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Can We Offer Additional Matching Contributions Without Losing our Safe Harbor Status?

DWC 08/4/20
Facts We currently sponsor a 401(k) plan for our company. While we certainly want to be able to provide meaningful benefits to the owners, our goal is to encourage all our employees to save more for their retirement, and to reward those who do. We were failing our annual testing, so we implemented a safe harbor provision to provide a matching ...
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Can We Offer Higher Profit Sharing Contributions to Employees Based on Performance?

DWC 07/28/20
Facts We’ve had a 401(k) plan for years, but we are now looking at ways to make it a more strategic part of our overall compensation package. In one of your previous Questions of the Week, you mentioned that we cannot really give employees the choice between higher pay or a profit sharing contribution, but we would like to explore ways to use ...
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Can We Increase Profit Sharing Contributions and Decrease Salaries to Improve Testing and Save Money?

DWC 07/21/20
Facts We want to make job offers to some new employees and are looking strategically at our overall compensation package. Some of these candidates are seeking upwards of $130,000 which will make them highly compensated employees (HCEs) in 2021. We are thinking about negotiating a lower salary of $100,000 with a promise of $30,000 in profit sharing ...
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401(k) vs 403(b): Which Is the Best Choice for My Non-Profit?

DWC 06/23/20
Facts As the director of a not-for-profit organization, I’m looking at retirement plan options for our employees. The fiscal year ends June 30th and I’d love to implement something to benefit our employees beginning with the new year.
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Retroactively Decided Not to Make Safe Harbor Contributions for Your HCEs? We've Got a Fix (or Two) for That!

DWC 05/28/20
If you’ve been with us for a while you’ve heard us say a few things time and again.  First, the rules and regulatory agencies do not allow plans to disproportionately favor highly compensated employees (HCEs) relative to the non-HCEs.  Second, a plan sponsor must be very careful about how and when it implements or removes benefits from the plan.  ...
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Short Plan Years... Lookback Years... What (and When) Are They and Why Do I Care?

DWC 02/11/20
Facts My company started a brand new 401(k) plan last year.  We didn’t start the plan until July 1, and since we operate on the calendar year, our first “year” of the plan will only be the six-month period from the start date through December 31, 2019.  Now, our TPA is asking us for the compensation we paid to each of our employees during the ...
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Is It Too Late to Set Up a Retirement Plan to Get a Tax Deduction for Last Year?

DWC 01/21/20
Facts Although my New Year’s resolutions include less procrastination it’s likely that by the time Valentine’s Day gets here that good intention will long be in my rear view.  As I draft these 2020 resolutions, my CPA reminds me once again of all the tax benefits, personal and corporate, that a qualified retirement plan can offer.  Finding ...
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What Tax Credits are Available for Setting Up a New Retirement Plan?

DWC 01/14/20
Facts Our business is thinking of setting up a retirement plan. We’ve heard that there are new tax credits offered under the SECURE Act available to employers who set up new plans.
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How Do We Identify Highly Compensated Employees for the First Year Our Company Exists?

DWC 08/27/19
Facts We established our company on February 1st of this year, and now we are planning to launch our 401(k) plan.  We know there are number of tests and determinations that require us to look at company history, but as a new company, we don’t really have much of a history to look at.
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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 ...
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The views expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of any other person or organization. All content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be tax or legal advice.