgets and poor investment performance have some wondering if the funds can continue to meet their obligations to retirees.  Citing a new …

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Importance of Declining Enrollment Form

Many employers that participate in 401(k) plans do a very good job at keeping paperwork for participants who enroll in the plan. Where deficiencies occur is when the participant does not wish to participate in the plan but does not provide any additional paperwork showing they have declined enrollment.  It is important that the employer …

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Is My 403(b) Plan Required to have an Audit?

Maybe not. A new rule that affects 403(b) plans this year is the annual audit requirement. There is a lot of confusion out there amongst non-profit organizations as to whether or not their 403(b) plans are required to have an audit. There is a 2-step process in determining if an audit is required. First, is …

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Is an ESOP Right for You?

An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is a qualified retirement plan that invests primarily in employer stock.  Let’s look at a few of the pros and cons of an ESOP. Pros Contributions to an ESOP are expenses for the contributing corporation for tax purposes. ESOP companies are less likely to be disposed of by sale, …

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Streamlining of the Automatic Enrollment Process

Now more than ever it is imperative that the American family starts taking a closer look at their financial future. Now more than ever it is up to the nation to offer easier ways for the American family to start saving. The government is continuously working on finding more efficient ways for small businesses to …

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Required Federal Income Tax Withholdings from 401k Distributions

The IRS has various rules related to income tax withholding from 401k distributions. The most common rule is the minimum 20% that is required to be withheld from eligible rollover distributions. However other withholding requirements can result in either no required withholding or withholdings based on withholding tables used for wages. Eligible rollover distributions are …

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New Auditing Requirements for 403(b) Plans

The 2009 Form 5500 has been revised, and it requires many previously unaudited 403(b) plans to be audited for the first time. Historically, there have been limited filing requirements for 403(b) plans. In fact, most 403(b) plans are often treated more as individual account arrangements than a formal plan. These changes made by the Department …

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