Headlines about "457 plans"

Gathered from the web by the editors at BenefitsLink.com.
IRA, 401(k), 529: What's the Best Tax-Sheltered Account Type for You?
"[G]iving due care to the wrapper you choose for your investment accounts and maximizing your investments in tax-sheltered vehicles can greatly enhance your take-home return.... Here's an overview of the various types of savings vehicles available for your long-term investing assets -- especially retirement -- including a summary of the types of individuals who will tend to benefit most from each investment vehicle. Note that there's not a single best investment wrapper for any one individual; most savers will hold a combination of these account types during their lifetimes." (Morningstar)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Retirement News for Employers, February 24, 2014 (PDF)
Topics include: [1] You can still set up a SEP by the due date (including extensions) of your 2013 business income tax return; [2] Tips for the sole proprietor; [3] Saver's Credit for contributing to an IRA or company retirement plan by April 15, 2014; [4] How to correct missing or late distribution of safe-harbor 401(k) notice; [5] Retirement plan deadlines; [6] Consider your Roth options; and [7] My RA program information Fact Sheet, FAQs and video in English and Spanish. (Internal Revenue Service)

Text of 'Sample Article' Provided by IRS for Organizations and Employers: 'Roth Account in Your Retirement Plan' (PDF)
A one-page overview of Roth accounts in 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans, including links to relevant IRS publications and web pages. (Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Guidance Issued on In-Plan Roth Rollovers to Designated Roth Accounts (PDF)
"The IRS Notice also provides guidance on: limiting the type of contributions eligible for and the frequency of in-plan Roth rollovers; discontinuing in-plan Roth rollovers in an ongoing qualified Roth contribution program; the five-year holding period required for qualified distributions when an in-plan Roth rollover is the first contribution made to an employee's designated Roth account; accounting for in-plan Roth conversions in determining the present value of accrued benefits for top-heavy status; and distribution of excess deferrals, excess contributions, or excess aggregate contributions from a Roth account consisting of rolled over amounts from other accounts in the same plan." (Milliman)

[Guidance Overview] The New, New EPCRS Voluntary Correction for 457(b)
"[T]he following rules appear to govern voluntary submissions for corrections involving 457(b) plans of tax-exempt entities: [1] There is no guarantee that the IRS will accept any submission, but the chance of a submission being accepted increases where the correction involves one or more of the issues cited in the revenue procedure or in the Q&As ... [2] Because the submission is technically outside EPCRS, the EPCRS compliance fee for voluntary corrections does not apply. Rather, the fee will be a negotiated amount that presumably starts from the 'maximum payment amount' as determined under Audit CAP and is negotiated downward from there.... [3] While the submission is outside of EPCRS, there is nothing to prevent an applicant from following the EPCRS format in preparing the submission." (Mintz Levin)

2013 Year-End Compliance Reminders for Defined Contribution Plans Not Subject to ERISA (PDF)
"This information applies to defined contribution plans, such as qualified governmental plans (including 'grandfathered' 401(k) plans), qualified church plans that do not elect to be covered by ERISA ('non-electing church plans'), 403(b) plans, and section 457 plans that are not subject to Title I of ERISA. Every year, defined contribution plan sponsors should make sure their plans meet certain compliance requirements ... This publication identifies the materials you need to review and will help you prepare for year-end." (Prudential)

[Official Guidance] IRS Announces 2014 Pension Plan Limitations; Taxpayers May Contribute Up to $17,500 to Their 401(k) Plans in 2014
"Some pension limitations such as those governing 401(k) plans and IRAs will remain unchanged because the increase in the Consumer Price Index did not meet the statutory thresholds for their adjustment. However, other pension plan limitations will increase for 2014. Highlights include the following: ... The elective deferral (contribution) limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government's Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $17,500.... The AGI phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $181,000 to $191,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $178,000 to $188,000 in 2013. For singles and heads of household, the income phase-out range is $114,000 to $129,000, up from $112,000 to $127,000. For a married individual filing a separate return, the phase-out range is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.... The AGI limit for the saver's credit (also known as the retirement savings contribution credit) for low- and moderate-income workers is $60,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $59,000 in 2013; $45,000 for heads of household, up from $44,250; and $30,000 for married individuals filing separately and for singles, up from $29,500." (Internal Revenue Service)

