Benefits Blog

What Can Organ Donation Rules Teach Us About 401(k) and 403(b) Plans?

Posted by Nathan Carlson on Monday, September 21, 2015 @ 01:03 PM

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?

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Bold Steps You Need To Be Taking For Your Retirement

Posted by Nathan Carlson on Monday, August 10, 2015 @ 03:08 PM

Good research needs to be shared.  Such is the case with the following study recently released by American Century Investments.  Seventy-three percent of plan participants said they could have afforded to save more and would have done so if they just knew one key number -- the amount they needed for retirement.  Over one in four participants, ages 25-54, would give themselves a "D" or an "F" in putting money away for the future.  
Furthermore, nearly seven in 10 support automatic enrollment at a 6 percent starting contribution rate and more than eight in 10 participants would have favored at least a moderate annual increase in their personal retirement savings of 1% a year until a savings rate of 10% was achieved.
Research like this encourages companies that sponsor 401(k) plans to take bold steps.  Add auto-enrollment, auto-increase, and auto-invest options.  A few participants will object but the vast majority will thank you and you will have the calm assurance of knowing you did the right thing.
The ERISA specialists at Retirement Planning Services can help clients implement these features, for when done properly, the fiduciary liability is actually reduced.
Read the full report here:
Click Here
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Tags: Retirement Planning

IRS Announces New 2015 Flex Limits

Posted by Nathan Carlson on Friday, October 31, 2014 @ 09:20 PM

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 

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Tags: Test, Test, Test, Test, Test, Test,

Terminating a SIMPLE Can Be Simple, if Done Right

Posted by Nathan Carlson on Monday, October 27, 2014 @ 01:56 PM

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. 

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Tags: 401(k), SIMPLE IRA, Compliance

Colorado Same-Sex Marriage Developments: Impact for Employee Benefits

Posted by Nathan Carlson on Thursday, September 11, 2014 @ 02:00 PM

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"

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Tags: Benefits Information, Colorado, Same-Sex Marriage

New IRS Same‐Sex Marriage Rules Affect Qualified Retirement Plans

Posted by Nathan Carlson on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 @ 03:13 PM

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. 

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Tags: Retirement Planning, 401(k), DOMA

IRS Clarifies New Carry-Over Provision’s Impact on HSAs

Posted by Nathan Carlson on Wednesday, April 09, 2014 @ 04:43 PM

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.

Click Here For Bulletin

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Tags: IRS, Carry-Over, Cafeteria Plans

U.S. Retirement Readiness: It’s not as bad as you think—It’s worse!

Posted by Nathan Carlson on Monday, March 03, 2014 @ 02:38 PM

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.  

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Tags: Retirement Planning

Train Like an Olympian - Using Online FSA & COBRA Tools

Posted by Jim Hayes on Wednesday, February 05, 2014 @ 03:22 PM

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.

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Tags: COBRA, COBRA Administration

Important Development for Cash Balance Plans—But You Must Act Quickly!

Posted by Nathan Carlson on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 @ 02:49 PM

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. 

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Tags: Pension

Tags: Test, Test, Test, Test, Test, Test,

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