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Benefits in the News > By Subject >

SIMPLE 401(k), SIMPLE IRA plans


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Why Your Small Business Should Consider Implementing a Retirement Plan
"According to the Freelancers Union, a non-profit organization providing advocacy and health insurance to its members, there are an estimated 54 million independent workers. While millennials get credited for being the driving force of entrepreneurship, about half of new businesses are started by Baby Boomers. Regardless of their generation, 60 percent of independent contractors and small business owners report not saving enough for their retirement." (Butterfield Schechter LLP)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Publication 560: Retirement Plans for Small Business (SEP, SIMPLE, and Qualified Plans) for Use in Preparing 2016 Returns (PDF)
28 pages; Jan. 26, 2017. "What's New: Compensation limits for 2016 and 2017.... Elective deferral limit for 2016 and 2017.... Defined contribution limit for 2016 and 2017.... SIMPLE plan salary reduction contribution limit for 2016 and 2017.... Catch-up contribution limit for 2016 and 2017.... Mid-year changes to safe harbor plans and notices.... Tax relief for victims of Hurricane Matthew." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
[Guidance Overview] Second Fiduciary FAQs Package Issued in Final Days Before DOL Transition
"FAQ II deals specifically with the final regulations. Unfortunately, FAQ II did not answer all of the questions posed by industry practitioners. For example, absent was clarification of how the DOL views its conflict-of-interest guidance in the context of employer-sponsored retirement plans that employ IRAs as their investment vehicles. This includes simplified employee pension (SEP) plans and savings incentive match plan for employees of small employers (SIMPLE) plans. Nonetheless, FAQ II does provide many hoped-for clarifications." (Ascensus)
Retirement Plans Comparison Table for Small Businesses, 2017 Plan Year
"This table provides a comparison of the features and benefits that apply to retirement plans that can be sponsored/adopted by small business owners. Focus is on the areas that are important to the business owner, so as to help ensure that the plan that is chosen is the plan that is most suitable for the business. Plans covered: SEP IRAs; SIMPLE IRAs; 401(k)s; Solo 401(k) / Individual-K; Profit Sharing; Money Purchase Pension; Defined Benefit Pension." (Appleby Retirement Dictionary)
IRS Publication 4334: Simple IRA Plans for Small Businesses (PDF)
16 pages; dated Oct. 2016. "A SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers) IRA plan offers great advantages for businesses that meet two basic criteria. First, your business must have 100 or fewer employees (who earned $5,000 or more during the preceding calendar year). In addition, you cannot currently have another retirement plan.... [C]ompared to other types of retirement plans, SIMPLE IRA plans offer lower start-up and annual costs ... they are just simpler to operate." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS] and Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL])
New EPCU Compliance Project: SIMPLE IRA Plans - Eligible Sponsors
"[Q1:] Why did I receive an EPCU compliance check letter? [A:] The information we have indicates you sponsor a SIMPLE IRA Plan, but appear to employ more than 100 employees who earn at least $5,000. [Q2:] What is the EPCU attempting to determine? [A:] Our goal is to ensure that employers sponsoring a SIMPLE IRA Plan are eligible to sponsor those plans." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
[Guidance Overview] IRS Reminds Retirees of April 1 Deadline to Take Required Retirement Plan Distributions (PDF)
"The April 1 deadline applies to owners of traditional (including SEP and SIMPLE) IRAs but not Roth IRAs. Normally, it also applies to participants in various workplace retirement plans, including 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans. The April 1 deadline only applies to the required distribution for the first year. For all subsequent years, the RMD must be made by Dec. 31. So, a taxpayer who turned 70-1/2 in 2015 (born after June 30, 1944 and before July 1, 1945) and receives the first required distribution (for 2015) on April 1, 2016, for example, must still receive the second RMD by Dec. 31, 2016." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Retirement Plan Options for 1099 Employees
"[S]even in 10 entrepreneurs aren't saving regularly, if at all, for retirement.... Start by creating a budget.... Roth IRA.... MyRA.... Simple IRA.... Solo 401(k).... SEP IRA." (U.S. News & World Report)
Small Business Retirement Plan Options: 401(k) Plans vs. SIMPLE and SEP IRAs
