The IRS published the final rule regarding participant hardship distributions from defined contribution plans. Hardships get a little easier with expanded qualification rules and streamlined review process. Some of these changes are mandatory, requiring employers to make the changes by Jan. 1, 2020, while others are optional. Though the IRS had issued the proposed regulations in 2018, the final regulations clarify a few key provisions.
Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans can eliminate a host of testing issues for traditional 401(k) Plans. If HCE contributions in your plan have resulted in corrective distributions in the past, you may consider a Safe Harbor plan in 2020. The deadline is quickly approaching, so be sure to contact us before December 1st to make 2020 plan changes.
Every Fall, the coming year's Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) are released by the Internal Revenue Service. The benefit increases counteract the effects of inflation and keep up with the "cost of living." See the limits for 2020.
When it comes to 401(k) plans, plan sponsors have a fiduciary responsibility to distribute a variety of documents and disclosure notices. Imposing this responsibility on plan sponsors helps ensure that participants have the necessary information about the plan provisions and investment options in order to make informed and timely decisions for their personal financial wellness.
The concept of an “open architecture” recordkeeping platform has been trending in the financial industry lately and it’s not hard to see why. For many years, 401(k) providers offered bundled platforms with fixed investment options (consisting of proprietary investments) and provider fees paid through investments (via revenue sharing). Open architecture platforms offer features that increase investment flexibility and reduce conflict of interest.
RPG Consultants was among the first firms in the United States to successfully complete the independent certification process for recordkeepers, and has now earned the certification for the 8th consecutive year. Our CEFEX-ASPPA certification signifies our commitment to adhere to a standard of excellence and a dedication to recordkeeping and administration best practices.
Though some employers may not think so, the truth is that in today's world 401(k) plans are subject to fraudulent activity and that the often-overlooked retirement plan can be the perfect place for it to occur. For example, in late 2017, several news outlets reported a scheme targeting individual 401(k) accounts.
With the future of Social Security in question, it is becoming ever increasingly important for workers to self-prepare for post-retirement living. Studies show that approximately one out of every three eligible workers choose NOT to participate in their employer-sponsored 401(k) plan.
There is a common misconception that safe harbor plans are exempt from testing requirements. This overly general and inaccurate statement calls for a proper explanation. A safe harbor plan requires tests other than non-discrimination, entails proper administration to satisfy the plan design and can benefit from testing for plan optimization.
In 2018, the 401(k) plan celebrated its 40th birthday! Though extremely popular today, 401(k) plans came about almost by accident. IRC Section 401(k) was passed into law as part of the Revenue Act of 1978 and was included to limit executive compensation. However, in 1980, Ted Benna of the Johnson Companies used the provision to create and get IRS approval of the first 401(k) plan for his company. For this he is often referred to as the father of the 401(k).