Topic Archive: Question of the Week

Who Are All the Providers Servicing My Plan & What Do They Do?

DWC | 08/20/19

Facts

I sponsor a small 401(k) plan for my employees.  Sometimes, I get confused about which service provider to go to for different plan-related questions.  Time and efficiency are important to me (and so is cost), and it seems like having all these different providers might be overkill.  Recently, I was talking to a friend who is also a business owner, and she said she’s got one group doing all her plan work from A to Z.

Read More

What is the Deadline to Implement a Retirement Plan for the Current Year?

DWC | 08/13/19

Facts

Returning from sunny days at the beach, I’ve begun discussing my company’s year-end financial projections with my accountant.  Those conversations have been about as fun as a sunburn; it looks like my company and I are looking at a hefty tax bill.  My accountant has suggested on more than one occasion that I consider implementing a retirement plan to help minimize my tax burden, but I’ve just never gotten around to it.  Now, I’m kicking myself.

Read More

Is It Possible to Convert a Pre-Tax 401(k) Account to a Roth Account?

DWC | 08/6/19

Facts

We recently had one of the participants in our 401(k) plan ask if it is possible to convert her balance from pre-tax to Roth.  She has been a participant in our plan for many years and has both her own deferrals as well as company contributions (both match and profit sharing). Based on her current financial situation, she believes it would be more advantageous to convert to Roth so that she can receive distributions tax-free when she retires.

Read More

Can We Require Employees to be Employed at Year-End to Receive a Safe Harbor Contribution?

DWC | 07/30/19

Facts

Our company sponsors a safe harbor 401(k) plan.  Each participant receives a safe harbor nonelective contribution equal to 3% of his or her annual pay.  Our TPA calculates the safe harbor contribution for us after the close of each year, and we deposit it sometime before we file our company tax return for that year.  Each year, we have a couple of participants who terminated employment before year end, and we end up making contributions for them even though they are long gone by the time we make the deposit.

Read More

How Does a Participant's Divorce Affect our 401(k) Plan?

DWC | 07/23/19

Facts

One of the participants in our 401(k) plan is going through a divorce, and we just received a court order directing us to provide a portion of his account to his ex-spouse.  I thought that retirement plan accounts had special protection against legal judgments.

Read More

What Do We Need to Consider When Switching from a SIMPLE IRA to a 401(k)?

DWC | 07/9/19

Facts

We’ve sponsored a SIMPLE IRA for our employees for years and while it’s served its purpose, we are beginning to feel the limitations inherent in the plan.  As we begin to grow, we’d love to be able to add provisions for eligibility and to be able to reward our key performers.  I’m hesitant about making a change from this “known” commodity to a 401(k) plan but feel like we’ve outgrown our current plan.

Read More

Which Comes First: The Contribution or the K-1?

DWC | 06/25/19

Facts

As a self-employed individual, I run a successful business and have set up a retirement plan to provide for tax-sheltered savings.  When its time to determine the contribution amount each year, it feels more complicated than running the business.  My CPA seems to be waiting on our TPA, and the TPA waiting on the CPA – and amidst it all, I’m just waiting on my numbers!

Read More

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.

Read More

Safe Harbor 401(k) Match vs. Nonelective: Two Words for the Same Thing or Two Different Options

DWC | 06/11/19

Facts

I recently got a promotion at work, and one of my new job responsibilities is to help manage our company’s retirement plan.  It is a safe harbor 401(k) plan.  A number of our employees are about to become eligible for the plan, and they are asking me questions about the company matching contribution.  From what I can tell, we make a contribution for everyone who is eligible even if they are not contributing for themselves.

Read More

Spouse or Not a Spouse? That is the Question...of the Week

DWC | 06/4/19

Facts

Our company has sponsored a 401(k) plan for a while and although it’s not new to us that certain situations - from beneficiary designations to annual nondiscrimination testing - might require us to provide information about spousal relationships, we are seeing that different types of relationships, and statuses, are becoming more commonplace.

Read More
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.