Connections for Success


Employee Benefit Plans


Trending in the Right Direction With the New Electronic Disclosure Rules
Larry A. Ruff

The Department of Labor (DOL) issued final electronic disclosure rules on May 27, 2020. These rules provide relief from printing and mailing certain Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) notices to plan participants and beneficiaries. This relief is great news for plan sponsors of retirement plans. It is, however, not all-encompassing because it does not […]


CARES Act Expands Financial Options for Impacted Plan Participants
James Pellino

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed a few weeks ago in an effort to help curb the possible economic stress the Coronavirus pandemic has placed on Americans. The Act was far reaching and included many provisions regarding retirement plans and accounts. Although guidance on the CARES Act continues to come […]


SECURE Act 101: New Law Changes Plan Policies, Creates Design Options
James Quaid, Larry A. Ruff

Defined contribution plan sponsors have some important decisions to make and opportunities to consider in the wake of the enactment of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act at the end of 2019. The Act is intended to boost retirement financial security on several fronts. Offering safe harbor for annuities The SECURE […]


Should Your 401(k) Vest Now or Later?
Stephanie M. Zaleski-Braatz

According to survey data from the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA), roughly 40% of 401(k) plan sponsors provide immediate vesting on their matching contributions. In theory, employers that offer immediate vesting on matching 401(k) contributions might have a leg up on other companies when recruiting workers in a tight labor market. However, the jury […]


Required Minimum Distributions and “Lost” Participants
Michael Kovacs

Losing contact with former participants who have vested benefits remaining in your plan can be problematic for both the former participants and the plan sponsor.


The Pros and Cons of Allowing New Employees to Enroll in Your 401(k) Plan Immediately
Kenneth Kobiernicki

401(k) Plan participation eligibility requirements take on greater significance for Plan sponsors in a tight labor market. Weigh these pros and cons to help with your decision.


You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry, You Better Not Pout, I’m Telling You Why…
Larry A. Ruff

Your excessive fees suit is coming to you. The 401(k) and 403(b) lawsuit world is hotter than the U.S. economy and equity markets. The growth in lawsuits is enormous and climbing every day with the announcement of another suit and subsequent settlement being reported in the news.


New Exempt Status Salary Threshold Could Impact 401(k) Plan Costs
James Quaid, Larry A. Ruff

If your 401(k) plan employer contribution formula for hourly employees includes overtime pay, your plan costs may increase next year — along with your overtime pay outlays. That is because the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final ruling that increases the salary threshold for overtime pay eligibility.


Appeals Court Sacks Spouse’s Attempt for Qualified Domestic Relations Order
James Pellino

Plan administrators are faced with a barrage of employee benefit plan rules, including hardship withdrawals, eligible compensation and deemed loan distributions.  It can seem like operating a plan is a never-ending learning experience.  One item that you may not have encountered yet is a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO.  Like some of the other rules in the EBP world, QDRO rules can be a little confusing.  The important factor when dealing with a QDRO is determining if the QDRO is, in fact, qualified. 


Make Your Summary Plan Descriptions User-Friendly
Stephanie M. Zaleski-Braatz

The language in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) is usually a combination of wording from cautious Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) attorneys and human resources professionals who are concerned with the use of too many general, simple statements. The result is often a complicated document that many employees receive, glance at and toss into […]

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