IRS Probing Non-Qualified 457(b) Plans (PDF)
"Some plan sponsors have already received their letters; others will receive them between now and September 30, 2014.... [T]he compliance questionnaire is not an audit, which would be far more comprehensive than a 10-item list. That said, the questionnaire should not be taken lightly; a failure to respond will most likely result in an audit, as will an inadequate response, or a response which indicates that plan failures may be present." (Cammack LaRhette Consulting)

[Guidance Overview] Quick Reference Guide for Public Employers, Feb. 2013 Edition (PDF)
24 pages. "This guide is produced annually by the IRS office of Federal, State and Local Governments (FSLG). It is intended to provide a brief introduction to basic Federal employment tax and reporting information issues for governmental employers. For more detailed information in these areas, see IRS Publication 963, Federal-State Reference Guide." The publication's chapter titles are: Compensation; Social Security and Medicare Coverage; Public Retirement Systems; Retirement Plans; Fee-Based Public Officials; Special Situations for Public Workers; Fringe Benefits; Information Reporting; Backup Withholding; Key Dates; Section 218; Social Security Coverage (Flowchart); and Medicare Coverage (Flowchart). (Internal Revenue Service)

2013 Survey of Governmental Defined Contribution Plans
"The National Summary provides a narrative overview of the key areas involved in administering governmental 457, 401(k), 401(a), and 403(b) plans. The survey also provides a PDF of the Overall Survey Results, which offers a look at the survey through charts and responses from all participating entities." (National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators)

[Guidance Overview] Q&As from Treasury and IRS Meeting with ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, May 2013 (PDF)
16 pages. Topics include: Cost of Living Adjustments for High Deductible Health Plans; Collateral for Plan Loan; Benefit Election Following Reemployment; Correction for Exclusion from Plan; Determination Letter Applications: Amendments Adopted After Plan Restatement, Inability to Submit Missing Executed Plan Documents, and Off-Cycle Determination Letters; Correction of Overpayments with or without Spouse as Joint Annuitant; Merger of Plan with Roth Contributions; Various questions about 409A and 457 Plans; Section 162(m) Performance Pay; Change in ESOP Loan Duration; and Actuarial Adjustment of Cash Balance Benefit. (Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, American Bar Association)

[Guidance Overview] New Compliance Check Program Announced for 457(b) Non-Governmental Plans (PDF)
"It is unclear how the VCP program will be applied, since non-governmental 457(b) plans generally cannot be corrected under the [EPCRS] ... However, the Revenue Procedure states that the IRS may consider submissions by tax-exempt entities -- to correct unfunded section 457(b) deferred compensation plans that were erroneously set up to benefit rank and file employees -- if the plan has been operated in a manner similar to a qualified plan. It is unknown how the IRS will react when they encounter 457(b) plan errors by tax-exempt entities that do not fall within this narrow area of consideration." (Buck Consultants)

Tax-Exempt Organizations May Be in Line for a 457(b) Compliance Check
"[The authors are] a bit surprised that the IRS intends to focus on [the limited participation rule] as it relates to a requirement found in ERISA (rather than in the tax law), is under Labor Department jurisdiction and pertains to an area of law where there are no clear guidelines to determine whether a given person would qualify as a 'top-hat' participant. This may be an indication that the IRS believes a significant number of tax-exempt employers are improperly utilizing 457(b) plans for rank and file employees, which is generally not allowed unless the sponsor is a church or governmental entity." (Towers Watson)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Begins 457(b) Plan Compliance Check Project
"The IRS just announced a 'compliance check' project for 457(b) plans maintained by non-governmental tax-exempt entities ... Certain items the IRS will be looking at ... may catch some plan sponsors off guard. The [IRS] will send compliance check letters and questionnaires to approximately 200 tax-exempt organizations between now and October 30, 2013, and another 200 during the fiscal year ending October 30, 2014." (Fiduciary Partners Retirement Group)

