Valuable Information on 401ks, Pensions, ESOPs, Form 5500 Preparation + More

Opt-out forms: employees decline to participate in 401(k)

You’ve got your process figured out – 401(k) benefit packages are given to employees the date they’re hired, or maybe it’s when they become eligible to participate or perhaps you rely on your TPA to communicate to the employee how to enroll when eligible. You collect all the necessary enrollment forms and get participating employees’ …

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ESOP participants frequently asked questions

If you are a participant in an Employer Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) that your employer offers, then you probably have a few questions about your rights and benefits as a participant. Here are some of the most common ESOP FAQs. How do I learn more about the ESOP I am in? As a participant in …

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When is a loan considered a deemed distribution?

Many 401(k) plans permit participants to borrow from the plan and it’s becoming a more and more common practice. The plan document must specify if loans are permitted. The majority of those loans are repaid according to the terms of the loan agreement. However, there are instances when a participant defaults – and then it’s …

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Forfeitures – how do they affect you as a plan participant?

401(k) plan forfeitures occur when a participant terminates employment (voluntarily or involuntarily) prior to satisfying the required service years to become fully vested in his/her account. Required service years will vary by plan, but can be found in your summary plan description. The portion of your account subject to forfeitures is the portion that is …

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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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Why did I receive a refund of my 401k contribution?

If you contributed to your 401k plan, then received a refund for a portion of your contributions for that year, chances are your plan failed the annual IRS required compliance (discrimination) testing. This test, or series of tests (based on your plan’s elections), provide for equal tax breaks to all participating employees – not just …

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Plan document: the summary plan description

All 401(k) Plans have a plan document which contains a comprehensive detail of all the rules surrounding the Plan. This plan document can be lengthy and overwhelming and therefore, 401(k) Plans also have a Summary Plan Description (“SPD”) document. The SPD is a concise summary of the Plan’s key features, some of which include the …

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Why there are 401(k) contribution limits

It is essential to save a portion of the money you make to be able to retire at a reasonable age and have the time and money to carry out lifelong aspirations. You hear all the time to contribute to a 401(k) plan, but why are there contribution limits at only $18,000 a year? Plainly …

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Use of forfeitures in employee benefit plans

Forfeitures occur in an employee benefit plan when participants are terminated from employment, but are not fully vested in the employer’s contribution to their accounts. This can be best illustrated through an example: An employer offers a profit sharing contribution for employees participating in its 401(k) plan. The plan document states that an employee must …

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401(k) loans: back to the basics of borrowing

There are a few basic rules the DOL has established when it comes to 401(k) loans. More and more companies are including the loan option in their plans. Listed below are some basic tips on loans. Please remember to review your own Summary Plan Description for specific guidelines related to your plan loans. If your …

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