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Excess contributions to 401(a) plans

Guest medinael

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Guest medinael

A county sponsors a DC 401(a) plan which requires a mandatory 1% employee contribution and a 9% contribution from the county. In 1998 the county set up a separate 401(a) money purchase pension plan solely for a sheriff who was excluded from participation in the states Public Employee's Retirement Plan (DB). The sheriff participated in the DC plan and he and the county made the required 10% of comp contributions. The county contributed 18.5 percent of comp to the MPPP for the sheriff. The sheriff terminated and cashed out in October 2004. It looks like for at least '98-'01, the 415 limit of 25% of comp was exceeded if contributions to both 401(a) plans are coordinated.

Questions: if by some miracle the county can recover the excess contributions from the participant, how is it allocated amongst the two 401(a) plans, i.e. to which plan is the excess contribution attributed? Keep in mind the sheriff was the only participant in the MPPP. If the money can't be recovered, what is the county's obligation - just call it taxable comp to the sheriff?

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