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Mandatory Contributions - Def of Comp

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Very very relevant article on mandatory contributionsby Steve Forbes...

Beginning of excerpt

Some 403(b) plans provide for mandatory contributions. In this situation, making the contribution is a condition of employment. Such a condition may arise from a statute or contract, or may simply be the employer’s policy.

Both of these types of contributions reduce the employee’s wages for tax purposes. The FICA rules count these contributions as wages. However, neither type of contribution is an elective deferral for purposes of a 403(b) plan under Treas. Reg. §31.3121(a)(5)-2, which the Treasury finalized in November 2007. Accordingly, these contributions are nonelective employer contributions as far as the plan is concerned. Except for church plans and governmental plans, these contributions are subject to nondiscrimination testing under Code §401(a)(4). They are not subject to the universal availability rule (and cannot be used to satisfy that rule) or the 402(g) limit. Unlike conventional elective deferrals, these contributions are not included in gross compensation for purposes of 415 or other Code provisions which reference the 415 definition of compensation.

End of excerpt

I have a plan where the employer mandates a 5% employee contribution. If you make said 5% contribution, you get an 8% contribtion. Question is, 8% of what? This article seems to suggest that it is 8% of comp EXCLUDING mandatory contributions unless unique language adding back the mandatory contriubtions is included.

Austin Powers, CPA, QPA, ERPA

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