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Overtime Is Up and Bonuses Are Down: Will This Year's Irregular Compensation Impact our Retirement Plan?

DWC 12/1/20
Facts We sponsor a 401(k) plan for our employees and provide a company matching contribution to those who defer. Our plan specifies that in calculating that match, we only consider employee base pay and exclude “irregular” forms of pay (specifically bonuses and overtime). This allows us to be more precise when we are building the expected cost of ...
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Your Definition of Compensation Isn't in the ERISA Dictionary? We've Got a Fix for That.

DWC 08/27/20
Getting creative with the plan’s definition of compensation can be an effective way to target benefits, budget your benefit dollars, and maintain consistent benefit levels from year to year. However, with that creativity comes added layers of testing and compliance to concern yourself with. And, if you sponsor a safe harbor plan, those rules can ...
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What Are My Options (and Deadlines) for Implementing a Retirement Plan This Year?

DWC 08/11/20
Facts We’ve been debating implementing a 401(k) plan for 2020. After much back and forth, we’ve decided its “a go!” for this year. Since we are still in a more relaxed summer vacation mode, we’d like to wait until sometime this fall to really get rolling on implementation.
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Can We Offer Additional Matching Contributions Without Losing our Safe Harbor Status?

DWC 08/4/20
Facts We currently sponsor a 401(k) plan for our company. While we certainly want to be able to provide meaningful benefits to the owners, our goal is to encourage all our employees to save more for their retirement, and to reward those who do. We were failing our annual testing, so we implemented a safe harbor provision to provide a matching ...
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Retroactively Decided Not to Make Safe Harbor Contributions for Your HCEs? We've Got a Fix (or Two) for That!

DWC 05/28/20
If you’ve been with us for a while you’ve heard us say a few things time and again.  First, the rules and regulatory agencies do not allow plans to disproportionately favor highly compensated employees (HCEs) relative to the non-HCEs.  Second, a plan sponsor must be very careful about how and when it implements or removes benefits from the plan.  ...
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Can We Suspend our Safe Harbor Contribution Mid-Plan Year?

DWC 03/24/20
Facts Given the current uncertainty in the world economy and the unknown ongoing affects of coronavirus, I’m looking at all financial obligations for our company, and for opportunities to reduce risk.  We currently sponsor a 401(k) plan for our employees and provide a safe harbor contribution equal to 3% of employee compensation.
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Have the Rules for Safe Harbor 401(k) Notices Changed?

DWC 03/3/20
Facts My company sponsors a safe harbor 401(k) plan and every year my TPA sends me a reminder to distribute a notice to participants.  It’s not the biggest hassle but I’ve wondered if it’s really necessary that this same information be provided to participants each and every year.
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Is It Possible to Split Eligibility to Allow for Deferrals but to Postpone Safe Harbor Contributions?

DWC 10/29/19
Facts We allow new employees to join our 401(k) plan on the first of the month after they are hired.  They become eligible to make deferrals and also receive the company safe harbor contribution at that time.  We don’t have high turnover, but employees who leave often do so within the first year of joining us.  We don’t mind allowing new hires to ...
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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 ...
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Are We Required to Make Safe Harbor Contributions for HCEs?

DWC 10/22/19
Facts My company sponsors a safe harbor 401(k) plan so that all of the highly compensated employees can maximize their deferrals without worrying about failing the ADP test each year.  Although we fully intend to make the same level of contribution for the HCEs that we do for the non-HCEs, we would prefer to not to be required to do so in order to ...
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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.