Next Stop: IRS Compliance Checks of Non-Governmental 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plans
"Specific issues of focus include: (a) verifying the deferrals reported as 457(b) relate to an actual 457(b) plan; (b) verify that the employer is eligible to sponsor a 457(b) plan; (c) confirming that participation is limited to a select group of highly compensated employees, managers, directors or officers ...; (d) determining whether the plan includes features not permitted in Top Hat Plans sponsored by tax-exempts, but that are permitted for governmental 457(b) plans, including loans, age 50 catch-ups and Code Section 457(g) trusts; and (e) reviewing unforeseeable emergency distributions.... [I]dentified plans which are out-of-compliance will be subject to audit or in some cases, referral to the Voluntary Correction Programs." (Leonard, Street and Deinard)

IRS Announces New Compliance Check Project for Non-Governmental 457(b) Plans
"The IRS has stated that it will focus on various issues, including whether: (1) the deferrals reported on the Forms W-2 are in fact being made to a 457(b) plan; (2) the employer is eligible to have a 457(b) plan and what type of tax-exempt employer it is (e.g., governmental, non-governmental or a dual status entity); (3) the eligibility under the 457(b) plan is limited to a select group of management or highly compensated employees; (4) the 457(b) plan includes features that are not permitted under federal law (e.g., loans); and (5) unforeseeable emergency distributions have been made." (Quarles & Brady LLP)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Employee Plans News, June 24, 2013
Issue no. 2013-02. Articles include: [1] IRS Nationwide Tax Forums; [2] How much salary can you defer if you're eligible for more than one retirement plan? [3] Is a frozen defined benefit plan subject to the top-heavy minimum benefit rules? [4] 403(b) pre-approved plan program; [5] Voluntary Correction Program fees for multiple failures; [6] Tips to avoid processing delays with your Voluntary Correction Program Submission; [7] Updated submission kits for plans that missed the EGTRRA deadlines; [9] Form 5300 -- use April 2011 version; [10] Employee Stock Ownership Plans Determination Letter application review process; [11] Employee Plans Compliance Unit (EPCU) -- non-governmental 457(b) plans project examination; [12] Tips for hardship distributions; [13] SEP plan eligibility requirements. (Internal Revenue Service)

IRS Announces Compliance Check Program for Tax-Exempt Employers
"The IRS will use the data gathered from the questionnaire initiative to gain a better understanding of the 457(b) plans of tax-exempt employers and the plans' overall compliance with section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code[.] Specifically, through the compliance check program, the IRS seeks to learn more about the operation of 457(b) plans of nongovernmental employers, verify whether the plans comply with the requirements of the Code, identify noncompliance issues, and develop recommendations to remove barriers to compliance." (Morgan Lewis)

[Guidance Overview] Checklist of Federal Tax Law Rules Applicable to Public Retirement Systems
"This outline is a basic summary of the principal Internal Revenue Code qualification requirements that apply to governmental plans, other than plans described in Code section 403(b) or 457(b). It also includes selected Code requirements that do not relate to qualification. It is very general in nature, and does not replace research on specific questions." (Calhoun Law Group, P.C.)

[Guidance Overview] 'Blue Book' Clarifies Distribution Restrictions Following In-Service Roth Conversions
"The 'Blue Book' for [the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012], as released by [JCT] in February 2013, clarifies the provisions authorizing in-service rollover distributions of 401(k) funds to Roth 401(k) plans. Significantly, the Blue Book explains that amounts subject to a distribution restriction in a 401(k), 403(b), or 457(b) plan before an in-plan transfer remain subject to the applicable distribution restrictions after the transfer." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

IRS Finds High Percentage of Errors on W-2 Reporting of 401(k) Elective Deferrals
"[The IRS] ... found 75 percent needed to correct these forms because they: reported that some employees had elective deferrals that exceeded the annual limit; failed to use the code 'D' in Box 12 when reporting 401(k) elective deferrals; or incorrectly reported in Box 12 elective deferrals made to 403(b) or 457 plans or other non-qualified amounts." (Thompson SmartHR Manager)