"401ks are not the only retirement plan option for small businesses -- IRA-based alternatives exist. These alternatives should be considered when a business does not need the key virtues of a 401k plan -- high contribution limits and design flexibility -- but wants to help employees save for retirement. Like a 401k plan, these alternatives offer automatic payroll deduction, making retirement savings easy." [Charts outline contribution limits and pros/cons for each type of plan.] (Employee Fiduciary)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Publication 560: Retirement Plans for Small Business (SEP, SIMPLE, and Qualified Plans), for Use in Preparing 2015 Returns (PDF)
28 pages; dated Jan. 14, 2016. "What's New: Compensation limits for 2015 and 2016.... Elective deferral limit for 2015 and 2016.... Defined contribution limit for 2015 and 2016.... SIMPLE plan salary reduction contribution limit for 2015 and 2016.... Catch-up contribution limit for 2015 and 2016." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
No Fiduciary Rule Relief in Budget Bill
"One retirement plan provision that did make it into the final bill: a provision that would allow a taxpayer to roll over amounts from an employer-sponsored retirement plan (e.g., 401(k) plan) to a SIMPLE IRA, provided the plan has existed for at least two years. The provision applies to contributions made after the date of enactment." [The full text of the 2,009-page bill is available online.] (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA])
[Guidance Overview] IRS Tax Forum Transcript: SEP and SIMPLE IRA Plans -- Avoiding Pitfalls (PDF)
32 pages. "What [this presentation will] do today is take you on a tour of both plans, providing to you the similarities and differences when it comes time to choose and establish one of these plans. Then the tour will continue to discuss about the participation requirements of both plans. And finally, as the title suggests, we'll get into the pitfalls or the recurring errors that we find in our examinations of these plans. [The presenter will] describe each error and then share with you how to find, fix, and avoid these common errors." [Also available:13 presentation slides.] (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Roth IRA, Roth 401(k), Roth Solo K -- What's the Difference?
"Because investment gains in Roth accounts are tax-free, it can make sense to use one to hold assets that have the potential for significant increases in value. Younger investors can also benefit from Roth accounts because they have more time for their investments to grow in this tax-free environment. That said, there are some key differences among the various types of Roth accounts that retirement savers should understand[.]" (nerdwallet)
EPCU Summary Report: SIMPLE IRA Plan Follow-Up Project
"This project allowed EPCU to determine the effectiveness of contacting these sponsors of SIMPLE IRA plans. While a significant number of plans were timely amended (including extension), project results indicate as many as 25% of the amendments may be due to our contacts sent in 2006." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
[Guidance Overview] IRS Retirement News for Employers, September 30, 2015
Includes links to IRS information: [1] Set up a retirement plan; [2] IRS video on low-cost, low-maintenance, SEP, SIMPLEs and Payroll Deduction IRAs; [3] Deadlines for adopting 401(k), profit-sharing or other defined contribution pre-approved retirement plans; [4] Required minimum distributions; [5] Fix your 403(b) plan mistakes; [6] Form 5500-EZ Instructions; [7] Upcoming retirement plan deadlines; and [8] 401(k) plan loans. (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
[Opinion] Chamber of Commerce Study Fatally Flawed
"The study painted a picture of the retirement plan marketplace which is incomplete and incorrect. As a lobbying tool for the brokerage industry, this study will likely be cited often. As an educational piece to help small business owners understand the implications of the proposed regulations, it can be disregarded.... Small businessmen, I have some news for you. Your existing brokerage firm partner in your retirement plan has not been a good friend. Aside from the sad fact that they aren't fiduciaries already, and have lobbied hard for years not to be, they appear arrogant enough to assume that you don't have other, better solutions available in the marketplace. You do." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)
Locked Out of Retirement: The Threat to Small Business Retirement Savings (PDF)
13 pages. "Small business owners, through SEP and SIMPLE-type IRA plans, provide roughly $472 billion in retirement savings for over 9 million U.S. households.... The DOL is proposing broad new regulations that would impose significant new compliance costs and legal liabilities on advisors to SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, costs that will be passed on to these small business plans and employees. Many small businesses cannot offer 401(k) or similar 'traditional' retirement plans because of administrative complexity, costs, or eligibility requirements, and instead offer simplified, basic retirement plans built around IRAs." (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
