Tuesday, September 24, 2013

IRS Establishes Program for Pre-Approved §403(b) Retirement Plan Documents

What Plan Sponsors Need to Know

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued regulations governing §403(b) retirement plans in 2007 that generally became effective January 1, 2009, requiring that all such plans, whether subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) or not, be maintained pursuant to a written plan. However, with few exceptions, plan sponsors could not be sure that their plan document met the §403(b) requirements.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

HSA Questions and Answers

This article  sets out Questions and Answers regarding Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), as provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in Notice 2008-59. The Notice addresses the following topics related to HSAs:
  • Important definitions
  • Distributions from HSAs
  • Eligible individuals
  • Prohibited transactions
  • High deductible health plans (HDHPs)
  • Establishing an HSA
  • Contributions to HSAs
  • Administrative fees
Please read below for more information.

Note: For 2014, the HSA annual contribution limit is $3,300 (up from $3,250 for 2013) for self-only HDHP coverage or $6,550 (up from $6,450 for 2013) for family HDHP coverage. To qualify as an HDHP for 2014, the annual deductible must be at least $1,250 for self-only coverage or $2,500 for family coverage, the same annual deductible as for 2013. For 2014, the maximum annual out-of-pocket expenses for HDHP coverage may not exceed $6,350 (up from $6,250 for 2013) for self-only coverage or $12,700 (up from $12,500 for 2013) for family coverage.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Metal Levels for Qualified Health Plans

Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health plans offered through an Exchange, or qualified health plans (QHPs), to meet certain levels of actuarial value. ACA’s required actuarial value levels are referred to as “metal levels”—bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Report Offers Tips for Improving Retirement Plan Participant Outcomes

Defined contribution plans are and will continue to be a mainstay in the market. But, are they working?

Improving Participant Outcomes: An Action Plan for Plan Sponsors looks at some of the factors that plan sponsors should consider when assessing the value of the retirement plan offered to their employees. It also considers steps they can take to provide greater assurance that employees will be able to generate sufficient income on which to retire.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Target Date Retirement Funds - TIPS for ERISA Plan Fiduciaries

The Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) recently released the 2013 403(b) Plan Survey. The survey showed that 73.6% of plans offer target date funds (TDF) as an investment option. Similar findings were noted for 401(k) plans. Additionally, many plan sponsors have identified TDFs as their plan’s qualified default investment alternative (QDIA). Target date funds can be an attractive investment option for employees who do not want to actively manage their retirement portfolio. The inflow of monies into TDFs in recent years reflects the growing popularity of these types of investments.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Avoiding Fiduciary Liability - A Common Sense Approach

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) sets the minimum standards for pension plans in the private industry. ERISA also requires accountability of plan fiduciaries which generally would include plan trustees, plan administrators, and members of the plan’s investment committee. The primary responsibility of fiduciaries is to run the plan solely in the interest of participants and beneficiaries and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits and paying plan expenses. Fiduciaries must act prudently and must