Deferred compensation: does it work?

Former Major League All-Star Bobby Bonilla made headlines on July 1st, 2011, when he showed up on the New York Mets payroll. Most would expect a 48 year old former major leaguer to be on the payroll in the position of a coach or mentor, but Bobby Bonilla was just beginning to receive money that …

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Heard about the New Overtime Rule?

The United States Department of Labor updated its regulations governing the exemption of executive, administrative and professional employees (EAP) employees from the minimum wage and overtime pay protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Fair Labor Standards Act ensures minimum pay and overtime protection for most employees, but the executive, administrative and professional employees …

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The Importance of Knowing Your Plan’s Definition of Compensation

As I reflect on my last 401k audit season, I remember running into some operational issues that were a result of plan administrators not using the correct form of compensation, as defined by their plan document, while calculating employee and employer contributions. Using the correct form of compensation while making contributions is important because if …

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Divorce business valuations: double dip, reasonable compensation conundrums

Family Law Court magistrates often face two dilemmas regarding what monthly spousal maintenance payments should be when a business is owned by the divorcing couple and is an asset to be distributed in the property settlement part of the divorce. For purposes of discussion, let us assume that the spouse who runs the couple’s business …

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How is Compensation Defined?

Compensation in its simplest form is pay in exchange for services rendered, although gross pay includes additional forms of compensation aside from the hourly rate paid to employees. In reference to 401(k) plans, the term “pay” becomes more complex. Under the statutory safe harbor regulations an employer is required to include additional forms of compensation …

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ERISA Violations – Litigation Happens

It’s that time of year again when employee benefit plan audits are gearing up so it’s also a good time for a reminder regarding the importance of ERISA compliance. Plan sponsors who have good oversight over their plans and have annual audits may tend to not keep apprised of legal proceedings involving benefit plans. Some …

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Census Basics and Ensuring Census Accuracy

The census is prepared by the plan sponsor on an annual basis and includes the social security number, name, date of birth, date of hire, number of hours worked during the year, date of termination (if applicable), yearly compensation (which needs to meet the definition of compensation in the plan document), employee contribution for the …

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What is Compensation?

Compensation is key for 401(k)’s and other employee benefit plans. In many plans employees make contributions based on a percentage of their compensation. Other times, employer matching or profit sharing uses compensation as the basis for allocating employer contributions to employees. Compensation is generally defined as gross wages, which are subject to income tax withholding. …

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