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What does it mean to De-Risk my Pension Plan? The term de-risking is used in the pension world to describe plan sponsor activities meant to reduce financial risks.  These risks could include interest rate changes, fluctuations in investment portfolios, […] Key words: ,,,,

IRS Releases 2015 COLA Adjustments for Health FSAs, Transportation Benefits and More The IRS has issued their annual limits for certain employee fringe benefits in Revenue Procedure 2014-61.  This includes an increase of the dollar amount employees may contribute to health FSAs, […] Key words: ,,,

New Cash Balance Regulations Background Cash balance plans are defined benefit plans in which a participant’s benefit is composed of an annual employer contribution and an interest credit (this credit is guaranteed and not […] Key words: ,,,

Two New Election Changes for Cafeteria Plans Beginning September 18, 2014, cafeteria plans were permitted to let employees prospectively revoke an election for coverage under a group health plan in two new situations.  These are in addition […] Key words: ,

HR Executives: Are You Ready For the Good Times Again? It should come as no surprise to Human Resource (HR) executives in most organizations that the last 6 years have been lean times for HR departments and initiatives.  When organizations […] Key words: ,,,

ERISA Fee Case Goes to Supreme Court The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to review Tibble v. Edison International, a case involving retirement fees alleged to be excessive.  The case arrives at the Court after two lower […] Key words: ,,,

2015 Cost-Of-Living Adjustments Announced  2015 Cost of Living Adjustments Announced  The IRS and Social Security Administration have released the cost of living adjustments that affect the dollar limits for retirement plans for the 2015 […] Key words: ,,

Pension Funding Relief: What’s In It for My Plan? On August 8, President Obama signed the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014.  This new law provides defined benefit plan sponsors with extended relief from the low interest rate […] Key words: ,,,

How do you terminate a defined benefit plan? Terminating a defined benefit (DB) pension plan is a complicated process that is very deadline driven.  There are many traps if you don’t have reliable advisors working with you.  The […] Key words: ,,,,

What happens if I don’t restate my retirement plan? The IRS requires the periodic restatement of a qualified retirement plan so the document will contain the latest required provisions.  Without these required provisions, the document could cause the plan […] Key words: ,,

IRS Releases QLAC Rules to Address Longevity Risk On July 2, 2014, the IRS released final rules regarding longevity annuities.  The rules are meant to address the financial risks of increased life expectancy and insufficient retirement assets.  Financial […] Key words: ,,,

IRS Answers Questions about FSA Carryovers and HSA Eligibility Late last year, the IRS issued Notice 2013-71 to allow cafeteria plans to carry over a participant’s unused health FSA funds (up to $500) from one plan year into the […] Key words: ,

What are the 2015 HSA Contribution Limits? The IRS has released the 2015 cost-of-living increases for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs).  The 2015 HSA contribution limits are: Self-only coverage: $3,350 (up $50) […] Key words: ,,,

How to Satisfy IRS Safe Harbor for Accepting Rollover Contributions Many retirement plan sponsors want to offer employees the convenience of rolling their account balances from other plans into their new employer’s plan.  However, an invalid rollover will jeopardize the […] Key words: ,

Does the DOMA Decision Mean We Have to Amend Our Plan? On April 4, 2014, the IRS issued Notice 2014-19 providing guidance on when qualified retirement plans must be amended to conform with the Supreme Court decision in United States v. […] Key words: ,,

Should We Change Our COBRA Notices Because of the Affordable Care Act? Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) a group health plan must provide each covered employee and their spouse with a written notice of COBRA rights at the time […] Key words:

Mid-Year Amendments to Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans: When Are They Allowed? The IRS is very restrictive when it comes to mid-year amendments to a safe harbor plan. Participants must receive a safe harbor notice prior to the beginning of the plan […] Key words: ,

How to Correct a Failure to Provide a Safe Harbor 401(k) Notice? The IRS, in the February 2014 issue of Retirement News for Employers, explained how an employer can correct the mistake of failing to distribute a safe harbor 401(k) notice. IRS […] Key words: ,,

Proposed 408(b)(2) Guide: What You Need to Know? In 2012, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued regulations requiring the disclosure of information to help plan fiduciaries make an informed decision on whether the fees charged to a plan […] Key words: ,

90-Day Limit on Group Health Plan Waiting Period Finalized The U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) have jointly issued final regulations finalizing a 90-day limit on waiting periods for health coverage. The final […] Key words: ,

Obama Introduces myRA Program During the State of the Union address on January 29th, President Obama announced a new retirement account called the “myRA”. The President signed a memo directing the Department of the […] Key words: ,

Bill Seeks to Encourage MEPs & Larger Matching Contributions Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Senator Nelson (D-FL) and Ranking Member of the Committee, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) recently introduced The Retirement Security Act of 2014.  The […] Key words: ,,

Proposal Would Have Large Impact on Small Plans Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, introduced the Universal, Secure, and Adaptable (USA) Retirement Funds Act of 2014.  There is a growing […] Key words: ,

Recent Retirement Proposals: What You Need to Know? Three recent developments in Washington, D.C. demonstrate a renewed attention to Americans’ retirement challenges.  Each of these proposals is primarily aimed at employees of small employers who do not offer […] Key words: ,,,

IRS Issues Guidance on In-Plan Roth Rollovers Recently, the IRS issued Notice 2013-74 (“Notice”), which provides guidance on in-plan Roth rollovers.  Part of the guidance in the Notice relates specifically to an in-plan Roth rollover of amounts […] Key words: ,

