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The Coronavirus pandemic, without a doubt, has changed the way we do business. It has also created some unanticipated vulnerabilities. For instance, since the start of the “new normal,” there has been an increase of cyberattacks on retirement plans and participant accounts through unauthorized distributions. How did this happen?
On August 31st, 2021, the IRS issued guidance extending tax filing deadlines for Form 5500 in areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for assistance due to Hurricane Ida and other recent natural disasters. This extension applies not only to Form 5500 filings but also to Form 8955-SSA.
On November 4, 2021, the IRS announced the Cost of Living Adjustments affecting the dollar limitations for retirement plans for 2022. In October, the Social Security Administration announced a benefit increase of 5.9%, the largest increase in nearly 40 years.
So, you established a 401(k) plan for your company and have been contributing consistently for years. The plan has likely afforded your company significant tax savings and has allowed you to attract and retain quality employees.
A crucial requirement for 401(k) plans is that the plan must be designed so it does not unfairly favor highly compensated employees (HCEs) or key employees (such as owners) over non-highly compensated employees (NHCEs). To satisfy this requirement, the IRS requires that plans pass certain nondiscrimination tests each plan year.
Most plan sponsors can relate to the trials and tribulations of having missing participants in their retirement plan. At times, it may feel like you are on the losing end of an intense game of hide-and-seek. Your opponents, the missing participants, may not have intended to pick the best hiding spots, but in many cases, they have surely succeeded. Now you are tasked with tracking them down and upping your game to avoid this scenario in the future.
On April 14, 2021, the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued long-awaited guidance designed to protect participants from both internal and external cybersecurity threats. The guidance is far-reaching and is directed at plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, recordkeepers, and plan participants.
So, you’ve sold your business and now you’re asking the question “What happens to the retirement plan?” You are not alone. In the world of mergers and acquisitions, it is not uncommon for retirement plans to be overlooked in the process.
Some would say that retirement plan administration is a team sport! Putting together technical and compliance competence with ongoing investment and fiduciary expertise is key to keeping your plan healthy and participants happy. So, what roles and responsibilities should you look to fill for your firm to have a successful and compliant plan?
Proper handling of employee 401(k) deferral contributions and loan repayments is one of the most important responsibilities a plan sponsor undertakes. Failure to timely deposit employee deferrals and participant loan repayments is considered by many service providers to be one of the most commonly made retirement plan errors.