If your company has decided to offer a high deductible health plan, don’t worry, you are not alone. Recent studies show that an increasing number of employers have elected to offer high deductible health plans (HDHP) either to completely replace or be offered in conjunction with a more traditional Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan or Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan. When sponsoring an HDHP, employers typically offer their employees the ability to contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA) to help offset the increased deductible associated with the HDHP. In 2015, 24 percent of all workers were enrolled in a HDHP with an HSA savings option. This is a dramatic rise since 2009 when just 8 percent were covered under such plans.
Maintaining a retirement plan for your employees is no easy task. At various points during the year, employers and HR departments field participant questions, help with enrollments, deliver notices and statements, and participate in the distribution process. However, an additional responsibility, and one of the most important, is the collection of data that is used for compliance testing and government reporting. Though all of these duties are important, one task drastically affects the outcome of your compliance testing; accurate reporting of all employee information to your third-party administrator. Sound onerous? Not really.
iWork: The Next-Gen Workforce
End of the Year Checklist
Times can get tough for people. With the onset of Hurricane Harvey having decimated parts of the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Irma following its destructive lead, we are reminded that at any point we may find ourselves in hardship. Companies make layoffs, natural disasters occur, emergencies… well, emerge. With nowhere else to turn, some will look to their 401k for their own disaster relief. A withdrawal in the form of a "hardship distribution" is one of the tools that participants may use in this situation. This year the IRS released new examination guidelines for documenting hardships. Their intent is to clarify the documentation process of proving the existence of a hardship and verifying that the amount withdrawn did not exceed the actual financial need.
There has been much upheaval in the retirement world as of late and it centers around the new fiduciary rule. The New Fiduciary Rule means that many investment professionals that weren't previously considered fiduciaries will now have to take on that role. So, why is that such a bad thing? Well, it's not per se, but the implications of how this may change the way the investors and their companies function may leave them frustrated and tentative towards some future business. But before we get too bent out of shape, let's break it down and see what we're truly looking at.
Participant Loans: Benefit or Detriment?