Topic Archive: Question of the Week

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.

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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.

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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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Which Compensation Do You Use When Your Company Fiscal Year is Different Than Your Plan Year?

DWC | 05/21/19

Facts

When we set up our 401(k) plan, our partnership operated on a fiscal year that ran from July 1st to June 30th.  We set the 401(k) plan year to line up with our company’s fiscal year.  We recently changed our company’s fiscal year to follow the calendar year and didn’t think to notify our TPA to discuss the impact to the Plan.  Now, they are asking for annual census information (including compensation) in order to prepare the profit sharing allocation and complete the required testing.

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Are Missed Deferrals and Late Deferral Deposits the Same Thing?

DWC | 05/14/19

Facts

Our company sponsors a 401(k) plan.  One of our newer employees, Jane Smith, met the eligibility requirements and should have joined the plan on January 1st.  Due to an oversight, we forgot to enroll Jane in the plan until she asked about it a couple months later.  We assume that we need to make some sort of correction, and we’ve done some online research to figure out next steps.  We’ve seen references to missed deferral opportunities and late deferral deposits, but to be honest, it’s all a little confusing.

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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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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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Who are Leased Employees & Are They Eligible for my 401(k) Plan?

DWC | 04/16/19

Facts

I own a small manufacturing company that specializes in office supplies, and I sponsor a 401(k) plan for my employees. One of my former employees, Tim Halpert, worked full-time with me for the past several years but recently left to work for a staffing agency called Prestige Worldwide.  Tim was a great employee for many years, and Prestige has offered me the opportunity to have him continue to provide services for me through the staffing agency. Prestige Worldwide also offered the services of another employee, Toby Blenderson, who would work on a part-time basis for about six months.

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What is the PBGC & Does it Cover our Cash Balance Plan?

DWC | 04/9/19

Facts

Our company is thinking of setting up a cash balance plan.  In our research about what that entails, we keep running into information about the PBGC and paying premiums.

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What is the Form 8955-SSA and What Does It Do?

DWC | 04/2/19

Facts

Our company has been very fortunate to have low turnover over the years.  Those that have left either were not eligible for our 401(k) plan, or they had very small balances and had their accounts forced out when they terminated.  We recently did have one longer-term employee leave us.  She was an active participant in our plan and has a sizeable balance that is well above our plan’s mandatory distribution threshold.  Our TPA said that we now have to file some new form – an 8955-SSA, I think – that has something to do with this former employee.

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