Independent Actuaries Blog Category: Plan Design

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

Simple, Easy Plan Hygiene

As a plan fiduciary, one of your duties is to follow the provisions of the plan. It seems simple. It should be easy. Practically speaking, it is a daunting task to read, understand, and follow all the terms of the … Continue reading

What Does a Pension Actuary Do Anyway?

When I’m asked what I do for a living, I tell people I’m a pension actuary. I explain that I work on defined benefit pension plans for employers, calculating the employers’ contribution obligations and calculating benefits for plan participants. I … Continue reading

Tips For The Self-Employed: How To Ensure A Stable Financial Future

Self-employed people aren’t always as prepared for retirement as their corporate counterparts. They don’t have their company telling them to contribute to a retirement plan that just happens to already be set up for them. Self-employed people must take the … 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

What Can You and Jeb Bush Have in Common?

A CPA acquaintance of mine recently forwarded this article to me (I had missed it when it was first published). The article reports that GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush contributed an average of $350,000 per year into a defined benefit pension plan, … Continue reading

Building Highways through Pension Funding Relief

As of today, it looks like the much debated H.R. 5021 – Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 is finally on the brink of becoming law. What does this have to do with retirement plans? The expenditures in the … Continue reading

IRS Updates its 401(k) Plan Fix-It Guide

The IRS has updated its 401(k) Plan Fix-It Guide. You can find the Guide at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/401k_mistakes.pdf. While the Guide’s 52 pages can seem intimidating, the first three pages contain a chart of the most common errors in plan operation. Review … Continue reading

Nondiscrimination Relief – A Step in the Right Direction

The IRS recently released Notice 2014-5, Temporary Nondiscrimination Relief for Closed Defined Benefit Plans and Request for Comments. The temporary relief provided in the Notice is nice, but not applicable for most of our small or mid-sized business owner clients. … Continue reading