IRS Revises Retirement Plan Correction Program
"The IRS made several important changes to EPCRS, some of which are intended to broaden its scope and others to make the correction process more efficient. The most significant changes [are]: New Forms 8950 and 8951... Applies to 403(b) Plans ... Governmental 457(b) Plans ... Section 436 Corrections ... Lost Participants ... Correcting Missed Matching Contributions ... QNEC for Nondiscrimination Failures ... New Mailing Address." (Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Again Modifies Amendment Cycle Rules for Governmental Plans (PDF)
[T]the IRS [has] announced a second modification of the staggered remedial amendment cycle process for sponsors of individually-designed 401(a)-qualified governmental plans. The remedial amendment cycle rules do not currently apply to 403(b) plans or to section 457(b) plans.... [T]he IRS will allow governmental plans to file their second remedial amendment cycle determination letter requests during Cycle E. The Cycle E filing period begins on February 1, 2015, and ends on January 31, 2016." (Prudential)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Updates Retirement Plans Correction Program
"The biggest news is that 403(b) plans are now eligible for EPCRS. In particular, 403(b) plan sponsors can now use VCP to correct failure to adopt a written 403(b) plan on time. Correction procedures are also provided on an experimental basis for 457(b) plans, primarily for governmental 457(b) plans, in a new program separate from the EPCRS." (Benefits Bryan Cave)

[Guidance Overview] Fiscal Cliff Legislation Provides New In-Plan Roth Conversion Opportunity for 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) Plans
"Plan sponsors who previously considered but rejected implementing an in-plan Roth conversion feature for their plans due to the modest benefit previously available to employees may now want to reconsider whether such an approach makes sense in light of the greater benefits provided under the new law.... Under the new, expanded conversion right, an eligible plan that permits regular non-rollover Roth contributions could allow participants to convert any pre-tax vested amounts to Roth amounts within the plan - whether or not participants are eligible to withdraw such amounts." (Ballard Spahr)

[Guidance Overview] A Soft Landing from the Fiscal Cliff for Employee Benefits
"This legislation significantly expands the ability for participants to convert non-Roth accounts within 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) governmental plans to Roth accounts without withdrawing amounts from the plan. This provision is expected to raise $12.2 billion over 10 years to offset the loss of revenue stemming from the sequestration delay. The Fiscal Cliff legislation also addressed the tax exclusions for employer-provided educational and adoption assistance, which were both scheduled to expire at the end of 2012, re-established the parity between mass transit and parking fringe benefits that expired at the end of 2011, and addressed dependent care assistance benefits." (Ogletree Deakins)

[Guidance Overview] Implementing In-Plan Roth Transfers
"The employer can operationally permit participants to accomplish the transfers prior to formally amending the plan. As the amendment would be an optional change, the deadline to adopt such an amendment should be the last day of the plan year in which the amendment is effective. However, it is not known at this time whether the IRS will extend the general amendment deadline." (SunGard Relius)

[Guidance Overview] Fiscal Cliff Legislation Includes Expansion of In-Plan Roth Conversions
"One of the few revenue generators in the legislation [ ('ATRA') ] is an amendment to the Tax Code that expands the availability of 'in-plan Roth conversions' in employer-sponsored retirement plans.... Under ATRA, 401(k), 403(b) and governmental 457(b) plans that include a Roth contribution feature may now offer employees the option of converting any pre-tax amounts held in the plan, including elective deferrals, to after-tax Roth amounts in a taxable 'in-plan Roth conversion,' regardless of whether such amounts are otherwise 'distributable' under the Tax Code. This will greatly expand the potential for taxable conversions of pre-tax amounts to Roth amounts, although it remains to be seen whether this option will in fact generate the amount of tax revenue ($12 billion over the next 10 years) that Congress anticipated when 'scoring' the legislation." (Spencer Fane)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Issues Update to System for Correction of Plan Failures
"[T]he new revenue procedure provides that plans subject to section 403(b) can generally correct failures in accordance with EPCRS in substantially the same manner that is available for qualified plans. The revenue procedure also provides that the IRS will accept submissions related to funded governmental Code section 457(b) plans on a provisional basis outside of EPCRS through standards that are similar to EPCRS. This process is not available with respect to Code section 457(b) plans maintained by a not-for-profit organization." (Sidley Austin LLP)