[Guidance Overview] Text of 'SIMPLE IRA Plan Fix-It Guide' (PDF)
27 pages. Includes an overview of SIMPLE IRA Plans, a description of the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System, and tips on how to avoid various specifically described mistakes. This is a revision of a 2008 version. (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Simple IRAs vs. 401(k) Safe Harbor Plans: What Are the Differences? (PDF)
"The purpose of this outline is to compare a SIMPLE IRA with a safe harbor 401(k) plan -- especially for employers who must cover participants other than just the owners. In order for an employer to be eligible to start a SIMPLE IRA plan, it must have no more than 100 employees who earned $5,000 or more during the preceding calendar year, and it must not make contributions to the SIMPLE plan if any of its employees are also receiving allocations in another qualified plan maintained by the employer, unless that plan is for collectively bargained employees." (Retirement Management Services)
[Guidance Overview] IRS Publication 4284: SIMPLE IRA Plan Checklist (Rev. 2-2015) (PDF)
"Every year it's important that you review the requirements for operating your Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers (SIMPLE) IRA plan. Use this checklist to help you keep your plan in compliance with many of the important rules [with links to] additional information (including examples) on how to find, fix and avoid each mistake[.]" (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
[Guidance Overview] IRS Publication 4334: SIMPLE IRA Plans for Small Businesses (PDF)
"A SIMPLE IRA plan provides you and your employees with a simplified way to contribute toward retirement. It reduces taxes and, at the same time, attracts and retains quality employees. And compared to other types of retirement plans, SIMPLE IRA plans offer lower start-up and annual costs... they are just simpler to operate." [Oct. 2014; published online Feb. 27, 2015] (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Retirement Plans Comparison Table for Small Businesses: 2015 Plan Year
"This table provides a comparison of the features and benefits that apply to retirement plans that can be sponsored/adopted by small business owners.... Plans covered: SEP IRAs; SIMPLE IRAs; 401(k)s; Solo 401(k) / Individual-K; Profit Sharing; Money Purchase Pension; and Defined Benefit Pension." (Appleby Retirement Dictionary)
IRA under SIMPLE Plan Held to Be Protected by State Anti-Garnishment Law
"The state anti-garnishment law would unquestionably protect a run-of-the-mill IRA. The creditor contended that this IRA was different, because; [1] it was the funding vehicle for a SIMPLE (IRC Section 408(p)); [2] SIMPLEs are employee benefit plans subject to ERISA; and [3] the state anti-garnishment law was therefore preempted by ERISA. The court agreed that the SIMPLE funded by the IRA was an ERISA-covered plan.... [T]he reasoning of VFS Financing is open to challenge, although its outcome -- the consistent application of a state anti-garnishment law to all IRAs, regardless of their origin -- has the effect of closing an apparent 'gap' in anti-alienation creditor protection for SEPs and SIMPLEs." [VFS Financing, Inc. v. Elias-Savion-Fox LLC, No. 12-Civ-2853 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 1, 2014)] (Steptoe & Johnson LLP, via Lexology)
[Guidance Overview] IRS Chart of Rollover-Eligible Retirement Plans and IRA Combinations, Updated November 2014 (PDF)
BenefitsLink came across this handy unofficial chart on the IRS web site. It's a one-page summary in the form of a table, listing the eight kinds of plans and IRAs that can make rollover-eligible distributions, and the corresponding eight kinds of plans and IRAs into which those distributions can (or cannot) be rolled over. Updated Nov. 17, 2014, to reflect revised rollover rules. (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Big Retirement Savings Gains for Small Businesses: Contributions on the Rise
"[An analysis of] more than 200,000 small business accounts offering a Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP-IRA), Self-Employed 401(k) or Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE-IRA) [shows that] in the past year alone, the average balance in these plans increased 4 percent-and average contributions increased 18 percent.... The average contribution to these retirement savings accounts has increased across the board since 2008, with those using Self-Employed 401(k)s experiencing the largest increase of 21 percent to $21,661. Employer contributions to SEP-IRAs increased 17 percent from 2008, reaching $13,814 at the end of 2013. Average contributions to SIMPLE-IRAs increased the least, rising 7 percent to $6,162." (Fidelity)
Simple IRAs vs. Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans: What Are the Differences?
