After many rounds of negotiations, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 20th, 2017. Though retirement plan limit reductions were included in many iterations of the bill, the ultimate effect on qualified plans was relatively minimal. There are two items of note that were included in the new law affecting loan repayments and IRA conversions.
The first quarter of the calendar year typically sees an uptick in the number of retirement plan distributions and participant loans. This year may be even busier than most, given the relief announced by the IRS for victims of the recent hurricanes and wildfires. Whatever the reason, participant distributions present a complex set of rules for Plan Sponsors to navigate.
As the year-end approaches, our to-do lists can be lengthy. There are holidays to prepare for, employee performance reviews to complete, and, oh, wait, there is also the year-end data collection package from your TPA! We have once again reached that magical time of the year when you get to submit information regarding your retirement plan so your compliance services can be completed. While your TPA firm does the heavy lifting, the information you submit is the basis for accurate compliance testing. While not very exciting, this information is important. So, what should you know about the year-end tasks?
Millennials. You may have noticed them around the office. You might think of them as the lazy, flighty, entitled generation born between the early 80's and 00's that say "totes" when they agree with you. Like any group of misplaced stereotypes, not all is as it appears when it comes to the younger contingent and, since they are taking over as the largest sector of the workforce, you may want to take a second look at them as adults, assets, and major contributors to your company's retirement plan.
There has been a large amount of upheaval in the retirement world as of late and it centers around the "F" word. And by "f" word, I mean "fiduciary." The New Fiduciary Rule means that many professionals in the finance world that weren't previously considered fiduciaries will now have to take on that title. So, why is that such a bad thing? Well, it's not per se, but the implications of how this may change the way the retirement financial business and its institutions function may have many cursing its name for a myriad of reasons. But before we get too bent out of shape, let's break it down and see what we're truly looking at.
Times can get tough for people. With the onset of Hurricane Harvey having decimated parts of the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Irma following its destructive lead, we are reminded that at any point we may find ourselves in hardship. Companies make layoffs, natural disasters occur, emergencies… well, emerge. With nowhere else to turn, some will look to their 401k for their own disaster relief. A withdrawal in the form of a "hardship distribution" is one of the tools that participants may use in this situation.
CEFEX, Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, LLC, has certified RPG Consultants of Valley Stream, NY as adhering to the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) Standard of Practice for Retirement Plan Service Providers. RPG Consultants (RPG) 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 6th consecutive year.
RPG Consultants was invited to participate in the PLANSPONSOR magazine 2017 DC Recordkeeping survey along with Fidelity, Empower, Vanguard and other top recordkeepers in the industry. We are proud to say that in over 30 years of service and company growth, we continue to maintain the small-business mentality and personal client relationships as we rank with multi-billion dollar corporations. We are recognized in our industry for our unparalleled service, personalized solutions, client retention and success.
The latest news regarding retirement plans has centered around service provider fees. While fees are a highly important aspect of managing an employer-sponsored retirement plan, they are not the only metric of your overall retirement plan's health. A low-cost retirement plan does not necessarily parallel a fruitful pension program for employees. Studies show that since Social Security was never designed to fully fund an individual's retirement, employer-sponsored retirement plans have become an integral part of employees' overall financial plan for their future. Relying so heavily on this one component should prompt any plan sponsor to ask one very straightforward question… How healthy is my company's retirement program?
With communication mediums like email, text, and IM's becoming the standard in business industries worldwide, plan sponsors are becoming increasingly interested in abandoning paper processes for a more electronic means of communication with plan participants and beneficiaries. Since e-delivery is not an "all or nothing" prospect, this new approach presents itself as an accessible and easily implemented process with many advantages.