Connections for Success


Employee Benefit Plans


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 […]


Time for Class: Widening the Scope of Training for Retirement Plan Committee Members
Michael Kovacs

Learning the ropes of overseeing a retirement plan isn’t a “one and done” exercise. Periodic training updates for retirement plan committee members acting in a fiduciary capacity is a prudent approach ensuring that they maintain the current knowledge essential to carry out their duties. More fundamental is ensuring that new committee members get a strong […]


Disclosure Obligations of Plan Sponsors
Kenneth Kobiernicki

Plan sponsors of qualified retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans, are required to provide certain information to plan participants. Although plan sponsors often rely on recordkeepers, third-party administrators or other advisors to help, it is ultimately the responsibility of the plan sponsor to make sure the disclosure requirements are met.


Tackling Workers’ Student Loan Debt in your Organization
Larry A. Ruff

When you look at the news, whether on the Internet, newspaper or television, there seems to be a piece about student loan debt. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants reported that student loan debt today averages $33,332. In addition, NerdWallet reported that this amount will be $37,400 on average for a 2019 high school […]


Proposed IRS Regulations Liberalize Rules for Hardship Withdrawals
James Quaid

How hard should a hardship be to justify a hardship withdrawal from a 401(k) plan?  Proposed IRS regulations could enable eligible plan participants “to access their money more quickly with a minimum of red tape,” according to the IRS. Below summarizes several key provisions of the proposed regulations. The status quo To provide context for […]


Failing to Enroll Eligible Employees in Your Plan
James Pellino

Given the significant amount of administrative responsibilities of a plan sponsor, administrative glitches are inevitable when operating a retirement plan. One of the common errors we see when auditing plans is failing to add a newly eligible employee to your roster of 401(k) plan participants.

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