Testing Relief for Closed Defined Benefit Plans Often, when a defined benefit (DB) plan excludes new employees, those new employees will participate in a defined contribution (DC) plan.  Over time, as the proportion of the DB plan […] Key words: ,,

ERISA Stock Drop Case Goes to Supreme Court On December 13, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving a plan fiduciary’s duties under ERISA.  The case, Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, involves an allegation […] Key words: ,

PBGC Premium Changes: How Will They Affect Your Plan?  Changes to the Amount and Timing of PBGC Premiums Two important changes to PBGC premiums come into effect for the 2014 plan year.  The first change increases the amount of […] Key words:

Fringe Benefits: 2014 Cost of Living Adjustments The IRS has issued their annual limits for certain employee fringe benefits in Revenue Procedure 2013-35. For the 2014 tax year, the monthly limit on the amount an employee can […] Key words: ,,,

IRS Notice 2013-54: What Employers Need to Know The IRS and Department of Labor recently released identical guidance on the “Application of Market Reforms and other Provisions of the Affordable Care Act to Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), Health […] Key words: ,,,,,,,

Court Decision Shows Importance of Retaining Past Plan Documents and SPDs In December 2012, Mrs. Elaine Hartman, the widow of a participant in a pension plan, brought a lawsuit against plan sponsor, Dana Holding Corporation.  Mrs. Hartman believed that Dana was […] Key words: ,

IRS Rules Allow Carryover in Flexible Spending Accounts Recently issued IRS Notice 2013-71 modifies the use-it-or-lose-it rule that applies to health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) which require monies left in the account to be forfeited at the end […] Key words: ,,,

2014 Cost of Living Adjustments The IRS has released the cost of living adjustments that affect the dollar limits for both retirement plans and flexible spending accounts for the 2014 tax year. Some limits will […] Key words: ,,,,,,

ACA’s Dollar-Limit Prohibition and Preventive Services Requirement and Employer-Sponsored Health Arrangements: Guidance for Employers On September 13, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor issued Notice 2013-54 (Notice) to provide guidance on the application of two Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions […] Key words: ,,,

How much is available from a 401(k) account for a hardship withdrawal? In determining the amount available for a hardship withdrawal, you must first determine what the plan provides in regard to the contribution sources are allowed.  This information can be found […] Key words: ,,

What expenses can be paid from a Flexible Spending Account? The expenses that can be paid from a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) can fall into two categories: health care and dependent care. Expenses paid from an FSA cannot be reimbursed […] Key words:

What information does a plan fiduciary have the duty to provide? There are a number of things that the fiduciary is required to disclose to participants and beneficiaries.  The disclosure of such items is governed by Title I of ERISA.  The […] Key words: ,,

IRS Issues Guidance Related to DOMA Decision On August 29th, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 (Ruling) in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a portion of the Defense of Marriage […] Key words: ,,

DOMA Decision Has Wide Range of Effects on Employers As indicated in our July newsletter, on June 26th, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the definition of “marriage” under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional and therefore […] Key words: ,,

Penalty Letters May Have Been Sent in Error In the past couple of weeks, the IRS has sent out thousands of letters to employers regarding the filing of their Form 8955-SSA for the plan year ending December 31, […] Key words: ,

Participant Fee Disclosure Relief The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2013-02 (FAB 2013-02), which temporarily extended the timing requirement for the annual notice under the final ERISA 404a-5 regulation. Under […] Key words: ,

Indiana Governor Signs Law Requiring Reporting of OPEB Liabilities On May 8, 2013, Governor Mike Pence signed into law House Enrolled Act 1001, which included requirements for municipal bodies to begin reporting other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liabilities to the […] Key words: ,,

Government Report Raises Concerns About Participant Rollovers Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report regarding how participant IRA rollovers are being handled.  In this report, the GAO discussed some of its findings and raised concerns […] Key words: ,,,

Supreme Court Rules Definition of “Marriage” Unconstitutional On June 26th, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the definition of “marriage” under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.  Therefore, DOMA will no longer define a spouse […] Key words: ,

IRS Releases 2014 HSA Contribution Limits The IRS has released the 2014 cost-of-living increases for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs).  The 2014 HSA contribution limits are:  Self-only coverage – $3,300 (up […] Key words: ,,

Internal Controls – A Focus of IRS Plan Audits One of the ways that the IRS tries to ensure that plans are in compliance with the law or are following the terms of their plan is to audit the […] Key words: ,,

Locating Missing Participants and Beneficiaries As a part of a plan sponsor’s or administrator’s fiduciary duties, ERISA requires that a reasonable effort is made to locate any missing participants or beneficiaries in order to pay […] Key words: ,,

Can employees contribute to a pension plan? Employee contributions to a defined benefit plan are not common in the private sector, although they are common in plans covering government employees. Employee contributions provide a way for employees […] Key words: ,

Why would I want to file my plan with the IRS to request a favorable determination letter? The IRS does not require that a plan file for a favorable determination letter (FDL).  However, there are a couple of reasons that support the decision to file for an […] Key words: ,,

What is a substantiation and when are they necessary for an FSA? When using the debit card feature in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA), the employer sets up certain co-pays for prescriptions and office visits. This varies from company to company. If […] Key words: ,,

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About the Knowledge Center

The Nyhart Knowledge Center is a free resource to CFOs and HR executives to help you resolve and understand the complex issues regarding your actuarial and employee benefit questions. The Knowledge Center is an archive of answers from our team of actuaries, administrators and retirement consultants and is intended to help provide you with the background you need.