More Mistakes can be Self-Corrected
Dec 12, 2018 2:30:00 PM
As the result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, and the subsequent issuance of proposed Treasury regulations, hardship distributions should generally be easier for participants to obtain, assuming they are covered by a plan with a hardship provision and assuming that plan sponsors are on board with the hardship provision changes that are optional. Plan sponsors should be hearing from their recordkeepers and third party administrators regarding the default changes that will be occuring unless the plan sponsor:
Dec 19, 2017 3:00:00 PM
2017 Form 5500 – No Big Changes
The IRS has released advance copies of the 2017 Form 5500 and instructions. The previous year’s optional compliance questions are gone, along with information about paid preparers. We don’t expect to see a major revision for several years.
As of this writing, Congress is still working out tax reform legislation. The good news so far is that we’re not seeing anything that negatively impacts ESOPs.
Minimum Distributions and Missing Participants
Sep 8, 2017 2:00:00 PM
Given the tremendous devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, the IRS has issued two relief declarations that may be of interest to plan sponsors. The first extends to January 31, 2018 the time for filing Form 5500 and certain other returns that would otherwise become due for filing between August 23, 2017 and January 31, 2018. Affected employers are those in the counties covered by the relief announcement (listed on the IRS website) and those who are unable to complete filings because they can’t obtain required filing data from a bank or other service provider in the covered areas. The IRS news release is at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-for-victims-of-hurricane-harvey-in-texas.
May 22, 2017 3:51:20 PM
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.
Feb 9, 2017 10:27:15 AM
Good News for Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans
The IRS has issued a proposed regulation that will permit forfeitures to be used to satisfy safe harbor contributions. This is welcome news for 401(k) safe harbor plans that hold employer match or discretionary profit sharing money that was subject to a vesting schedule when contributed to the plan. While many 401(k) plans permit forfeitures to be used for plan expenses or other non-safe harbor employer allocation purposes, the proposed regulation gives plan sponsors another option – use forfeitures to fund safe harbor contributions.
Blue Ridge ESOP Associates can provide everything you need to administer your ESOP, 401(k) or combination ESOP/401(k) plan. Our full service outsourcing, which can include participant on-line services, provides worry-free assistance for your HR or Benefits staff, leaving them free to concentrate on other responsibilities.