Independent Actuaries Blog Category: Defined Contribution

Changes in Pension Accounting Standards Taking Effect this Year

The soon-to-be-effective Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2017-07 makes changes to the way pension plans are accounted for, designed to improve the transparency of pension plan operational costs. Under the old rules, all components of pension-related expenses were aggregated together as … Continue reading

Beneficiary Designations: Whose Responsibility is it?

When it comes to Retirement Plans it can sometimes be confusing who does what and whether the responsibility falls on the Employer/ Plan Sponsor, third party administrator (TPA), recordkeeper or the participant. When it comes to beneficiary designations most plan … Continue reading

IRS Announces Retirement Plan Limits for 2019

The IRS has announced the new retirement plan limits for 2019. Most limits increased from 2018 to 2019, and some stayed flat. Highlights include: The compensation limit used in determining benefits and contributions for both defined benefit and defined contribution … Continue reading

Tax Reform and Retirement Plans

We’re getting a lot of questions these days about how the proposed tax reform bills might impact retirement plans. For reference, this Forbes article provides a good summary and comparison of current law versus the House and Senate bills. Here … Continue reading

IRS Announces Retirement Plan Limits for 2018

The IRS has announced the new retirement plan limits for 2018. Some limits increased from 2017 to 2018, and some stayed flat. Highlights include: The compensation limit used to determine benefits and contributions for both defined benefit and defined contribution … Continue reading

Death Benefits? That Depends.

“That depends” is often the answer I give when my clients ask seemingly simple questions. My statement is followed by a series of questions that help me answer their original question. Alternatively, I could talk for hours on the myriad … Continue reading

Have You Noticed All of the Participant Notice Requirements?

There are potentially more participant notices that apply to a retirement plan than can be counted on both hands. Not all notices apply to all types of plans and some only apply to certain participants. Some are required quarterly, some … Continue reading

Roth Opportunities in Qualified Plans

Business owners who are contributing to a Roth IRA (or are considering if they should) can realize a greater impact with the Roth features in a 401(k) plan. 401(k) plans can allow participants to defer salary as a Roth contribution … Continue reading

IRS Issues Guidance on Hardship Distributions

The IRS recently issued an internal memorandum to provide guidance to its Employee Plans examiners who encounter a defined contribution plan that allows hardship distributions. A plan sponsor can take the participant’s word that there is no other source of … Continue reading

Discontinuing Employer Contributions and Vesting Requirements

Did you know that when employer contributions (e.g., profit sharing, safe harbor and matching contributions) to a defined contribution plan are completely discontinued, the plan’s accounts typically must be fully vested? As with all things IRS, it is important to … Continue reading