Topic Archive: Safe Harbor

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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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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DWC News Update: House Passes the SECURE Act

DWC | 05/24/19

-A breakdown of breaking news from DWC's Managing Partner, Keith Clark

If you are reading the mainstream press, the SECURE Act being signed into law is just around the corner.  While the overwhelming bi-partisan approval in the House of Representatives is an important (and increasingly rare) development, there are still a number of steps that must occur before it becomes law:

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What Compensation Should We Use to Calculate Company Contributions to our 401(k) Plan?

DWC | 06/26/18

Facts

Our company has a safe harbor 401(k) plan.  In addition to employees making deferrals, we make a company contribution equal to 3% of each person’s compensation.  We deposit both types of contributions each pay period, so in theory at least, we should be all set by the end of each year.  However, it seems that each year, our TPA comes back to us with adjustments that need to made.  They tell us that it has something to do with how we determine compensation.

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Can I Pre-Fund a Matching Contribution for a Participant Who Terminated Employment?

DWC | 08/1/17

Facts

Our company sponsors a safe harbor 401(k) plan that provides for a dollar-for-dollar match up to 4% of pay. At the end of each year, we calculate the total matching contribution, and we usually make the deposit in the late summer. For example, we deposit the matching contribution for 2017 in August or early September of 2018.

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What's Old Is New Again

Adam C. Pozek | 11/14/14

Whether we’re talking fashion or music or architecture or barber shops, it seems things that have faded from existence eventually come back around.  See if this cycle looks familiar:  cutting edge becomes status quo becomes so last week becomes so [insert decade] becomes retro becomes vintage.

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Werewolves of Pension

Adam C. Pozek | 03/17/11

I was recently asked to write an article on ERISA Section 404(c).  As I contemplated how to approach the article, I recalled many situations in which I have heard 404(c) pitched as the mythical silver bullet to save plan fiduciaries from the specter of liability associated with participant-directed investments.

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Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy…Not When It Comes To Retirement Plans

Adam C. Pozek | 02/20/11

Qualified plans are complicated beasts regardless of size or design.  This truth is sometimes forgotten at this time of year when sponsors and service-providers are busy dealing with nondiscrimination testing and contribution calculations.  I've many situations in which a plan sponsor decided to skip testing for a year, because their plan was so easy there was no way it could fail.  Similarly, I've seen service-providers decide to skip the critical peer review step in their process, because nothing could possibly have been missed on such an easy plan.

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