Topic Archive: Question of the Week

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 lookback year (whatever that is) so that they can determine who are our highly compensated employees.

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What New Tax Credits are Available for Adding an Automatic Enrollment Feature to our Plan?

DWC | 02/4/20

Facts

Our business currently has a retirement plan and we are considering adding automatic enrollment. We have heard that there are new tax credits available to employers who include automatic enrollment features in their plans.

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Am I Now Required to Include Part-Time Employees in my 401(k) Plan?

DWC | 01/28/20

Facts

As the owner of a beachside hotel, I sponsor a calendar year 401(k) plan for my employees.  In the summer we hire many part-time employees to assist with the uptick in guests and activities.  Our plan has always required employees to reach age 21 and complete a year of service before becoming eligible.  Traditionally, this has meant that these part-time employees have never entered the plan.

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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 incentive for my 2020 resolutions, I’m reminded that my inaction in 2019 has limited my options for tax savings tools as the 2019 returns are prepared.

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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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What is the Simplest Way to Add Automatic Enrollment to our Plan?

DWC | 01/7/20

Facts

We are considering adding automatic enrollment to our 401(k) plan.  We’ve read some of the other posts on your website about EACAs and QACAs, but that all seems like a lot of extra complexity that we don’t really need.  We’re really just looking for the basics; we want employees who don’t take any action to be automatically in rather than automatically out.  That’s it.

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Do the Rules About Related Companies Apply to Non-Profits with No Owners?

DWC | 12/17/19

Facts

I work for a non-profit organization that is thinking of setting up a retirement plan.  One of the service providers who we’ve spoken to about this said something about determining whether we are related to any other businesses through over-lapping ownership.

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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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Tradition vs. Taste: What Classic Thanksgiving Dish Do You Secretly Dislike?

DWC | 11/26/19

Facts

Every year we gather with family and friends to stuff ourselves silly in honor of the first harvest here in the New World. Since that time, families have perfected and passed down Turkey Day recipes that have become staples on the dinner table. 

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