Topic Archive: Plan Distributions

Can We Allow a Distribution for a Coronavirus-Related Hardship?

DWC | 03/31/20

Facts

Some of our employees are dealing with financial challenges due to the coronavirus situation, and they are asking whether they can access their 401(k) accounts.  Our plan allows for loans and for in-service distributions at age 59 ½, but some of these employees are younger than that.  As a plan sponsor, I’ve always felt strongly that our 401(k) plan was a tool to save for retirement; however, these are unprecedented times, and I’d like to find ways to support my employees’ needs.

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Do We Still Need to Suspend Deferrals Following a Hardship Distribution?

DWC | 02/25/20

Facts

Larry and Kent are both participants in our company’s 401(k) plan.  Both recently went back to school on a part-time basis to pursue graduate degrees and will continue working for us.  Each of them took hardship distributions to help pay for tuition, Larry on September 18, 2019, and Kent on January 3, 2020.  Both of them would like to resume making contributions to the plan as soon as possible.

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Do We Need to Continue Paying RMDs for a Deceased Participant?

DWC | 02/18/20

Facts

The CEO (and 5% owner) of our company passed away earlier this year at the age of 73.  He started taking his required minimum distributions right on time after reaching age 70 ½.  At the time of his passing, he was not married and had no children.  He also had not designated a beneficiary under the plan.

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Do 401(k) Loans Impact a Participant's Credit Score?

DWC | 12/10/19

Facts

Our 401(k) plan allows participants to take loans from their accounts.  We have a written policy that describes how the loans work and spells out the requirements that the plan and participants must follow.  Among other details, the loan policy indicates that payments must be made via payroll deduction.

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What is a Suspense Account and Can We Use Our Forfeiture Account Instead?

DWC | 12/3/19

Facts

The annual compliance report that our TPA provided to us indicates that we over-funded matching contributions for certain employees and instructs us to transfer the excess amounts out of the affected participants’ accounts and into a plan suspense account.  The only problem is that I am not sure what a suspense account is.  When I spoke to our recordkeeper, they said we have a forfeiture account but not a suspense account.

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DWC News Update | Two Years in the Making: The Final IRS Hardship Distribution Regulations Are Here

DWC | 10/24/19

It’s been a while, but we finally have them! Late last month, the IRS published the final hardship distribution regulations, nearly two years after Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The good news is that this final version follows the proposed version very closely. So closely in fact, that the IRS outright states in the final version that any plan that followed the proposed regulations will satisfy the final regulations.

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How Do I Calculate How Much Money is Available for a 401(k) Loan?

DWC | 09/24/19

Facts

The participants in my company’s 401(k) plan are regularly inquiring about how much money they have available for a loan.  When I report back the amount available to them, it’s not unusual for me to hear groans and exclamations from them that “this is my money” (particularly if they’re disappointed they aren’t able to access more). I know there are certain parameters related to participant loans set forth in the plan document, but it seems like there’s more to the magic formula that I’m just not able to explain to the participants.

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Uncashed Distribution Checks? The IRS Provides New Guidance...Sort Of

DWC | 08/15/19

Just about anyone who has dealt with a 401(k) plan – either as a plan sponsor or a service provider – for any amount of time has had to deal with the issue of participants not timely cashing plan distribution checks.  There are all sorts of potential concerns that range from tax implications to fiduciary responsibilities, but neither the IRS nor the DOL have been especially forthcoming with guidance.

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Are We Required to Force Former Employees to Take Their Money Out of Our Plan?

DWC | 04/23/19

Facts

We just received our year end testing and it mentioned that we have several terminated participants with small balances that we are required to distribute from the plan.  I remember seeing something in one of our documents that mentioned distributions for account balances below $5,000, but I’m not entirely sure what that means or how I’m supposed to accomplish it.

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Can Employees from a Former Subsidiary Take a Distribution from our 401k Plan?

DWC | 03/12/19

Facts

Our company has several wholly-owned subsidiaries, and each of them has signed onto our 401(k) plan as participating employers.  We sold 100% of the stock of one of those subsidiaries – Glen’s Fiddich, LLC – to an unrelated company.  As a result of the sale, Glen’s Fiddich is no longer related to us and has discontinued participation in our retirement plan as of January 1, 2019. The employees of Glen’s Fiddich are now participating in the purchasing entity’s retirement plan, and a few of them are eager to roll their accounts from our plan into the new plan.

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