3 page chart. Excerpt: "SIMPLE IRAs carry a lower administrative burden than 401(k) Safe Harbor Plans, due to simplified plan documents, and no annual compliance testing or 5500 government reporting requirements.... The purpose of this outline is to compare a SIMPLE IRA with a safe harbor 401(k) plan -- especially for employers who must cover participants other than just the owners." (Retirement Management Services, LLC)
Section-by-Section Summary of Republican-Proposed Tax Reform Act of 2014 (PDF)
Internal Revenue Code changes related to retirement plans include elimination of the ability to establish new SEPs or new SIMPLE 401(k)s; elimination of deductible contributions to IRAs; modification of the required distribution rules; elimination of ability to undo a Roth IRA recharacterization; reduction in minimum age for allowable in-service distributions; modification of rules governing hardship distributions; and inflation adjustments for qualified plan benefit and contribution limitations. Changes related to welfare benefits include repeal of education assistance plans, termination of deductions and income exclusions for contributions to Archer Medical Savings Accounts, and a new limitation on the exclusion of employer-provided housing from an employee's income. (Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives)
[Guidance Overview] From the IRS: SIMPLE IRA Plan Checklist and Fix-It Guide (PDF)
26 pages. Includes a chart showing how to identify, fix and avoid common mistakes, with detailed explanations of plan operations. Excerpt: "[E]very year it is important that you review the requirements for operating your Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of small employers (SIMPLE) IRA plan.... [If] you answered 'no' to any of the above questions, you may have a mistake in the operation of your SIMPLE IRA plan. [T]his list is only a guide to a more compliant plan, so answering 'Yes' to each question may not mean your plan is 100% compliant. Many mistakes can be corrected easily, without penalty and without notifying the IRS." (Internal Revenue Service)
[Official Guidance] IRS Publication 560, 'Retirement Plans for Small Business (SEP, SIMPLE, and Qualified Plans)' - February 3, 2014 Revision (PDF)
"This publication contains the information you need to understand the following topics: [1] What type of plan to set up. [2] How to set up a plan. [3] How much you can contribute to a plan. [4] How much of your contribution is deductible. [5] How to treat certain distributions. [6] How to report information about the plan to the IRS and your employees. [7] Basic features of SEP, SIMPLE, and qualified plans." [This revision includes retirement plan limits for 2013 and 2014.] (Internal Revenue Service)
[Guidance Overview] Employer Retirement Plans Comparison Table for Small Businesses: 2014 Plan Year (PDF)
"This chart provides a comparison of the features and benefits that apply to retirement plans that can be sponsored/adopted by small business owners.... Plans covered: SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, 401(k)s, Solo 401(k)/Individual-K, Profit Sharing, Money Purchase Pension, and Defined Benefit Pension." (Appleby Retirement Dictionary)
[Guidance Overview] IRS Retirement News for Employers, November 22, 2013 (PDF)
Topics include: [1] IRA year-end reminders; [2] 2014 cost-of-living adjustments; [3] 403(b) written plan requirement -- what to do if you didn't adopt a written plan by the deadline; [4] Annual notice -- what to do if you didn't notify eligible employees about your SIMPLE IRA plan; [5] Automatic enrollment plans -- general facts and considerations for participants; and [6] Mark Your Calendar -- retirement plan deadlines. (Internal Revenue Service)
Rebound in Retirement Plan Balances and Contributions Despite the Economic Downturn
"The average contribution to [SEP-IRA, Self-Employed 401(k) or SIMPLE-IRA savings plan] accounts increased across the board since 2007, with those using Self-Employed 401(k)s showing the largest increase of 21 percent to $20,950. Employer contributions to SEP-IRAs increased 14 percent from 2007, reaching $13,250 in at the end of 2012, while average employer/employee contributions to SIMPLE-IRAs increased the least, rising 4 percent to $6,000." (Fidelity Investments, via BusinessWire)
Major Changes Proposed for Employer-Provided Retirement Benefits (PDF)
"The proposal calls for instituting an overall cap on the amount individuals may accrue under all types of retirement plans .... Also of interest to employee benefit plan sponsors are provisions of the budget proposal that call for changes to PBGC premiums and the elimination of the exclusion for dividends paid on stock held by ESOPs. Other retirement-related proposals would affect IRAs, including a proposal for mandatory workplace IRAs for employers that do not sponsor another retirement plan." (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
Text of ASPPA's Proposals to Enhance the Private Retirement Plan System
