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Employee Benefit Plan News

Fate of overtime rule still in limbo; DOL seeking public feedback
Sep. 13, 2017
Last year's changes to the overtime rule under the Obama administration would have significantly impacted employers' overtime liability and payroll taxes, but a federal court ruling blocked its implementation in November 2016. Though the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has signaled that a new version could be on the horizon, the fate of the rule remains uncertain. The DOL is currently considering its options for revisions of the current overtime standards, and it's asking for feedback from the public in the process.
IRS memorandum outlines substantiation guidelines for safe-harbor hardship distributions
June 5, 2017
If your employee benefit plan allows hardship distributions under the safe-harbor standards, you will want to be aware of a recent IRS memo on this matter. On Feb. 23, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a memorandum to its examiners related to the substantiation records that Plans should obtain and keep if they allow hardship distributions under the safe-harbor standards.
Fiduciary rule: Impact on Kraft Asset Management
June 5, 2017
Some clients have asked if the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule will impact how Kraft Asset Management does business. In a nutshell, it won't. The rule states that advisors who provide retirement investment advice are required to operate under the "fiduciary" standard, which means they must avoid conflicts of interest and operate with full transparency. It means advisors must do what is in the best interest of their clients not what is in their own best interest.
New fiduciary rule takes effect
June 5, 2017
Although a three-month extension delayed the applicability date (originally April 10), certain provisions of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule will be implemented on June 9, 2017. These provisions include the expanded definition of "investment advice fiduciary" under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), including who is considered to be a fiduciary and what constitutes a fiduciary act. Implementation of the written disclosure requirements and the full, best-interest contract exemption is scheduled for Jan. 1, 2018.
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.
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.