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As the end of the year approaches, our to-do lists become longer but our bandwidth becomes condensed. To compound matters, when you sponsor a retirement plan, you know you will be in close contact with your TPA firm about the various year-end notices that must be distributed to plan participants.
With so much discussion surrounding the CARES Act, it is easy to forget that 2019 brought us some of the most significant changes to retirement plan law since the passage of the Pension Protection Act of 2006. This legislation came to us by virtue of The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act that was signed into law on December 20, 2019. While many of the SECURE Act provisions are currently in effect, there are important provisions still to come that plan sponsors should be prepared for in 2021 and beyond.
2020 has been a difficult year with many unexpected challenges. For companies that sponsor retirement plans, some of these challenges came in the form of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. While the CARES Act provided much needed relief to plan sponsors and their participants, the relief also brought new complexity to retirement plan compliance.
On October 26, 2020, the IRS announced the Cost of Living Adjustments affecting the dollar limitations for retirement plans. Contribution and benefit increases are intended to allow participant contributions and benefits to keep up with the “cost of living” from year to year. Here are the highlights from the 2021 limits.
Approximately every six years, the IRS requires that pre-approved qualified retirement plans update (or restate) their plan document to reflect recent legislative and regulatory changes. Plan restatements are divided into staggered six-year cycles depending on the type of plan (e.g. defined benefit plans or defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans).
Participant Notices – Annual notices due for safe harbor elections, Qualified Default Investment Alternatives (QDIA), and Automatic Contribution Arrangements (EACA or QACA).
On June 29, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-52 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic providing welcome relief to plan sponsors who are considering suspending safe harbor contributions and also to those who may already have regardless of whether the employer is suffering an economic loss.
On May 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) announced the publication of a final rule that will allow employers to communicate the required retirement plan disclosures and other plan information electronically.
On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), a massive relief bill for those suffering as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, was signed into law. Besides the generalized financial relief afforded to individuals, as well as loans and other concessions for businesses, the bill includes the following provisions to help participants and employer sponsors of retirement plans.
On December 20, 2019, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act was signed into law.
The SECURE Act represents some of the most significant changes to retirement plan law since the passage of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, over thirteen years ago.