Archive for the ‘Retirement Plan Developments’ Category

DOL outreach by email

  The U.S. Department of Labor is expanding efforts to use technology to reach plan sponsors and other constituents to get its message out.  On November 19th, the Department did an educational email blast to many sponsors of employee benefit plans that require audits, on the hot topic of audit quality and picking a qualified […]

The U.S. DOL Issues New Report on Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) issued a damning report on its latest study of the quality of required audits of employee benefit plans.  The report, titled “Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits” can be accessed at the Department’s website, at www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/2014AuditReport.pdf.  The DOL reviewed 400 audits out of the […]

Hardship Distributions – IRS Issues Guidance to Plan Sponsors Clarifying Documentation Requirements

Recently, the IRS posted clear and concise guidance to plan sponsors regarding their responsibility to maintain documentation supporting hardship distributions.  In short, the article on their website states “the plan sponsor must obtain and keep hardship distribution records.  Failure to have these records available for examination is a qualification failure that should be corrected using […]

IRS issues Rev. Proc 2015-28 to provide new safe harbor Employee Compliance Resolution System (“EPCRS”) correction methods relating to plans with automatic contribution features AND special safe harbor correction methods for plans (including plans with automatic contribution features) that have failures that are of limited duration and involve elective deferrals. These new methods are less […]

2015 Retirement Plan Limits Announced

The IRS has announced the new COLA increases for qualified plan limits for 2015. The most significant changes that will likely affect your retirement plans are outlined below. The §402(g) elective deferral (employee contribution) limit and the “catch-up” contribution limit increased from $17,500 to $18,000 and $5,500 to $6,000, respectively, for 401(k), 403(b) and most 457 […]

2014 Retirement Plan Limit Increases Announced

The IRS announced yesterday the new limits for 2014. The most important changes applicable to retirement plans are outlined below. The §415(c)(1)(A) limit on total contributions to a defined contribution plan was increased from $51,000 to $52,000. The §415(b)(1)(A) limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit pension plan increased from $205,000 to $210,000. […]

DOL Extends 404(a)(5) Participant Fee Disclosure Deadline

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued Field Assistance Bulletin (“FAB”) 2013-02 on July 22, 2013, extending the deadline for plan sponsors to make their second round of required 404(a)(5) participant fees disclosures.  The 404(a)(5) regulations, effective in 2012, required plan sponsors to provide certain fee disclosure information to participants by August 30, 2012.  The regulations […]

The Impact of the Unconstitutionality of DOMA on benefit plans

The Supreme Court of the United States, in its decision handed down on June 26, 2013, found the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted in 1996, violates the U.S. Constitution. The decision will have wide-ranging implications for individuals and employers, and we will begin to see some of these immediately.

In-Plan ROTH conversions

As a result of the dreaded fiscal cliff negotiations, on January 1, 2013, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.  One of the provisions of this bill was to expand in-plan Roth conversions.  These new provisions may appeal to individuals who expect their tax rates to increase or to wealthy individuals who want […]

IRS Announces Update to EPCRS

At long last, the IRS has released their much-anticipated updated Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (“EPCRS”) guidance, that allows, among other things, 403(b) plans to fully participate in the correction opportunities that program provides.  Revenue Procedure 2013-12 was released late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve.  The 148-page document provides welcome guidance to 403(b) […]