"The proposals in this document are intended to enhance the retirement security of American workers, both active and retired, through expanded coverage, simplification, tools to address longevity issues and improved disclosure." (Government Affairs Committee, American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Rev. Proc. 2013-12: Update and Restatement of the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (PDF)
"This revenue procedure updates the comprehensive system of correction programs for sponsors of retirement plans that are intended to satisfy the requirements of Section 401(a), 403(a), 403(b), 408(k), or 408(p) of the Internal Revenue Code ... but that have not met these requirements for a period of time. This system, the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System ('EPCRS'), permits Plan Sponsors to correct these failures and thereby continue to provide their employees with retirement benefits on a tax-favored basis. The components of EPCRS are the Self-Correction Program ('SCP'), the Voluntary Correction Program ('VCP'), and the Audit Closing Agreement Program ('Audit CAP').... This revenue procedure modifies and supersedes Rev. Proc. 2008-50, 2008-2 C.B. 464, the prior consolidated statement of the correction programs under EPCRS." [Revenue Procedure 2013-12 will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2012-4 on January 22, 2013.] (Internal Revenue Service)
[Opinion] Text of ICI Comments to IRS on SIMPLE IRA Guidance (PDF)
"[ICI suggests] eliminating the requirement to attach or otherwise include the financial institution's procedures for withdrawal and transfer on the form and summary description. Instead, guidance could state that the financial institution must identify on the form where procedures for withdrawal and transfer can be located.... [T]he IRS should reconsider the requirement for each financial institution to provide the employer with the summary description ... [ICI requests] guidance clarifying the circumstances under which a financial institution could stop sending annual summary descriptions." (Investment Company Institute)
[Guidance Overview] SEP vs. SIMPLE IRA 2012
"Small business owners, who like the simplicity and low administrative costs associated with simplified employee pension (SEP) IRAs and savings incentive match plan for employees of small employers (SIMPLE) IRA plans, often find it hard to choose between the two. An understanding of the features and benefits of these plans can help to make the choice easier. [This] Quick Reference Guide provides a comparison of some of the key features and benefits of these plans." (Appleby Retirement Dictionary)
IRS to Scrutinize IRAs, Increase Collection of Penalties
"The government lets millions of dollars in tax penalties on IRAs go uncollected each year -- $286 million in 2006 and 2007 alone for missed withdrawals and contributions that break the rules. The reasons range from bureaucratic hurdles to tax forms that don't provide enough information, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the federal tax watchdog. Now the Internal Revenue Service, which has been cracking down on secret foreign accounts and beefing up audits of high earners in recent years, is turning its attention to IRA snafus." (The Wall Street Journal)
[Guidance Overview] Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
My wife and I own and operate a hardware store as an S corporation and maintain a SIMPLE plan for our 12 employees. The corporation is a member of a buying cooperative of which I am a member of the board of directors. I receive fees in my name for my service as a director, and I report them as a sole proprietorship on my individual Federal income tax returns. Am I a SLOB? (BenefitsLink.com)
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)
[Official Guidance] 'Retirement News for Employers', Fall 2011 Edition, Published by IRS
Articles include: Paying Retirement Plan Benefits; Maximize Your Retirement Savings in 2012 [through salary deferral contributions]; SEPs and SIMPLEs; Disaster Relief for Retirement Plans and IRAs; Exam Director Discusses Priorities For The Current Fiscal Year. (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)
IRS Advisory Committee Invites Service-Providers to Small Business Retirement Plans to Answer Survey by Year-End
Excerpt: "This [anonymous] survey is not being carried out or conducted by the IRS, but by the volunteer members of the ACT who advise the IRS on employee benefits issues. It is for informational purposes only and will assist the ACT in making recommendations to the IRS about how it may enhance its relationship with small employers and the compliance efforts of their retirement plans." (IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities)
IRS Advisory Committee Invites Small Business Retirement Plan Sponsors to Answer Survey by Year-End
