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Though some employers may not think so, the truth is that in today's world 401(k) plans are subject to fraudulent activity and that the often-overlooked retirement plan can be the perfect place for it to occur. For example, in late 2017, several news outlets reported a scheme targeting individual 401(k) accounts.
With the future of Social Security in question, it is becoming ever increasingly important for workers to self- prepare for post-retirement living. Studies show that approximately one out of every three eligible workers choose NOT to participate in their employer-sponsored 401(k) plan.
In 2018, the 401(k) plan celebrated its 40th birthday! Though extremely popular today, 401(k) plans came about almost by accident. IRC Section 401(k) was passed into law as part of the Revenue Act of 1978 and was included to limit executive compensation.
If your plan offers a Roth 401(k) provision, your participants might ask, “Which one is better for me?” As the availability of Roth options in 401(k) plans and Roth contribution percentages continue to rise, it’s important to be able to guide participants in making the right choice.
Qualified plans must perform annual testing to be sure that the plan doesn’t unfairly discriminate in favor of "highly compensated employees" (HCEs) or exceed the contribution limits set forth by the IRS. Depending on your plan provisions, it isn’t just one calculation, but a series of tests that show that your plan is not discriminatory. If your plan is audited, the auditor is looking for proof of this compliance.
Natural disasters can cause upheaval in many aspects of victims’ lives and this destruction often extends to financial matters. What should otherwise be routine compliance for plan deadlines can prove difficult in these extreme events and the government tends to grant temporary relief in such cases.
The Department of Labor announced Oct. 26th that it has published employee benefit plan compliance guidance and relief for victims of recent Hurricanes Florence and Michael.
One of the most prevalent and difficult challenges for many twenty somethings these days is the repayment of their, often substantial, student loan debt. Statistics show that the average college graduate with a bachelor’s degree left school in 2016 with $28,446 in student loan debt. While paying off this mountain of debt is certainly a difficult task on its own, doing so and contributing toward retirement can be a seemingly insurmountable challenge. But, there’s hope.
Earlier this year, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 was passed by Congress and signed into law. While this law made several changes that impact retirement plans, one provision changing the rules around hardship distributions is particularly notable. As a result of the act, changes to the hardship distribution rules for 401(k) plans will take effect for the 2019 plan year (e.g., as of January 1, 2019, for calendar year plans).
It’s the time of year when Plan Sponsors scramble to deliver the myriad notices required to be given to their participants. Even with the help of service providers, the sheer number of notices can be overwhelming. Here is a summary of the notices that may apply to a calendar year 401k plan.
Helpful Hints for Plan Sponsors