Fiduciary “Carve-Outs”

The DOL provides exemptions to the above broad fiduciary rule through “carve-outs.” For example, a person won’t be considered a fiduciary for providing the following investment advice:Statements or recommendations made to a “large plan investor with financialexpertise” by counterparties…

Read More »

Nine Employee Benefit Plan Audit Tips

Well it’s that time of year again…time to dust off those participant files and prepare for the employee benefit plan audit season. As a firm who takes pride in our efficiencies with employee benefit plan audits, here are some tips…

Read More »

401(K) and Retirement Plan Limits for 2016 Tax Year

On October 21, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2016. In general, the pension plan limitations will not change for 2016 because the…

Read More »

Determination Letter Limbo

IRS makes changes to determination letter program Sponsors of individually designed qualified retirement plans will need to adjust to the idea of operating without the IRS’s official blessings when changing the plan document to comply with new laws and regulations.…

Read More »

Tibble Case Puts Focus on Fiduciaries’ Ongoing Duties

Earlier in 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified the ongoing duty of retirement plan fiduciaries to monitor plan investments. Tibble v. Edison International has been percolating through the federal court system since 2007. The case focuses on the timing of…

Read More »

Give Employees More Bang for their Buck

How to use default deferral rates and auto-escalation clauses According to a Plan Sponsor Council of America survey, only 46% of defined contribution plans automatically enroll participants. The most common default deferral rate for those that do is 3%. Are…

Read More »

Documenting Hardship Withdrawals and Loans

The IRS clarified its rules for documentation of hardship withdrawals and participant loans on its website in 2015. With respect to hardship withdrawals, sponsors must retain:Documentation of the hardship request, review and approval, Financial information and documentation that substantiates…

Read More »

When Electronic Disclosure Isn’t Enough Under ERISA

ERISA’s disclosure rules require plan administrators to inform participants of circumstances that may cause a loss of benefits. But just what counts as a disclosure? This question was recently litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of…

Read More »

Be Careful What You Toss

Plan record retention requirements As far as the IRS is concerned, you can’t save too many retirement plan documents. Plan sponsors, on the other hand, might reasonably feel the need to free up file storage space every now and again…

Read More »

DOL Reproposes ERISA Fiduciary investment Advice Regulations

Most everyone in the employee benefits industry agrees: protecting retirement plans and their participants from investment advisors who may focus more on their own financial interests than those of plan participants is a good idea. However, whether the Department of…

Read More »

401(K) Rollovers

How rollovers to your plan can benefit everyone High workforce mobility means that many employees leave a collection of “orphan” 401(k) plan balances in their wake. As a plan fiduciary, why should you care? Helping new employees roll over their…

Read More »

PBGC Updates Premium Rates and Payment Deadlines

Earlier this year, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced several changes affecting defined-benefit pension sponsors in 2015, including changes to annual premium rates and scheduling. Sponsors of qualified defined-benefit plans subject to ERISA’s plan termination insurance rules must file…

Read More »

Retirement Plan Loans: The Pros and Cons

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, more than one-fifth (or 21%) of all 401(k) plan participants eligible for loans have loans outstanding at any given time. Looking out for the best interests of your plan participants might involve discouraging…

Read More »