defined benefit plan
Subscribe to defined benefit plan's Posts

New IRS Guidance for Tax-Qualified Pension Plans with Rehired Retirees Due to COVID-19

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently updated its guidance for retiree distributions under a defined benefit plan. Specifically, the new IRS guidance addresses rehires following a bona fide retirement due to COVID-19.

As a background, a defined benefit plan may make distributions to a retiree only in the case of a “bona fide retirement,” which is a facts and circumstances analysis. In prior rulings, the IRS indicated that retiree distributions without a bona fide retirement can cause a defined benefit plan to lose its tax-qualified status, where both all contributions and earnings become immediately taxable.

According to the IRS, a rehire due to COVID-19-related “unforeseen circumstances” generally would not disqualify an individual’s prior retirement from being considered a bona fide retirement under a defined benefit plan. However, the IRS cautioned that such a rehire cannot include any prearrangement to rehire the individual prior to the individual’s retirement. Such a prearrangement still yields a retirement that is not “bona fide.”

Finally, although the IRS issued this guidance in question and answer format primarily for defined benefit plans, plan sponsors should be able to apply the same rationale to distributions from defined contribution plans. In short, the new IRS guidance provides welcome relief to plan sponsors and employers who are looking to rehire retirees in a tight job market.




IRS Announces 2022 Employee Benefit Plan Limits

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced the cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for various employer-sponsored retirement and welfare plans for 2022. Most of the dollar limits currently in effect for 2021 will increase.

View the adjustments here.




IRS Announces 2022 Retirement Plan Limits

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced the cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for retirement plans for 2022. Most of the dollar limits currently in effect for 2021 will increase, with only the catch-up contribution limit remaining the same for 2022.

View the adjustments here.




$4 Billion in Pension Payments Returned

Even though it is the employer’s responsibility to track down former employees and let them know of leftover retirement benefits, it doesn’t always work out that way. In recent years, the US Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has demanded companies improve their methods for finding former workers.

In this article published by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, McDermott Partner Jeffrey M. Holdvogt said regulators “put a lot of pressure, in a good sense, on plan administrators to really up their games.” Holdvogt shared his comments in a May webinar hosted by the Pension Action Center at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Access the article.




Mechanics of DB Plan QDROs Differ from Those for DC Plans

There are requirements for a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) that apply whether the QDRO is for splitting up defined contribution (DC) plan assets or defined benefit (DB) plan assets, notes McDermott’s Lisa K. Loesel.

However, the mechanics of setting up QDROs vary between DC and DB plans. Read on to discover the different paths for getting the right benefits to the right people when a plan participant divorces.

Access the full article.

Originally published on PLANSPONSOR, January 2020




Frozen 2: IRS Expands Nondiscrimination Relief for Frozen Defined Benefit Pension Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) expanded the temporary relief for frozen defined benefit plans to include nondiscrimination requirements relating to benefits, rights and features, available for plan years beginning before 2021. The expanded relief enables frozen pension plans to satisfy the nondiscrimination requirements that apply to benefits, rights or features.

Access the full article.




DOL Official Says Office Is Investigating Large Defined Benefit Plans Regarding Locating and Paying Terminated Vested Participants

Recent comments from an official with the Department of Labor (DOL) indicate that the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has begun investigating large defined benefit plans to review how plan administrators are keeping track of benefits owed to terminated vested participants and if they are really paying participants like they should be.  According to the February 2, 2015 BNA Pension & Benefits Reporter, Elizabeth Hopkins, counsel for appellate and special litigation for the DOL’s Office of the Solicitor, Plan Benefits Security Division, stated at a pension conference that EBSA is interested in monitoring whether plan administrators are following their own procedures to locate and pay out terminated vested participants.  In particular, EBSA is investigating how plan administrators locate and pay out terminated vested participants over the age of 70 ½ who are owed required minimum distributions.

Defined benefit pension plans must provide that they will distribute benefits beginning no later than the required beginning date, which for most plan participants means April 1 of the calendar year following the later of (i) the calendar year in which a participant turns 70 ½ or (2) the calendar year in which the participant retires.  As we noted in our recent article on the “Top IRS and DOL Audit Issues for Retirement Plans,” plan sponsors have a fiduciary duty to try to locate missing participants, to contact terminated vested participants, and to begin distributing benefits within required timeframes.  Failure to pay required minimum distributions after a participant turns 70 ½ is a plan qualification error, and participants who miss required distributions may be subject to a 50 percent excise tax.  The DOL has also indicated that it may impose personal liability on plan fiduciaries for any tax consequences owed to their employees.  For all of these reasons, it is crucial that plan sponsors ensure that proper procedures are in place, and that plan procedures are being followed, to locate and contact terminated vested participants.




View From McDermott: Having Their Cake and Eating It Too—An Employer’s Guide to Managing Retirement-Eligible Employees Who Want to Start Retirement Benefits and Keep Working

“I would like to start receiving my retirement benefits now, but I would also like to keep working for a bit.  Can I do this?”  Baby boomers pose this question to their employers on a routine basis.

Unfortunately, there is no stock answer to this common question.  The employer response depends on a variety of factors, including the types of retirement benefits payable to the employee and the arrangement under which the employee will continue providing services to the employer.

This article provides employers with a roadmap for analyzing this common employee request.

Read the full article.




STAY CONNECTED

TOPICS

ARCHIVES