The Importance of Annual 401(k) Census Information
Businesses that sponsor 401(k) plans are required to run annual compliance tests to ensure that their plan meets the regulatory requirements to maintain their qualified status. In order to run these tests, your Third Party Administrator (TPA) will request certain information from you such as a complete census file. This file includes important information on each employee who received a paycheck from you during the year, regardless of whether or not they are eligible to participate in the plan. Your census information should be compiled and forwarded to your TPA within a month following your plan year-end to ensure that the proper tests are run and any necessary corrections to testing failures are completed timely.
Why You May Need a 401(k) Investment Policy Statement
No matter how business savvy you are, choosing how to invest your money can be tricky.
If you are a business owner who sponsors a retirement plan, this becomes even more
worrisome because you are expected to choose investments to offer your employees.
While it is possible to divest yourself from some of the risk involved in this process
(a larger topic for a future article), as a retirement plan sponsor you can never completely
remove yourself from this fiduciary duty. This is why an investment policy statement may be
right for you.
An investment policy statement (IPS) is simply a roadmap that a retirement plan sponsor
uses to select and regularly evaluate the investments that they offer to their employees in
the retirement plan. While there are no government regulations that require you to have
one, adopting an IPS can make it easier for you to operate efficiently, and give you some
much-needed peace of mind on the topic of investments.
Tips for Protecting Your Identity
Data breaches seem to be inevitable these days. When they happen, your personal and financial information can be compromised leaving you feeling vulnerable. While you can’t control the manner in which your personal data is safeguarded by others, you can make it more difficult for criminals to use your personal information to cause you harm.
Most companies must first view your credit report prior to extending credit. With that in mind, freezing your credit may be one of the easiest ways to protect yourself against identity theft. By putting a freeze on your credit, you restrict access to your personal information thereby preventing thieves from opening new accounts in your name.
401(k) Limits for 2018
It’s not too early to review how to make the most of your retirement contributions in 2018.
Below you will find a table that shows the contribution limits for retirement accounts. It is for informational purposes only.
Please note that the contribution limit for company sponsored retirement plans increased by $500 this year, which means the contribution limit for 2018 is $18,500. For employees who are at least 50 years of age and eligible to make catch-up contributions, the contribution limit is $24,500 for 2018.
Self-Trustee vs. Corporate Trustee for Your 401(k) Plan
Early in my career, I attended a three-day training in the Twin Cities for 401(k) plan administration. I met my niece one evening for dinner and she was shocked to hear that it took three days to train on 401(k) plans. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I was attending a basic training!
Retirement plans are complicated to administer. As complicated as the laws are, it is challenging to learn the nuances of this industry while staying abreast of the ever-changing regulations and how to interpret them.
How does all of this tie into self-trustee vs. corporate trustee? While others may downplay the importance of having a corporate trustee, we believe it is critical to the well-being of your business and your retirement plan.