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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Investment Policy – Why and What to Include?

An investment policy is created by an investment committee (those charged with making investment decisions for a retirement plan) to help establish and record its own policies in order to assist in future decision-making or to help maintain consistency of its policies by future committee members/trustees or to clarify expectations for prospective money managers who …

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Exploring Roth In-Plan Conversions

Brief History The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 authorized the establishment of Roth 401(k) accounts beginning January 1, 2006, which are post-tax retirement account. The next big thing to happen to Roth accounts was the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which opened the doors to in-plan Roth conversions. Effective immediately …

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Understanding Your 403(b) Plan

A common misconception is that all 403(b) employee benefit plans are exempt from filing the Form 5500 and an annual plan audit. Over five years ago this was true, and these plans were exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). However, beginning in 2009, some 403(b) plans are now required to …

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Determination Letters Will Not be Issued for 403(b) Plans

In April 2013, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2013-22 which provided much needed clarification regarding the fate of 403(b) determination letters. Prior to this, it was believed that the IRS would adopt a system of determination letters, similar to those issued for 401(k) plans. Revenue Procedure 2013-22 states that determination letters will not be issued …

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10 Steps to Put on Your Retirement Planning Checklist

The average American doesn’t give proper attention and consideration to retirement financial planning for a variety of reasons (excuses). Perhaps you don’t have time in your day-to-day life to squeeze in financial planning because it seems complicated and time consuming. Maybe you think it can be done next year; what’s the rush to do it …

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Thinking of Terminating Your 403(b) Plan?

The IRS provided some additional guidance of considerations when terminating a 403(b) plan in their Spring 2011 Edition of Retirement News for Employers.  It accompanies their Revenue Ruling 2011-7, which provides examples of how to terminate a 403(b) retirement plan funded in various ways and discusses when terminated plan distributions may be taxable.  You can …

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Common 403(b) Plan Mistakes

The IRS issued the following listing of recurring mistakes noted in 403(b) plan audits: 1. Failure to be a qualified employer – Only public schools and certain tax-exempt charitable organizations qualify. 2. Failure to properly apply universal availability –This occurs when eligible employees are excluded from participation. 3. Failure to limit employee elective deferrals – The general limit …

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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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