Blue Ridge ESOP Associates Industry News

A City Focusing on ESOPs to Save Jobs

Posted by Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

May 31, 2017 4:00:06 PM

Is New York City going to lead a trend in supporting ESOPs to help companies thrive after the owner retires? As more and more small business owners retire, their employees are left without a job. Take time to read this article written by Oscar Perry Abello which explores the vision of helping owners facing retirement transition their businesses to employee ownership.
Read More

Protect your ESOP from Fraud with Fidelity Bond Coverage

Posted by Kim M. Thompson

May 22, 2017 3:51:41 PM

Fidelity Bond Coverage for your ESOP

When preparing or reviewing your ESOP’s Form 5500 annual return, you may notice that Line 4e on Schedule H for large plans and Schedule I for small plans asks the following: “Was this plan covered by a fidelity bond?” It is important to not only make sure that your ESOP is covered by a fidelity bond, but that you have the required amount of coverage each year and that you relay this information to your third-party administrator or the party responsible for completing your Form 5500.

Read More

Topics: fidelity bond

IRS/DOL Corner - Hardship Withdrawals & Legislative Activity

Posted by Dolores P. Lawrence, CPA, QKA

May 22, 2017 3:51:20 PM

Hardship Withdrawals

In an April 2015 article, the IRS said plan sponsors must maintain supporting documentation for hardship withdrawals.  The IRS asserted that it was not sufficient to rely on a participant’s self-certification that criteria for a hardship distribution had been met.  The IRS also said that a plan sponsor’s failure to maintain hardship documentation was a plan qualification issue.  That last assertion drew criticism from some daily recordkeepers who were relying on participant electronic certification for hardship withdrawals.

Read More

Communicating Your ESOP

Posted by Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

May 22, 2017 3:50:52 PM

For many companies, it’s time once again for the annual distribution of ESOP participant statements. Are you ready to make the most of the opportunity? Unfortunately, many firms miss this great chance to build ESOP knowledge and engage employees as owners.

If you want to enhance your ESOP’s power as a recruitment, retention and employee engagement tool, the statement is a great place to start.  After all, your firm is investing significant amounts of money to provide employees with a retirement benefit. If you’re not informing them about how your ESOP benefits them, you’re missing a great opportunity.

Here are three practical ideas to make more of your annual statements:

Read More

ESCA: Survey Showing a Secret to Confident Employees

Posted by ESCA

May 16, 2017 2:10:46 PM

Today, ESCA released a survey by John Zogby Strategies that finds employees who work at private, employee-owned companies are more confident about their jobs and less anxious about their financial futures than other workers.

Read More


Posted by Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

May 12, 2017 4:03:33 PM

Congratulations to Thomson-Shore and Wiley Wilson for their awards at this year's Annual Awards for Communication in Excellence hosted by The ESOP Association.

Read More

40th Annual Conference

Posted by Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

May 2, 2017 10:00:00 AM

The ESOP Association's 40th Annual Conference is being held May 10-12. Several of our staff will be attending the AACE awards dinner on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, May 11 at 10 am, Dolores Lawrence will co-present Administration Cycle - Part I - How Balances Accumulate.  The session covers  ESOP eligibility and allocations to participant accounts as well as an overview of ESOP compliance testing.

Read More

National and International

Posted by ESOP Association

Apr 25, 2017 11:00:00 AM

By J. Michael Keeling, President - The ESOP Association

No one knows the details of what might be included in the Congressional tax reform proposal expected this year. But the general talk we hear suggests some potentially good news, and some areas of concern.

First the good news: There have been no murmurings about reducing or eliminating any specific law pertaining to ESOPs. And, as of this moment, there has been no talk of reducing the generally favorable tax treatment for ERISA plans—which includes ESOPs, 401(k) plans, defined benefit pension plans, etc.

Now for the potentially concerning news: Tax bills are necessarily complex instruments, often ranging 2,000 or more pages in length. And any provision in a document that size might unintentionally affect ESOPs in a negative way.

Here are a few areas on which members of the ESOP community should keep a sharp eye:

Read More

Topics: tax reform

31st Annual Ohio Employee Ownership Conference

Posted by Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

Apr 21, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Members of the Blue Ridge ESOP Associates team will be attending on Friday, April 28, the 31st Annual Ohio Employee Ownership Conference.

Read More

Exit Planning Institute Meeting - Speaker: Tom Roback

Posted by Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

Apr 14, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Tom Roback will be co-presenting at the Exit Planning Institute's monthly meeting in Tyson's Corner on April 19. This meeting will review the different options available in transitioning the ownership of a company. For more information and to register for this meeting click here.
Read More

Topics: Employee-Ownership