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If you administer a 403(b) plan you should be familiar with the term “universal availability”. This concept means that, as a general rule, all employees must be allowed to make elective deferrals into the plan immediately upon hire. Thus, 403(b) plans generally cannot have eligibility requirements for elective salary deferrals into the ...

For the vast majority of records maintained by public schools, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is not applicable. This is because most records that contain medical information related to a student and shared with the school will be considered an “education record” under the Family Educational Rights and ...

Over the last several years, numerous large pension plan sponsors have transferred billions of dollars in financial risk related to their pension plan benefit obligations to insurance companies through the purchase of group annuities. Known as pension risk transfer (PRT), these actions have now led to two recent proposed class action ...

In the laundry list of retirement plan administrative and operational requirements, plan sponsors may sometimes overlook their obligations with respect to terminated vested employees. Even though these individuals have left the company, the plan sponsor still retains fiduciary obligations to them.  In order to provide them their benefits ...

A question that almost always arises when we consult on correcting retirement plan errors is, “Can we use the DOL (Department of Labor) calculator to determine earnings?” Compared to the alternatives, the DOL calculator provides a definite, quick solution that is not administratively onerous. I wish my answer to the question could always be ...

The Department of Labor recently announced the 2024 inflation adjustments for ERISA-related penalties applicable to health and welfare and retirement plans. Applicable penalties increased for 2024 as follows:

  • Failure to furnish or maintain records - $37 per participant
  • Failure to file Form 5500 - $2670
  • Failure to notify participants of ...

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gave plan sponsors an early Christmas gift with the release of new guidance late last year addressing several key provisions contained in SECURE 2.0. A welcome portion of the notice was further guidance on the new option allowing for participants in 401(k) and 403(b) plans to elect to receive employer matching ...

Most retirement plan sponsors know that ERISA - the federal law that imposes duties (and liability for breaching those duties) on certain individuals and entities that are defined as plan fiduciaries – is the primary source of fiduciary law for plans. Governmental plans are not subject to ERISA. Therefore, we must turn to other legal sources such ...

Beginning this year, plan sponsors may increase their qualified plan’s mandatory cash-out limit from $5,000 to $7,000. The increase was enacted by SECURE 2.0, and applies to distributions made after December 31, 2023. This seemingly small change could have large financial consequences for your plan, especially if you are a small employer.

Congress continues to pass laws that move 403(b) plans ever closer to 401(k) plans, but 403(b) plans remain distinct. Understanding these differences allows you to maintain a compliant plan that best serves the needs of your participants. Special aspects of 403(b) plans include the following:

Types of Plan Sponsors

Not just any type of employer ...

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