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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Understanding Your Retirement Plan Fee Methodology

Understanding your retirement plan’s fees is not only a good practice; it’s a fiduciary requirement as prescribed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The traditional enforcement mechanism has been DOL plan audits. More recently, high-profile litigation has driven plan sponsors to evaluate their plan fees. These fees can be grouped into several categories: record keeping, administrative, legal, plan advisory, investment, and education and communication. The principal reason fees have been thrust into the limelight is that

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Key Retirement and Employee Benefits Compliance Reminders for January

Due January 17th

  • Transitional Reinsurance Fees due for Self-Insured Plans no later than January 17th.

Due January 31st

  • Determination letter submission deadline for individually designed plan documents. This applies to plan sponsors with EINs ending in 1 or 6.
  • Form 1099-R to participants who received a distribution in 2016.
  • W-2 reporting for employer groups with over 250 employees (ACA)

If you have any questions or would like to begin talking to an advisor, please get in touch by calling (855) 882-9177 or e-mail us at sbs@hanys.org.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Popularity of Wellness Programs

The 2016 Employee Benefits survey helped call to attention the increasingly complex circumstances under which employee benefit plans are constructed. The popularity of wellness programs certainly shows a direct correlation between the health and welfare of employees and cost of their care. Most respondents said their organization offers a wellness program (74%), with the most popular methods including:
  • flu shots;
  • smoking cessation; and
  • a health risk assessment.
If wellness helps reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and other serious conditions, then the hope is that it will result in fewer medical claims.

Download our 2016 Employee Benefits Survey Report and the Employee Benefit Survey Webinar Presentation Recording to understand what these results mean to you as an employer, and what challenges and risks you may face when attempting to offer a competitive benefits package under the Affordable Care Act.

If you have any questions, or would like to begin talking to an employee benefits advisor about wellness programs, please get in touch by calling (855) 882-9177 or e-mail us at sbs@hanys.org.

Monday, December 5, 2016

4 Questions Plan Sponsors Should Ask to Understand the Similarities and Differences Between 401(k) and 403(b) Plans

1. Which employers can offer a 403(b) plan?

  • Public education organizations such as public elementary and high schools, state colleges and universities, and boards of education.
  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations such as private schools, research facilities, private hospitals, charities, social welfare agencies, healthcare organizations, and religious institutions.
  • Grandfathered Indian tribal governments.
  • Certain religious ministers of a church or related religious organizations.

2. Which employers can offer a 401(k) plan?

Almost any type of company may offer a 401(k) plan. Most private, for-profit companies are eligible. Many tax-exempt, non-profit organizations have a choice between sponsoring a 401(k), a 403(b), or both.

Monday, November 28, 2016

6 Questions Plan Sponsors Should Ask About Safe Harbor Plans

1. What are safe harbor plans?

Safe harbor plans are retirement plans that generally satisfy the non-discrimination rules for elective deferrals and employer matching contributions and therefore are appealing to organizations that are at risk of failing the ADP and ACP tests (see below). Safe harbor plans can be offered with the same flexible features as traditional retirement plans, including eligibility, participant loans, and distributions. However, employers must satisfy certain contribution, vesting, and notice requirements and employers may not apply allocation conditions to safe harbor contributions (e.g., last day of employment requirement, 1,000 hours in the year requirement, etc.).

2. What is non-discrimination testing?

Generally, the U.S. Government wants to ensure that plans do not favor highly compensated