AndyH

Broadly available allocation rates gateway exception

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AndyH    23

Plan being cross tested plan has allocations that are based on age but do not meet either the 1/3 or 5% gateway. Assume it does not meet the smoothly increasing at regular interval standard. I'm trying to look at the broadly available rule.

The only criteria for an allocation is age.

What standard is necessary for each rate group to pass the 410(b) criteria in order to satisfy the broadly available criteria? Does each allocation rate containing an HCE need to have a ratio percentage equal to the safe harbor percentage or does it need to be at least 70%. If I understand the rules, this depends upon whether having the groups defined by age would be a valid objective business criteria.

Comments? This is the first time I've tried to apply this exception to the gateway rules

Edited by AndyH

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My understanding is that the testing for broadly available works like testing BRF, so your groups of allocation rates just need to pass using the safe harbor percentage.

But, and I admit to not giving it too much consideration, I am not sure how the broadly available test can help. It seems to me that nearly any plan that could satisfy the broadly available test could just pass testing on a contributions basis.

Edited by Blinky the 3-eyed Fish

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AndyH    23

Blinky, thanks for the comments.

But, typically when you do a BRF test, there is some legitimate reason why the BRFs are different, even if it is greater years of service, as might occur with a test of different rates of match. It could be a different plan or a different division, or some other objective business criteria which satisfies the NCT criteria. But if the only reason the BRFs were different were age, does that satisfy the NCT objective business reason criteria, or must you pass ratio percentage?

I admit that this is a little "out there". I have a non-gateway and I'm using the occasion to explore the other options, and this is not one I've looked at before.

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AndyH    23

Blinky, Mike Preston covered this in his ASPA presentation by dismissing this option as practically useless, as you also implied, so I'll channel my curiosity in other directions, but thanks again for your comments.

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