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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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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The Importance of the Plan Document

It is important to understand how your Plan works.  Those responsible for the management and oversight of the retirement plan must follow certain rules for operating the Plan, handling the plan’s money, and overseeing the firms that manage the money.  One area that is crucial to the operation of any Plan is knowing and following …

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ERISA Attorneys – Why Have One?

One of the key reasons to hire an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) attorney is to complete a plan document that will be in compliance with all ERISA regulations. The plan document should be reviewed every two years by your attorney for any amendments that need to be made in order to stay in …

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Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment Time Again – As a Plan Administrator what questions should you be asking yourself? • First and foremost you should ensure that the Plan Document and your Summary Plan Description (SPD) is up-to-date and supports the plan administrative practices that the Plan Administration has put into place.  For example, if your Plan Document states …

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A Few Do’s and Don’ts for Benefit Plan Administrators

DO – educate your employees DON’T – try to give investing advice DO – have a trusted advisor, whether this is your TPA or an investment advisor. DON’T – rely exclusively on your TPA or investment advisor. DO – make sure your providers continue to “pass muster” (read their SAS 70 audit reports) DON’T – …

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Determination, Opinion, or Advisory Letters for Retirement Plans

The IRS issues favorable letters for various types of plans that meet the requirements of the Code.  The type of letter a Plan needs to obtain depends on the structure of the Plan.  You may have retirement plans that have been individually designed plans which are drafted to meet particular needs of the employer or …

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Hardship Distributions Requirements

If your plan allows for hardship distributions, as a Plan sponsor you are required to verify that proper evidence has been obtained which verifies the participant has immediate and necessary need for the distribution. The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has stated that certain expenses are considered immediate and necessary. These expenses include the following: • Medical …

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