2012-2013 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits Published by DOL and Treasury (PDF)
"The DOL's agenda and related materials include eight pending projects related to employee benefits, which are listed in the chart [in the linked article] in order of the projected timetable for next steps.... The IRS Business Plan includes 36 pending items addressing retirement benefits and 24 pending items addressing executive compensation, health care and other benefits." (Sutherland)

Year-End Compliance Reminders for ERISA-Exempt Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)
"This information applies to defined contribution plans, such as qualified governmental plans (including 'grandfathered' 401(k) plans), qualified church plans that do not elect to be covered by ERISA ('non-electing church plans'), 403(b) plans, and section 457 plans that are not subject to Title I of ERISA. Every year, defined contribution plan sponsors should make sure their plans meet certain compliance requirements, including those listed below. This publication identifies the materials you need to review and will help you prepare for year-end." [Editor's note: includes descriptive list of administrative and testing issues.] (Prudential)

DOL Adds to Hurricane Sandy Relief for Benefit Plans (PDF)
"While the news release does not specifically mention the special deadline for employers of fewer than 100 employees to remit participant contributions and loan repayments (not later than the seventh business day following the day on which such amounts are received by the employer), there is no reason to believe that the relief does not also extend to such employers." (Buck Consultants)

[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Rev. Proc. 2012-50 Allowing Governmental Plans to File Determination Letter Requests in a Cycle Later Than Cycle C (PDF)
"This revenue procedure modifies Rev. Proc. 2007-44 ... to provide that the sponsor of an individually designed governmental plan within the meaning of Section 414(d) ... may elect Cycle E (instead of Cycle C) as the second remedial amendment cycle for the plan by filing a determination letter application for the plan during the one-year submission period for the second Cycle E (February 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016) instead of the second Cycle C (February 1, 2013 through January 31, 2014). This modification applies only to the second remedial amendment cycle." (Internal Revenue Service)

Out-of-Town Relatives of Hurricane Sandy Victims Can Use Newly Liberalized Rules for Hardship Withdrawals and Plan Loans (PDF)
"It is important to note that, in addition to hardship distributions and loans to affected participants, the Announcement provides potential relief for Sandy-related hardships of lineal ascendants or descendants of plan participants as well as spouses and dependents. In other words, if the plan allows it, a plan participant who lives in another part of the country can assist a son, daughter, parent, grandparent or other dependent who lived or worked in the affected areas by taking out a plan loan or hardship withdrawal under the guidance." (Groom Law Group)

IRS Announces Plan Loan and Hardship Withdrawal Relief for Hurricane Sandy (PDF)
"The announcement allows withdrawals to be made for any hardship arising from Hurricane Sandy, not just those enumerated in the Code and regulations. For purposes of a governmental 457(b) plan, a distribution for any hardship arising from Hurricane Sandy is considered to be made on account of an 'unforeseeable emergency.' In addition, the announcement permits the withdrawal without the need for a post-distribution contribution restriction such as the 6-month restriction in the 401(k) regulatory safe harbor." (Buck Consultants)

