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Employee Benefit Plan News

DOL proposes 60-day delay on new fiduciary rule
March 6, 2017
The U.S. Department of Labor announced last week a proposed extension of the applicability dates of the fiduciary rule and related exemptions, including the Best Interest Contract Exemption, from April 10 to June 9, 2017.
 
DOL's overtime rule blocked by U.S. District Court
Nov. 30, 2016
Just over a week before the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL's) new overtime rule was scheduled to go into effect, a federal judge blocked it. The rule was set to make dramatic changes to the way employers must determine which executive, administrative and professional employees are entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
 
There's still time to set up a retirement plan for 2016
Nov. 16, 2016
Saving for retirement can be tough if you're putting most of your money and time into operating a business. But it's important to start saving so you can enjoy a comfortable future.
 
Maximize retirement plans options to reduce 2016 taxes
Aug. 23, 2016
Retirement plans continue to be one of the best income tax deferral techniques available, providing the joint benefits of a current tax deduction and deferred tax on investment income in the plan.
 
It's not too late for some taxpayers to reduce 2015 taxes
March 22, 2016
If you're eligible, you may make tax deductible contributions to IRAs by April 18, 2016, and still reduce your 2015 tax liability. You may contribute up to $5,500 if single, or $11,000 if married. Note: modified adjusted gross income phase-out ranges apply to the deductibility of contributions if the taxpayer (or his or her spouse) participates in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
 
No changes to retirement plan contributions for 2016
Jan. 4, 2016
Retirement plan contribution limits are indexed for inflation, but with inflation remaining low, the limits remain unchanged for 2016:
 
Defined benefit pension plan changes included in 2015 budget act
Dec. 11, 2015
The headlines generated from the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 generally focused on how the legislation raises the debt ceiling through 2017, sets federal spending through the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, and eases strict caps on spending. But, importantly for many employers, the act also includes a number of changes related to defined benefit pension plans.
 
Correction methods for missed deferrals are now easier
Nov. 23, 2015
You have the best of intentions, but still it happens: You have failed to properly withhold 401(k) or 403(b) deferrals from an employee's pay. What do you do?
 
Proper planning can save you time and money on your year-end audit
Oct. 15, 2015
Nothing makes a CFO or controller happier than preparing for the year-end audit; right? Joking aside, the annual audit should provide a valuable opportunity for management to reflect on past performance and plan for the future. It should be a collaborative effort between management, the board of directors (as applicable) and the CPA firm.
 
Small businesses can get IRS penalty relief for unfiled retirement plan returns
July 22, 2015
The Internal Revenue Service encouraged eligible small businesses that did not file certain retirement plan returns to take advantage of a low-cost penalty relief program enabling them to quickly come back into compliance.
 
Society of Actuaries releases new mortality tables
May 20, 2015
Are we living longer? The Society of Actuaries (SOA) thinks so. In October 2014, SOA issued updated mortality tables for plan sponsors and their actuaries to consider in determining a plan sponsor's pension obligation for private pension plans. The new tables, the RP-2014 Mortality Tables (RP-2014), replace the existing RP-2000 Mortality Tables. SOA also issued new mortality improvement scales -- MP-2014 (MP-2014).
 
Lost and found: DOL guidance for finding missing plan participants
May 8, 2015
Many defined contribution plans include participants who are no longer employees, but a problem arises when former employees can't be located or contacted. These "missing (or lost) participants" can have a significant financial impact on both terminated and active plans because related administrative costs and professional fees are often incurred.
 
June 2 deadline looming on IRS penalty relief program for late retirement plan returns
May 8, 2015
Last year, the IRS announced the launch of a one-year temporary pilot program to help small businesses that have failed to file certain retirement plan returns in a timely manner. Now the deadline for seeking relief is right around the corner. Small businesses that qualify for the relief and file their late returns by June 2 stand to preempt steep penalties of as much as $15,000 per return. Businesses that aren't eligible for the pilot program may qualify for relief under another program offered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
 
Compliance issues plague small pension plans, and penalties can be severe
March 16, 2015
We've seen it happen all too often. When plan administrators missed the "red flags," and the client's plan took the hit. Overlooking a detail can potentially result in huge fines (as much as 10 percent of plan assets) levied at the plan sponsor level or disqualification of your plan. Failure to file the required reports or noncompliance issues can cost thousands of dollars -- not to mention the potential for lawsuits by employees and negative publicity.
 
FSA carryovers disqualify employees from HSA participation
June 25, 2014
In late 2013, the IRS relaxed their long-standing rules governing flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Under the new ruling, a maximum of $500 remaining in an FSA can be rolled over to the following plan year.
 
Don't overlook Form 5500 filing obligations for welfare benefit plans
Jan. 24, 2014
Most employers understand that filing a Form 5500 is required for a 401(k) or other type of retirement plan, but welfare plans also have filing requirements that sometimes confuse plan sponsors. There is more than one way to structure your company's welfare plans, and the structure affects filing and audit requirements.