Excerpt: "This [anonymous] survey is not being carried out or conducted by the IRS, but by the volunteer members of the [Advisory Committee] who advise the IRS on employee benefits issues. It is for informational purposes only and will assist the ACT in making recommendations to the IRS about how it may enhance its relationship with smalls that maintain employer retirement plans." (IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities)
A 'Simple' 401(k) Plan or a Traditional Safe Harbor 401(k) Plan
Excerpt: "SIMPLE 401(k) plans are available only to employers with 100 or fewer employees who received at least $5,000 in compensation for the preceding year and that do not maintain another employer-sponsored retirement plan." (Chang Ruthenberg & Long PC)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Final Regs on Excise Taxes on Prohibited Tax Shelter Transactions and Related Disclosure Requirements; Disclosure Requirements With Respect to Prohibited Tax Shelter Transactions; Requirement of Return and Time for Filing (PDF)
11 pages. Excerpt: "This document contains final regulations that provide guidance under section 4965 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code), relating to entity-level and manager-level excise taxes with respect to prohibited tax shelter transactions to which tax-exempt entities are parties . . . . " (Internal Revenue Service)
[Guidance Overview] Book Excerpt: Contingent Workers & Employee Benefits (PDF)
57 pages. Excerpt: "This chapter discusses how the courts have dealt with the Code and ERISA in ascertaining: whether and under what circumstances contingent workers have been found eligible to participate in a service recipient's benefit plans; and whether a service recipient is in fact the actual employer in cases where the contingent worker was employed by a [Professional Employer Organization]." (Daniel N. Janich, Esq. of Greensfelder law firm; from BNA's book, 'ERISA Litigation,' copyright 2008)
[Official Guidance] Text of DOL Final Regulations on Participant Contributions, Loan Repayments; 7-Day Safe Harbor for Small Plans (PDF)
To be published in January 14, 2010 Federal Register. 36 pages. Excerpt: "This document contains a final regulation that establishes a safe harbor period during which amounts that an employer has received from employees or withheld from wages for contribution to certain employee benefit plans will not constitute 'plan assets' for purposes of [ERISA], and the related prohibited transaction provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. This regulation will enhance the clarity and certainty for many employers as to when participant contributions will be treated as contributed in a timely manner to employee benefit plans. This final regulation will affect the sponsors and fiduciaries of contributory group welfare and pension plans covered by ERISA, including 401(k) plans, as well as the participants and beneficiaries covered by such plans and recordkeepers, and other service providers to such plans." (Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2009-94: 2010 Limitations on Benefits and Contributions Under Qualified Retirement Plans (PDF)
Excerpt: "The limitation for defined contribution plans under ? 415(c)(1)(A) remains unchanged for 2010 at $49,000. . . . The limitation under ? 402(g)(1) on the exclusion for elective deferrals described in ? 402(g)(3) remains unchanged at $16,500. . . . The dollar limitation under ? 414(v)(2)(B)(i) for catch-up contributions to an applicable employer plan other than a plan described in ? 401(k)(11) or 408(p) for individuals aged 50 or over remains unchanged at $5,500." (Internal Revenue Service)
[Guidance Overview] New Sample Plan Amendments and Added Guidance on Automatic 401(k) Contributions
Excerpt: "The Obama administration is moving [Automatic contribution arrangements ('ACAs')] into the public spotlight as a way to increase individual retirement savings through employer-sponsored retirement plans. The Pension Protection Act of 2006, final Treasury regulations and this current set of IRS guidance are all meant to assist employers of all sizes in the adoption of an ACA as soon as possible. Employers should review their current 401(k) or SIMPLE IRA plans to determine if an ACA, or one of the qualified ACAs, would be appropriate and beneficial for its participants and advantageous to the company." (Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2009-67: Model Amendments for Adding Automatic Contributions to SIMPLE IRA Plan (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "This notice facilitates automatic enrollment by providing a sample plan amendment that a prototype sponsor of a SIMPLE IRA plan (using a designated financial institution) can use in drafting an amendment to add an automatic contribution arrangement to the SIMPLE IRA plan." (Internal Revenue Service)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2009-66: Automatic Contribution Feature for SIMPLE IRA Plans (PDF)
