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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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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Guide to a 401(k) Audit

As a plan sponsor you may be required to engage a CPA firm to perform an audit of your 401(k) plan. As a general rule, the audited financial statements are required to be filed with your Form 5500 if you have 120 or more eligible employees. This is the general rule and your specific situation …

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Fiduciary Responsibilities – Best Practices

Companies that sponsor 401(k) plans for their employees can sometimes underestimate the responsibilities that they should perform in order to properly monitor the plan and ensure that they are not exposed to claims that they have failed their fiduciary responsibilities. Although a significant amount of the plan administration can be performed by third-party services providers …

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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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Auto Enrollment: Improving 401(k) Nondiscrimination Results

Has your company been having problems passing your 401(k) nondiscrimination tests? One thing you may consider as a fiduciary is discussing automatic enrollment with your Third-Party Administrator. You may be wondering if the extra costs of additional employer matching contributions plus costs of additional implementation and administration expenses are worth the trouble. However, considering the …

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Basics About the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program

The Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP) is a voluntary enforcement program that encourages the correction of possible violations of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Anyone who may be liable for fiduciary violations under ERISA, including employee benefit plan sponsors, officials, and parties in interest, may voluntarily apply for relief from …

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Partial Plan Termination

If your company has had a significant employer-initiated reduction in workforce and sponsors a 401(k) plan, it is important to consider whether a “partial termination” of the retirement plan has occurred. When a partial termination has occurred, all participating employees who had a severance from employment during the period must be fully vested in their accrued …

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