Topic Archive: ADP Test

Your Safe Harbor Actually Isn't? We've Got a Fix for That!

DWC | 08/22/19

We’ve been through a few Corrections of the Quarter together now, and we appreciate you being along for the ride.  We feel this is pretty good stuff but, at the heart of it all, we’re pension geeks (no point in hiding it).  And while the rules and regulations get us going, we have a geeky passion for the opportunity to find creative solutions.

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How Can We Improve ADP/ACP Test Results Without Offering Safe Harbor?

DWC | 06/18/19

Facts

My architectural firm sponsors a 401(k) plan.  We have 38 architects and 2 administrative assistants.  We currently provide a matching contribution to participants and, some years, a profit sharing contribution too.  I’m reluctant to utilize a safe harbor design, because I really value the vesting schedule on our employer contributions to help retain my best talent, but the plan frequently fails ADP and ACP testing.

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What Does Safe Harbor Mean, Exactly?

DWC | 05/28/19

Facts

When we set up our new 401(k) plan last year, we decided not to add a safe harbor provision because we were not in a position to commit to the required contribution.  Then we heard our TPA say something about our deferral deposits fitting within the safe harbor deadline.  Now I’m just confused.

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Top Heavy vs. ADP: What's the Difference?

DWC | 05/7/19

Facts

As a plan sponsor, I do my best to review the annual compliance reports my TPA sends to me, but to be honest, it might as well be written in a foreign language.  For example, several of our participants were recently required to receive corrective refunds due to contributing too much for 2018.  I thought it was because our plan was top heavy last year, but then my TPA mentioned something called an ADP test.

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We Failed the ADP Test! What Did We Do Wrong and How Do We Fix It?

DWC | 02/26/19

Facts

Our TPA just sent us our annual compliance report, and it says we failed testing! This is the first year we’ve failed anything, and now we’re being told that we need to take money out of the plan in order to remedy the failure. I don’t understand why this is happening.

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How Can We Pass Nondiscrimination Testing with Low Non-HCE Participation?

DWC | 01/22/19

Facts

I am fed up with sponsoring my current retirement plan.  My wife and I contribute the maximum amount we can in deferrals each year.  Due to low participation by our employees, we fail ADP testing every year and have to take refunds.

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Can We Reduce the Number of HCEs in our Plan?

DWC | 01/15/19

Facts

We set up our company 401(k) plan soon after we started our business.  At the time, we were a small tech company with only a couple of employees.  Over the years the company has grown exponentially, and business has been good to us…really good.

Because of this, the demographics of our company have changed completely.  We have too many of our people who are highly compensated employee (HCEs), and it is causing havoc with our nondiscrimination testing.  Last year, some employees had to take corrective distributions of their deferrals due to failing the ADP test for the first time.

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How Are Corrective Refunds Determined for a Failed ADP Test?

DWC | 08/21/18

Facts

Our 401(k) plan failed the ADP test for the first time this year.  We decided to correct the failure by making refunds to the highly compensated employees instead of making additional contributions for the other participants.  However, when we got the actual refund amounts from our TPA, we were surprised to see that those HCEs with the highest deferral percentages are to receive smaller refund amounts.

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Decoding the Alphabet Soup: What's With All the Acronyms? | Part 1

DWC | 07/24/18

Facts

People in the retirement plan business sure do like their acronyms.  All these letters get thrown around, and I do not know what half of them mean.

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What Is the Deadline to Correct a Failed ADP/ACP Test?

DWC | 04/24/18

Facts

Every couple of years, our 401(k) plan fails the ADP/ACP test by a small margin. Since we don’t always fail the test, gathering our year-end census information to send to our TPA sometimes isn’t as high a priority as some of the other projects necessary to close out the year.

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