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2017
May 05

Helping Soon-to-Be Retirees Understand RMD Rules

Employees who are approaching retirement age may be unaware of their required minimum distribution (RMD) obligations, which begin at age 70½ for both individual IRAs and 401(k)s. This article summarizes what they need to know for financial and tax-planning purposes.

2017
Apr 04

Be Prepared for Your Next — or First — QDRO

In the settlement of divorce cases, it is frequent to have the courts order that a portion of one spouse’s pension benefits be assigned to the other (soon to be former) spouse. However, it is up to the plan sponsor or administrator to determine whether the order qualifies as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). This article discusses common errors that plan sponsors encounter when qualifying a domestic relations order and how to handle the rejection of an order.

2017
Mar 07

Fiduciary Duties: Reviewing & Benchmarking Plan Fees

Are the services a plan receives reasonably priced? Knowing the answer is a vital fiduciary duty. ERISA expects more from plan fiduciaries than simply shopping around for plan providers offering rock bottom rates. This article summarizes some key areas all fiduciaries must consider when benchmarking costs of their qualified retirement plan. A sidebar discusses a report that suggests ways employers can help current plan participants ease into retirement.

2017
Feb 07

Understand Your Target-Date Fund Series

Target-date or lifecycle funds first came to market in 1994. Since then, they have experienced much growth with nearly every large financial institution today offering their own version of these funds. Along with target-date funds becoming a fundamental option of 401(k) plans, comes a fiduciary responsibility to monitor and evaluate them, much like other plan investments. This article examines key characteristics plan sponsors and investment committees should know about target-date funds.

2017
Jan 03

Do You Know Where All of Your Plan Participants Are?

It is not uncommon for previously active employed plan participants to fall off the radar screen. They include retirees and former employees that move away without informing the plan administrator. Before anyone realizes it, they become “lost” participants. This article details the steps to take when dealing with these participants.

2016
Dec 06

Auto-Escalation Should be Offered in Conjunction with Auto-Enrollment

Auto-enrolling 401(k) plan participants without also incorporating an auto-escalation feature might be a counterproductive exercise. Survey data suggests that average 401(k) plan deferral rates have been trending downward even though more employers are adopting auto-enrollment. The apparent culprit: low auto-deferral rates. This brief article highlights how to use both auto-enrollment and auto-escalation clauses to help benefit employees.

2016
Nov 07

Let’s Play Ball! It’s Time to Step Up to the Plate to Review Fiduciary Status and Fiduciary Duties

Are you a fiduciary for your company or organization’s retirement plan? If yes, you may find it challenging to “cover all the bases” in understanding your fiduciary duties. Some common duties that get overlooked include failing to identify the plan’s fiduciaries and insufficiently training fiduciaries on their responsibilities.

2016
Oct 05

IRS Eases Pain for Correcting Certain Plan Administration Errors

We all know that nobody is perfect. The good news is, so does the IRS. The IRS acknowledges that retirement plan administrators are not infallible, and provides correction for certain administrative errors. While corrective actions can still be arduous and time consuming, the IRS has relaxed some of its rules. This article provides an in-depth look at the recent updates as to how the IRS will handle certain plan administration errors.

2016
Sep 06

Is a Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan Right for Your Company?

Nonqualified deferred compensation plans enable key employees to defer a higher proportion of their current income to later years when they retire. While nonqualified plans often are perceived as only for top executives, they may also be right for upper-level staff. This article discusses what plan sponsors need to know about nonqualified deferred compensation plans.

2016
Aug 02

How to Ask the Right Questions Regarding Your Service Provider’s Data Security System

Maintaining data security is a significant part of running any business. Breaches are inevitable — although not at every organization. This article reviews questions to ask when reviewing data security with service providers.

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