Why Should Taking a Hardship Distribution be a Hardship?

Posted By: Maria T. Hurd, CPA Taking a hardship distribution should not be, in itself, a hardship to a participant going through challenging times, nor should it be an administration hardship to the employer trying to help. Although obtaining documentation to substantiate a hardship is not, in itself, difficult, missing hardship backup is one of the most common operational errors … Continued

Party in Interest Versus Related Party

Posted By: Maria T. Hurd, CPA Transactions with Related Parties and Parties In Interest: What are the GAAP disclosure requirements? ERISA’s definition of a party in interest is broader than a related party as that term is defined by GAAP. Parties in interest include all entities and individuals that provide services to the plan; however, these entities may not necessarily … Continued

Form 5500 Penalties Increased by How Much?

Posted By Maria Hurd, CPA The SECURE Act increased IRS Late Filing Penalties for Form 5500 by how much? How can I avoid them? IRS Penalties Tenfold. That’s how much the SECURE Act (the “Act”) increased the penalty for the late filing of a Form 5500 –TENFOLD! Before the Act, the IRS could assess a civil penalty of $25 for … Continued

Safe Harbor Match Notice Not Distributed

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA Distributing a Safe Harbor Match Plan Notice Slipped Through the Cracks. What is the Correction? The barrage of changes introduced by the SECURE Act, closely followed by the CARES Act, along with furloughs, remote work, and all the work-life changes of pandemic year 2020 may have resulted in administrative errors in plan operations, such … Continued

Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Under the SECURE Act

Posted by Maria T Hurd, CPA Updated November 11, 2020 The CARES Act gave us a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) holiday during 2020, but the SECURE Act’s new RMD rules will be back in 2021. How will the changing rules affect financial statement audits? RMDs under the SECURE ACT The SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act) … Continued

Correction Options for Retirement Plan Errors

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA In a highly regulated industry with complicated rules that always have exceptions (except when the exception does not apply) it is inevitable that sooner or later a failure to follow the plan document will take place. Such operational errors can be corrected through the IRS Employee Plan Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) in one of … Continued

What are the Available Safe Harbor Plan Formulas?

Posted By Maria T. Hurd, CPA Contrary to popular belief, company owners and highly compensated employees (HCEs) are not guaranteed the opportunity to contribute the maximum 401(k) contribution limit to their company’s retirement plan, even if the 401(k) deferral contributions represent their own money. That is because 401(k) plans are subject to nondiscrimination tests to ensure that a disproportionate share … Continued

COVID-19 Update: Unsaving for Retirement in Pandemic Times – Part II

Posted By Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA Our first blog about the CARES Act titled Unsaving for Retirement in Pandemic Times discussed the original definition of a Qualifying Individual eligible to take the additional Coronavirus-related loans and distributions. The original definition of a qualified individual applied if the participant in the plan experienced a financial impact, but it made no … Continued

Are Your Part Time Employees “In or Out” OR “In and Out?”

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA For 403(b) plan eligibility determinations, the IRS says that “Once In, Always In” is much better than “In and Out,” so are your part-time employees “In or Out” or “In and Out”? Part-time workers and transient workers have always posed a challenge for plan sponsors trying to determine retirement plan eligibility. For 403(b) … Continued

The SECURE Act’s Long Term, Part-Time Employees Eligibility Rules: the Good, the Bad, and the Questions

Posted by Maria T. Hurd, CPA, RPA The SECURE Act’s provisions that encourage retirement savings and increase coverage and participation could reduce an estimated retirement savings shortfall of $3.8 trillion dollars by 3%, which does not sound like much percentage-wise, but it amounts to more than one hundred billion dollars: an unquestionably good result.  However, just as bad situations tend … Continued