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Hot Off the Presses: Latest 401(k) Trends & Developments

Diane M. Morgenthaler and Jeffrey M. Holdvogt recently presented the webinar “Student Loan Benefits and Other 401(k) Developments” at the Worldwide Employee Benefits Network Chicagoland program. In the presentation, they discussed a variety of new 401(k) trends and developments, including: Employer options for student loan benefits and related considerations; The IRS’s recent expansion of its determination letter program to certain hybrid and merged plans; and New changes to EPCRS, the IRS’s comprehensive program for correcting tax-qualified plan failures. For more information on these and other developments, please see our On the Subjects on the SECURE Act and the changes to EPCRS. View the full presentation. 

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IRS Expands Self-Correction Program, Provides Welcome Relief for Plan Sponsors

The IRS recently released an updated version of EPCRS, the IRS’s program for correcting errors that occur under tax-qualified retirement plans. The latest version of EPCRS makes it easier for plan sponsors to self-correct certain types of plan loan, operational and plan document failures without filing a VCP submission. Access the full article.

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ESOPs: What Not To Do (and If You Did, How to Correct It)

In a presentation for the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) Conference, Emily Rickard presented on ESOP plan design, operation and administration. She, along with the other presenters, identified ERISA compliance watchdogs including the plaintiff’s bar, Department of Treasury and Department of Labor, and what attracts their attention when it comes to audits. Emily also identified common mistakes employers make during the entire ESOP lifecycle (e.g. lack of employee communication, distribution strategy and planning) and provided guidance on how to correct those mistakes. View the full presentation.

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IRS Corrections Go Digital in 2019

Late last month, the IRS released the latest version of its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System, the IRS’s program for correcting retirement plan errors. The newest version of the correction program—effective beginning in 2019—includes mostly minor changes and clarifications. Most importantly, however, it requires electronic filing of Voluntary Correction Program submissions beginning April 1, 2019. Access the full article.

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New VCP Compliance Fees Will Increase the Cost of Correcting Some of the Most Common Plan Errors

Last month, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published Revenue Procedure 2018-4, which modified the user fee schedule for submissions under the IRS’s Voluntary Correction Program (VCP). Under the new fee schedule, all VCP compliance fees are now based on the total net plan assets reported on a plan’s annual Form 5500-series return. This means that for VCP submissions filed on or after January 2, 2018, compliance fees will be: $1,500 for plans with assets of $500,000 or less; $3,000 for plans with assets of over $500,000 to $10,000,000; and $3,500 for plans with assets of over $10,000,000. Prior to January 2, 2018, compliance fees were generally based on the total number of plan participants reported on a plan’s Form 5500, and ranged from $500 (for plans with 20 or fewer participants) to as much as $15,000 (for plans with 10,000 or more participants). In addition, special reduced compliance fees applied to VCPs involving some of the most common plan failures...

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ERISA Basics National Institute: Section 401(k) Plans

A 401(k) plan has a qualified cash or deferred arrangement that is part of a profit sharing plan or stock bonus plan. Under the Internal Revenue Code Section 401(k)(2), an employee may elect to make contributions to the plan, the covered employee’s contributions are not distributable before severance from employment, disability, death, attainment of age 59 ½, financial hardship, or termination of the plan, and under which the covered employee’s contributions are nonforfeitable. This presentation will address the following objectives: Who gets the money? What money do they receive? Where does the money go? When do they get the money? How is the money administered? View the presentations slides.

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Maintaining Retirement Plan Documents after Revenue Procedure 2016-37

At the 2016 Joint Fall CLE Meeting on October 1, 2016, Andrew Liazos presented on “Maintaining Retirement Plan Documents after Revenue Procedure 2016-37.” As an employer sponsoring a retirement plan, you are required by law to keep your books and records available for review by the IRS. Having these records will also facilitate answering questions when determining participants’ benefits. As a plan sponsor you should keep the plan and trust document, recent amendments, determination and approval letters, related annuity contracts and collective bargaining agreements. The presentation highlights key changes under Revenue Procedure 2016-37 and the consequential impacts on annual audits, plan drafting, choice of plan, existing plan administration, EPCRS and other various transactions. View presentation slides.

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IRS Updates EPCRS Correction Methods and Procedures

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued two updates which modify the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), which is the comprehensive system for correction of retirement plan failures. EPCRS now allows plans with automatic contribution features to use a new safe harbor to correct certain deferral failures, provides more flexible correction provisions on overpayments and excess annual additions, and reduces certain correction filing fees. Read the full article.

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Whoops! How Do I Fix Our Retirement Plan’s Operational Error?

Join McDermott partner, Susan Peters Schaefer, at a Worldwide Employee Benefits Network Chicago Chapter breakfast meeting that will cover operational errors in retirement plans. Mistakes can and do happen, especially in the complex world of retirement plans. In recognition, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) created the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution Program (EPCRS) to help retirement plan sponsors fix operational errors either through self-correction or through an IRS application and approval process. In April, the IRS revised and expanded the correction rules under EPCRS. Here experts will explain the new and old correction rules for retirement plans and provide some real life examples and guidance. Wednesday, June 24, 2015 7:30 am CDT – Breakfast and Networking 8:00 - 9:00 am CDT – Program Northern Trust Conference Center 50 South LaSalle Street Chicago, IL 60603 To register for the event, click here.

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