Retirement Plans

SECURE Retirement Legislation on Hold in the Senate

CRAIG P. HOFFMAN, August, 2019    Congress will soon be returning to Washington from its summer recess. The question for those interested in retirement policy is whether pension reform will finally move forward this year. The answer will depend on whether several key senators agree to lift the “holds” they have placed on the legislation. […]

PBGC’s Missing Participants Program for Defined Contribution Plans

BARBARA PLETCHER, July, 2019    Did you know that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) administers a missing participants program for defined contribution plans? We ask because PBGC has indicated, informally, that few defined contribution plans have taken advantage of this program. Missing Participants Program In the benefits community, it is well known that PBGC […]

Limited Expansion of the Determination Letter Program – Is Your Plan Eligible for Review?

ADRINE ADJEMIAN, July, 2019    On May 1, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued good news in the form of Revenue Procedure 2019-20, which announced a limited expansion of the determination letter program for individually designed hybrid and merged plans. The IRS will begin accepting determination letter applications for these plans effective September 1, […]

401(k) Student Loan Matching Programs — Private Letter Ruling 2018-33012

CRAIG P. HOFFMAN, June, 2019    Much has been written about the impact student loan debt is having on the American economy. According to the Wall Street Journal, student loan debt is currently in excess of $1.5 trillion, the average debt is $34,000 per person, two million loans have defaulted over the last six years […]

IRS Makes Significant Improvements to EPCRS in Rev. Proc. 2019-19

CRAIG P. HOFFMAN, April, 2019    Effective April 19, 2019, new rules under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) will greatly expand the types of disqualifying defects that may be corrected under the Self-Correction Program (SCP). SCP is a component of EPCRS under which certain types of disqualifying defects may be corrected without the […]

Internal Revenue Service Provides Transition Relief to Code Section 403(b) Plans for Violations of the Once-In-Always-In Rule

T. KATURI KAYE and BRIANA B. DESCH, April, 2019      The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued guidance providing transition relief to employers who have not correctly applied the “once-in-always-in” rule (the “OIAI rule”) and, as a result, have wrongfully excluded part-time employees from participating in their Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 403(b) plans. […]

U.S. Senate Committee Eyes Lack of Guidance on ERISA Cybersecurity

ROBERT R. GOWER and FREEMAN L. LEVINRAD, April, 2019      It seems that every day, a new high-profile data breach is in the news. With increased reliance on the internet to transmit personal information, the potential for breaches has grown significantly. Defined contribution plans, which now hold over $5 trillion in assets, are by […]

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations Modifying Hardship Distribution Rules

BRYAN CARD, February, 2019   The new year brings significant changes to hardship distributions under Section 401(k) plans and Section 403(b) plans. Following the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act (the “Act”) in February 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released proposed regulations in November 2018 which provide implementing guidance for the new rules and modifications […]

2019 Pension Plan Limitation Highlights

SHANNON OLIVER, December, 2018    On November 1, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2018-83, containing the cost-of-living adjustments related to retirement plan limitations under the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). These changes will take effect on January 1, 2019.  Below are some of the highlights. Limitations That Have Increased The limitation on the annual […]

IRS Issues Initial Code Section 83(i) Guidance – Mostly Good News

J. MARC FOSSE, December 10, 2018      The IRS has provided initial guidance in Notice 2018-97 (the “Notice”) about certain statutory requirements for private corporations granting options and restricted stock units (RSUs) which they intend to treat as qualified equity grants under section 83(i) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). If an option or RSU […]

IRS Rules That Student Loan Program under 401(k) Plan Does Not Violate the Contingent Benefit Rule, but Important Compliance Issues Are Left Unanswered

NICHOLAS J. WHITE, October, 2018   Research shows that student loan debt is now second only to mortgages in consumer debt. More than 44 million Americans owe collectively $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, with the average student in the Class of 2016 owing over $37,000. Many of these individuals cite their outstanding student loans (or […]

The Saga Continues: An Update on University Plan Lawsuits with NYU’s Victory at Trial

ANGEL L. GARRETT and EMILY L. GARCIA, October, 2018   In January 2017, we informed you that fiduciaries of 12 university retirement plans had recently been hit with lawsuitsalleging defendants breached their fiduciary duties to their 403(b) retirement plans by offering what plaintiffs described as overly expensive, poorly performing funds, and/or by allowing their plans to […]

New Section 83(i) of the Internal Revenue Code — Qualified Equity Grant Programs Permit Employees to Elect to Defer Income Taxes on Stock Options or RSUs

J. MARC FOSSE and ANGEL L. GARRETT, January 11, 2018   New section 83(i) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) permits eligible private corporations1 to adopt qualified equity grant plans for issuing stock options or restricted stock units (RSUs) to eligible employees to obtain “qualified stock” (as defined below) in exchange for the performance […]

Disability Claims Regulations Delayed to April 1, 2018

YATINDRA PANDYA and JAHIZ NOEL AGARD, December, 2017   On November 24, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) delayed the applicability of the final rule which revises the regulations governing disability benefit claims (the “Final Rule”) to April 1, 2018, from the original January 1, 2018, effective date. Published in the Federal Register on December 19, […]

Common Issues Discovered During Retirement Plan Audits: A Discussion with Diane Wasser

CALLAN G. CARTER, December 27, 2017   I talked with Diane Wasser of EisnerAmper LLP, a national certified public accounting firm with a practice group specializing in the audit of retirement plans, about common issues that Diane and her team discover during their audits of retirement plans. Diane is the Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Pension Services […]

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