[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Announcement 2012-44: Special Rules for Loans and Distributions From Retirement Plans to Hurricane Sandy Victims(PDF)
"This announcement provides relief to taxpayers who have been adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy and have retirement assets in qualified employer plans they would like to use to alleviate hardships caused by Hurricane Sandy. In addition, this announcement provides relief from certain verification procedures that may be required under retirement plans with respect to loans and hardship distributions. The relief provided under this announcement is in addition to the relief already provided by the Service pursuant to News Release IR-2012-83 under Section 7508A of the Internal Revenue Code for victims of Hurricane Sandy.... For purposes of this announcement, a 'qualified employer plan' means a plan or contract meeting the requirements of Section 401(a), 403(a) or 403(b), and, for purposes of the hardship relief, which could, if it contained enabling language, make hardship distributions. For purposes of this paragraph, a 'qualified employer plan' also means a plan described in Section 457(b) maintained by an eligible employer described in Section 457(e)(1)(A), and any hardship arising from Hurricane Sandy is treated as an 'unforeseeable emergency' for purposes of distributions from such plans. For example, a profit-sharing or stock bonus plan that currently does not provide for hardship or other in-service distributions may nevertheless make Sandy-related hardship distributions pursuant to this announcement, except from QNEC or QMAC accounts or from earnings on elective contributions[.]" (Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview] Retirement Plans Can Make Loans, Hardship Distributions to Sandy Victims
"401(k) plan participants, employees of public schools and tax-exempt organizations with 403(b) tax-sheltered annuities, and state and local government employees with 457(b) deferred-compensation plans may be eligible to take advantage of these streamlined loan procedures and liberalized hardship distribution rules. Though IRA participants are barred from taking out loans, they may be eligible to receive distributions under liberalized procedures. Retirement plans can provide this relief to employees and certain members of their families who live or work in the disaster area. To qualify for this relief, hardship withdrawals must be made by Feb. 1, 2013." (Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview] Elective Deferral Limits for 2013 for Employees of Non-Profit and Governmental Employers (PDF)
"Generally, contributions made to 403(b) and 401(k) plans are aggregated when applying the contribution limits, while those made to section 457(b) plans are subject to separate limits." [Editor's note: The article includes an extensive chart that includes the aggregate limits where multiple plans are in effect.] (Prudential)

Taking Control of Your 401(k) Accounts
"[C]onsider that your 401(k) or similar retirement plan, such as a 403(b) or 457 deferred compensation plan, is such a core piece of your retirement that you ought to not be particularly aggressive in the plan.... Benjamin Graham -- Warren Buffett's mentor -- suggests a 50/50 asset allocation between stocks and fixed-income as a baseline which swings between 75/25 and 25/75 depending on market conditions." (MarketWatch.com)

Slides and Handouts for Upcoming Meeting of National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators
"Presentations include: 403(b) Pre-Conference Workshop; The Washington Report: Retirement Security and Individual Responsibility; IRS/Regulatory Update - Activities and Regulations; DC 101 - RFP Selection Process; DC 101 - Fiduciary Responsibility and the Investment Policy Statement; Alternatives in Plan Administration Fee Assessment and Collection Models; 403(b) Plan Compliance; Critical Questions for Fiduciaries about Guaranteed Income Products; Stable Value Funds; Benchmarking Plans; Investment Innovations; The Impact of Social Media in Communicating with Participants; and Behavioral Finance." (NAGDCA)

[Opinion] NAGDCA Helps to Tame Wild, Wild West of 403(b) and 457 Offerings
"The vast majority of 403(b) and 457(b) plans that our nation's state (which includes cities, counties, municipalities, etc.) government employees invest in are high in cost, laden with surrender charges (and long surrender periods) and pay commissions that would likely not be allowed in ERISA plans (state government plans are exempt from ERISA).... However, for all the poorly run plans that exist, there are some very well run plans and they are increasingly setting an example for the others and driving down costs as well increasing transparency. Many of these plans have trustees (fiduciaries) who follow ERISA principles and are members of a growing association that serves government defined contribution plans named NAGDCA, or the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators." (The Meridian Blog)

[Opinion] With Pensions At Risk, Government Workers Must Demand Better 457 and 403(b) Retirement Plans
"[I]f you worked for a state or local government, or a public school or university, you might have been offered the opportunity to invest in what are commonly referred to as 457(b) or 403(b) plans. These defined contribution retirement plans permit largely public sector workers to defer a portion of their compensation. However, don't make the mistake of confusing them with their 401(k) cousins. There's a world of difference. The odds are so stacked against most 457 and 403(b) investors that they'll be lucky if the principal they invested is available upon retirement." (Forbes)

