The percentage of individuals in Europe that donate their organs upon their death varies greatly from one European country to the next. For example, only twelve percent of the German citizens choose to donate their organs but if one steps across the border and enters Austria, close to one hundred percent (99.98%) donate their organs. In Denmark only 4.25% donate their organs, but if one leaves Copenhagen and drives across the Oresund Bridge, down the two-mile long undersea Drogden Tunnel and into Sweden, 86% of the population donate their organs. Why these strange differences amongst very similar demographics?
Tags: Retirement Planning
Yesterday the IRS announced annual inflation adjustments for forty tax provisions for 2015. Here is a summary of the changes that affect Cafeteria and Flexible Spending accounts
There are many different forms of qualified retirement plans--among them, 401(k), profit sharing,
defined benefit, ESOPs, 403(b), SIMPLE IRAs, and SIMPLE 401(k) plans. One of the unique requirements of SIMPLE IRAs and SIMPLE 401(k) plans is that they must be the sole, exclusive plan of the employer for the entire calendar year. In other words, an employer sponsoring a SIMPLE IRA or SIMPLE 401(k) cannot, in the same calendar year, also sponsor a regular 401(k) plan or any other qualified retirement plan.
Guest blog by Mark W. Major, J.D. (of the Law Office of Mark W. Major P.C.) on "Colorado Same-Sex Marriage Developments: Impact for Employee Benefits"
Recently the IRS issued written guidance(1) that significantly impacts all qualified plans and the benefits received under those plans by individuals who have entered into a same‐sex marriage. Among other things, this new guidance impacts 401(k) nondiscrimination testing, the definition of highly compensated employees, beneficiary designations, hardship distributions, participant loans, qualified joint and survivor annuities, rollovers, required minimum distributions, and the overall requirements for a retirement plan to remain “qualified” under the Internal Revenue Code.
Are you or your client considering adding the new Carry-Over provision to your Flex Plan? The IRS recently issued important guidance on how this Carry-Over provision impacts HSAs. If not set up correctly, the Carry-Over provision will invalidate many HSA contributions, resulting in a loss of deduction and penalties. My Bulletin describes how to create Fail-Safe language that guards against these issues.
This Information Bulletin is a must-read for:
any employer that has adopted (or is contemplating adopting) the new IRS Carry-Over provision and also offers an HSA-qualified HDHP,
- vendors that offer HDHPs, and
- industry professionals that provide related consulting or insurance services.
Stig Nybo, President of Pension Sales and Distribution at Transamerica Retirement Solutions, in conjunction with Liz Alexander have written a must-read book on retirement entitled, Transform Tomorrow, Awakening the Super Saver In Pursuit of Retirement Readiness. The book calls attention to the looming retirement crisis in the United States and suggests some fundamental changes to how the retirement industry should present this issue to employees.
Tags: Retirement Planning
The Winter Olympics begin this week in Sochi and we are all excited to watch athletes from around the world compete. These athletes have trained four plus years for events spanning mere minutes. From eating well, getting plenty of sleep, strength training and conditioning they have prepared in every way imaginable. While most of us aren't competing for gold over the next month we can all train to do our jobs better which includes utilizing tools that can make our jobs easier.
The IRS announced on January 23, 2014 that Cash Balance defined benefit plans will eventually be able to utilize pre-approved master and prototype plan documents. Currently, all Cash Balance plans must be written as individually-designed documents. The IRS announcement extends to February 2, 2015 the deadline for plan document drafters to submit their new traditional defined benefit master and prototype plan documents for IRS approval. By extending that deadline from January 31, 2014, the IRS stated it will now have time to publish guidance on Cash Balance plan language that will eventually be acceptable under the IRS’s master and prototype program.