11 pages. Excerpt: "This notice provides guidance to facilitate automatic enrollment in SIMPLE IRA plans, including questions and answers relating to the inclusion in a SIMPLE IRA plan of an automatic contribution arrangement." (Internal Revenue Service)
[Official Guidance] Summer 2009 Edition of 'Retirement News for Employers' by Internal Revenue Service (PDF)
14 pages. Articles include '2009 RMDs from Defined Benefit Plans?', 'ABCs of Loans and Hardship Distributions', 'Correcting a Failure to Implement the Plan's Automatic Enrollment Provisions', 'SIMPLE IRA Plans: The 2-Year Rule on Early Distributions', 'New on the Web', and '7 Steps to Making a Hardship Distribution." (Internal Revenue Service)
Adviser Explains Reason for Rejecting 403(b) in Favor of SIMPLE IRA
Excerpt: "An investment adviser for a public access television station in Enid, Oklahoma, explains that costs were behind the decision to ditch a 403(b) plan for employees in favor of a SIMPLE IRA. Robbie Bullis with Edward Jones investments told PLANSPONSOR 'our local providers . . . were far too costly for PEGASYS' retirement plan budget.' A local newspaper had reported that the change was recommended by an accountant who told the station's board that the 403(b) plan was no longer suitable for nonprofits . . . . Bullis cleared up that the decision was not based on the suitability for all nonprofits, but only for this particular situation." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)
Public Access TV Station Rejects 403(b) in Favor of SIMPLE IRA
Excerpt: "The board of directors for PEGASYS, a public-access television station in Enid, Oklahoma, has approved a change in employee retirement plans. Employees will now participate in a SIMPLE IRA plan, rather than a 403(b) plan. According to the Enid News & Eagle, Wendy Quarles, executive director of PEGASYS, said the change was recommended by an accountant, who told the board the 403(b) plan is no longer suitable for nonprofits." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)
[Guidance Overview] SARSEP Plan Fix-It Guide, Updated March 27, 2014 (PDF)
Provides an overview of the rules for SARSEPs, an overview of the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System, the most frequent errors fond in each plan type, and tips on how to find, fix and avoid these mistakes. (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS 'Retirement News for Employers' for Winter 2009 (PDF)
12 pages. Articles include: Did You Amend Your SIMPLE IRA Plan for EGTRRA? New Law Waives Required Minimum Distributions for 2009; Automatic Enrollment 401(k) Plans for Small Businesses; Fixing Common Plan Mistakes: Failure to Limit Contributions for a Participant; New Form 990 Requirements; Desk Side Chat With Monika Templeman - The Biggest Mistake. (Internal Revenue Service)
[Guidance Overview] Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
Who can truly sponsor a plan? Or, when is an Employer really an employer? My client has a corporation that (after the owner has died) sells all of its assets (not the stock). The spouse of the deceased owner and his two adult kids simply "manage" the corporation's assets ($5 million; their wages total $500,000 per year to do that, but mostly they engage in helping poor people in Africa with no intent to make income there). Don't they need to be engaged in a trade or business? Doesn't compensation need to be reasonable? (BenefitsLink.com)
[Guidance Overview] Text of 'SIMPLE IRA Plan Fix-It Guide' Published by IRS (PDF)
From http://www.irs.gov/retirement/article/0,,id=96907,00.html -- includes an overview of SIMPLE IRA Plans, an overview of the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System, and tips on how to avoid various specifically described mistakes. (Internal Revenue Service)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2008-102: Pension Plan Limitations for 2009 (Same as October 16 IRS News Release) (PDF)
Appears to be word-for-word identical to the IRS News Release IR-2008-18 of October 16, 2008, which sets for various cost-of-living-adjusted pension plan limitations for 2009. Scheduled for publication in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2008-45, to be dated November 10, 2008. (Internal Revenue Service)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS-Released Pension Plan Limitations for 2009 (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Effective January 1, 2009, the limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit plan under Section 415(b)(1)(A) is increased from $185,000 to $195,000. . . . The limitation for defined contribution plans under Section 415(c)(1)(A) is increased from $46,000 to $49,000. . . . The limitation under Section 402(g)(1) on the exclusion for elective deferrals described in Section 402(g)(3) is increased from $15,500 to $16,500. The annual compensation limit under Sections 401(a)(17), 404(l), 408(k)(3)(C), and 408(k)(6)(D)(ii) is increased from $230,000 to $245,000." (Internal Revenue Service)

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