Government 457(b) Primer (PDF)
"[This issue brochure] provides a brief overview of the features and rules applicable to governmental 457(b) plans. It is meant to serve as an introductory foundation to the inner workings of these plans and it may serve as a useful tool for those being exposed to these types of plans for the first time." (NAGDCA)

[Guidance Overview] Compliance Checklist 2012 for Non-ERISA Plans: Qualified Governmental and Nonelecting Church Plans, Non-ERISA 403(b) Plans, 457 Plans and Nonqualified Executive Benefit Plans (PDF)
Very nice 16-page chart. (Prudential)

Lessons for 457 Investors and Administrators on Stable-Value Funds
"Today, public employees enrolled in a workplace savings program like a 457 plan or a 401a defined contribution plan are looking at far lower rates on the stable-value products available to them. Interest rates in the 2 to 3 percent range are much more commonplace these days.... The big selling point today for a stable value fund is that they won't lose money for the investor if interest rates go up. At least in theory. And therein lies the rub.... The insurance company making a primary guarantee can default, and the portfolio guaranteed by a "wrapper" company can suffer losses so bad that the market-price stabilization is not sufficient." (Governing)

[Guidance Overview] Should Section 457(f) Apply to Deferred Compensation Plan of For-Profit Subsidiary of Tax-Exempt Organization?
"[T]he provisions of Code Section 457 (and the related Treasury Regulations, which [are not cited] here) as well as a Private Letter Ruling generally support the conclusions that no part of Code Section 457, including Section 457(f), should apply to the for-profit subsidiary of a tax-exempt entity. But it takes more than a few steps, and a modicum of hand wringing, to get reach that conclusion. Wouldn't it be great if the forthcoming regulations were to confirm this explicitly? Perhaps they will." (Verrill Dana)

NAGDCA 2012 Survey of Defined Contribution Plans
"This report contains two sections. The National Summary provides a narrative overview of the key areas involved in administering governmental 457, 401(k), 401(a), and 403(b) plans. The survey also provides a pdf of the Overall Survey Results, which offers a look at the survey through charts and responses from all participating entities." (National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, Inc.)

[Guidance Overview] Upcoming IRS Guidance Regarding the Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans of Tax-Exempt Organizations (PDF)
"Apart from one brief regulation issued several years ago, the [IRS] hasnever issued comprehensive guidance for 457(f) plan sponsors. Comprehensive guidance has been discussed and was expected to be issued in 2011, but did not occur.... However, new guidance is anticipated within the next few months in the form of proposed regulations. Upon issuance of the regulations, the IRS will grant a 'comment period' during which thepublic will be able to review, and suggest changes to, the regulations. The guidance will likely cover [key areas as outlined in this article], according to informal IRS comments[.]" (Drinker Biddle)

Ensure your Plan Participants are Prepared for a Secure Retirement
Defined Contribution Conference, March 11-13, in Miami. Learn from your peers through presentations and discussions on plan design, communications, investment options and more. FREE registration for qualified plan sponsors. (Pensions & Investments)

Avoid the Common Mistakes Affecting Plan Loans Webcast
Earn CE credit while ERISA expert, Charles Lockwood, JD, LLM, explains the administrative issues that affect plan loans. Have questions? Charles will address them either during or after the webcast. March 22nd at 2pm EST. (ASC)

401(k) 403(b), and 457(b) Plans: Key Features and Contribution Limits for 2012 (PDF)
"Section 401(k) plans are the most prevalent type of defined contribution plan in the private sector. Section 403(b) plans are another form of defined contribution plan, available only to employees of certain tax-exempt and public educational organizations. Section 457(b) plans are defined contribution plans established by state and local governments and certain tax-exempt organizations. The table . . . compares important aspects of these plans." (Retirement Town Hall)

