Warning Signs Your Employer May be Misusing Your 401(k) Savings

I was browsing the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) website the other day and I came across an interesting article that talked about employer abuse of employees’ 401(k) contributions. I haven’t really thought much about this before as I have fortunately always worked for employers that I feel are trustworthy and ethical. However, the …

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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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DOL Guidance on Missing Participants

In a previously issued blog titled “Have lost Participants in your 401(k) Plan?”, the topic of missing participants was addressed prior to the Department of Labor (DOL) issuing any guidance on fiduciary responsibility of plan sponsors in that respect. The guidance issued by the DOL in Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) No. 2014-01, outlines fiduciary duties …

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Fiduciary Duty Advice for 401(k) Plan Sponsors: The Small Things Matter

When 401(k) Plan Sponsors end up in trouble, it is often due to small things that were neglected or not given proper attention. Small mistakes can lead to big problems when it comes to the breaching of fiduciary duty. Below is a summary of mistakes made by Plan Sponsors that can lead to future problems …

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Plan Corrections Necessary? DOL Corrections Program

If your company offers an employee benefit plan that is subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), for example a 401(k) plan, it is important to remember that your Company is responsible for ensuring that the Plan and any plan transactions comply with the fiduciary standards ERISA has created. Even though a Plan …

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Have Lost Participants in Your 401(k) Plan?

Lost participants are those participants who have balances in the plan (unclaimed benefits) or have been distributed an amount from the plan (uncashed benefit checks) and cannot be located. The participant either doesn’t know or forgot they have a balance since their employment was terminated or have relocated with no forwarding address. The participant’s account …

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ERISA Accounts – Plan Assets?

Employee benefit plans are seeing increased regulation and disclosure of plan fees including new disclosures of compensation paid to covered service providers in July 2012 (http://www.hhcpa.com/blogs/employee-benefits-audit-services/fee-disclosure-regulations-for-covered-service-providers/). The result of the new fee disclosures and oversight by plan fiduciaries is that record-keepers are expanding their offering of expense accounts, typically known as an ERISA Account, to …

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Leased Employees – Do You Have Them?

The Employee Plans Compliance Unit (EPCU) – has recently completed a project on how benefit plan’s are treating leased employees in regards to qualified plan purposes.  What is a leased employee you may ask? According to the IRS, a leased employee generally is an employee meeting each of the following attributes: 1) Agreement – agreement for …

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IRS Employee Plans Examination Process

In my previous blog, I discussed the oversight responsibilities of the IRS and Department of Labor over 401(k) plans, and what to expect if your plan is selected for an audit. One type of audit you may encounter is an IRS Employee Plan Examination, which is essentially designed to identify areas of noncompliance, develop corrective …

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Fee Disclosures – continued…

Remember the fee disclosure requirements that are coming soon…… well if done right, you can do this electronically.  The Department of Labor released technical release 2011-03 Interim Policy on Electronic Disclosure under 29 CFR 2550.404A-5.  This interim policy provides a safe harbor for electronic delivery of these disclosures and a means to set standards for …

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