[Guidance Overview] Another Unexpected Surprise for International Assignees: Section 457a (no, Not 409a!) of the U.S. Tax Code
"[T]he lesser known Code section 457A creates new complexity, applicable where deferred compensation, including many types of equity compensation, is earned by U.S. taxpayers who perform services for certain non-U.S. corporations and partnerships located in a jurisdiction that is tax indifferent (or more colloquially, a tax haven). In general, if section 457A applies, the period that compensation may be excluded from a U.S. taxpayer's taxable income is limited to no more than 12 months after any service-based vesting condition is satisfied. If a vesting period is based on performance (rather than on the passage of time), the income exclusion may be longer than 12 months, but the amount is subject to an additional 20% tax when paid." (Littler)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Wants to Offer RMD Relief for Longevity Annuity Contracts in 403(b)/457, Other Retirement Plans
"Based upon [comments received], Treasury and the IRS concluded that 'substantial advantages' exist to modifying the RMD rules to make it easier for a participant to purchase a deferred annuity that is scheduled to commence at an advanced age -- such as age 80 or 85 -- using a portion of his or her account. Accordingly, the proposed regulations . . . would provide that before annuitization, a participant could exclude the value of a longevity annuity contract that meets certain requirements from the account balance used to determine RMDs." (Thompson)

[Guidance Overview] Final ERISA Section 408(b)(2) Regulations Include Significant Differences from Interim Rules
"These regulations make several significant changes . . . including: [1] Excluding certain frozen IRC Section 403(b) plans issued before January 1, 2009 from coverage under the regulations; [2] Enhancing the information relating to 'indirect compensation' required to be disclosed; [3] Adding certain investment-related disclosures to facilitate compliance with DOL regulations under ERISA Section 404(a); [4] Extending the effective date to July 1, 2012. This has the effect of delaying the effective date of most participant-level disclosures under ERISA Section 404(a) to August 30, 2012." (Practical Law Company)

[Official Guidance] Proposed IRS Regs on Longevity Annuity Contracts
"This document contains proposed regulations relating to the purchase of longevity annuity contracts under tax-qualified defined contribution plans under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code), section 403(b) plans, individual retirement annuities and accounts (IRAs) under section 408, and eligible governmental section 457 plans. These regulations will provide the public with guidance necessary to comply with the required minimum distribution rules under section 401(a)(9). The regulations will affect individuals for whom a longevity annuity contract is purchased under these plans and IRAs (and their beneficiaries), sponsors and administrators of these plans, trustees and custodians of these IRAs, and insurance companies that issue longevity annuity contracts under these plans and IRAs." (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

Expected 457(f) Plan Guidance to Address Long-Unanswered Questions
"In a recent webcast, Bob Architect, vice president, Compliance and Market Strategy, VALIC, listed new proposed 457(f) regulations among the items coming in 2012." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

IRS May Resolve 457 Plan Questions
"On Nov. 8, the IRS released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking announcing that it would be issuing proposed regulations which would define the term 'governmental plan' under Section 414(d) of the code. The IRS pointed out that the principles set out in the 414(d) regulations would generally also apply for purposes of section 457." (Credit Union Times)

[Guidance Overview] 2012 Regulatory Limits: Poster and Compliance Calendar
"[The poster] is a convenient way to remind you of important regulatory limits and dates for retirement plans. Note that there are increases in regulatory limits for 2012. [The calendar] lists recurring compliance and notice requirements for qualified defined contribution plans." (The Vanguard Group, Inc.)

2011 NAGDCA Survey of DC Plans II
"This report contains two sections. The National Summary provides a narrative overview of the key areas involved in administering governmental 457, 401(k), 401(a), and 403(b) plans. The survey also provides a pdf of the Overall Survey Results, which offers a look at the survey through charts and responses from all participating entities." (NAGDCA)

[Guidance Overview] Former Tax-Exempt Organizations May Salvage Status and Continue Sponsoring Tax-Favored Retirement Plans (PDF)
"On June 8, 2011, the IRS announced that approximately 275,000 organizations had lost their tax-exempt status because they did not file legally required annual reports for three consecutive years. The IRS also announced special steps to help these organizations apply for reinstatement of their tax-exempt status. This status is particularly important for entities that sponsor 403(b) plans or non-governmental section 457(b) plans." (Prudential Retirement)

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