Electronic Disclosures: DOL Discovers E-Mail and the Internet

The US Department of Labor has suddenly realized that employers and their employees use a newfangled means of communicating in the real world: e-mail and the internet. In a bold move proposing their latest regulations (last issued in 2002 as most people were beginning to use electronic means of communication), the DOL has proposed new rules that would enable employers and plan sponsors of retirement plans (and only retirement plans, not health and welfare plans) to use electronic communications as the default means of providing certain ERISA-required notices. Of course, there are a number of requirements in order to use these new e-mail and internet thingys.

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Posted on October 28, 2019 by Gary B. Kushner, President and CEO, Kushner & Company

DOL Reaffirms ERISA Preemption of State Wage Withholding Laws

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently published an Information Letter that confirms the general preemption under ERISA of state civil laws that require employers to obtain written consent before withholding amounts from employees’ wages for contribution to a benefit plan subject to ERISA.

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Posted on February 18, 2019 by Gary B. Kushner, President and CEO

Student Loan Repayments and 401(k) Match

In a Private Letter Ruling (PLR), the IRS has recently sort of, kind of, maybe, in special circumstances enabled employers to make a matching contribution to their 401(k) plan on behalf of eligible plan participants who, instead of contributing to the 401(k), make certain qualifying student loan repayments instead.

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Posted on October 18, 2018 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

2017 Tax Act Creates Opportunity for Small Business Defined Benefit Plans

A new Section 199A of the 2017 Tax Act passed by Congress in December of that year enables small business owners—especially sole proprietors, subchapter S corporations, and partnerships—to get up to a 20 percent deduction of qualified business income if they have total income below certain thresholds. The Treasury Department recently issued its first set of proposed regulations regarding this new section, and some of the methods that had been offered in the market, such as what was known as “crack and pack,” were deemed abusive.

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Posted on August 16, 2018 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

Small Employer Retirement Plans Negatively Impacted by VCP User Fee Change

When small employers make operational errors in their 401(k) or other retirement plans, and before the IRS or DOL provide a notice of an audit, the employer has the ability to self-correct under two different IRS programs: The Voluntary Compliance Program (VCP) and the Self-Correction Program (SCP) under the IRS’ Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). It has always been in both the employer’s/plan’s and the IRS’ best interest to correct operational errors before an audit occurs, and since small employers are sometimes more likely to make inadvertent errors (such as missing a Required Minimum Distribution), small employers were previously given a break on the user fees in order to file under the VCP program.

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Posted on January 09, 2018 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

2018 Benefit Limits Announced

With IRS Notice 2017-64, we now have the applicable retirement and health and welfare benefit limits for 2018. Many (but not all) have increased from 2017. Earlier this year, the IRS announced the 2018 Health Savings Account (HSA) limits and plan designs.

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Posted on October 23, 2017 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

401(k) Safe Harbor Reminder

If you were considering adopting a brand new safe harbor 401(k) plan, or were contemplating adding 401(k) features to an existing profit sharing plan, the deadline to do so is fast approaching. You would need to adopt and implement the plan by no later than October 1, 2016 if your plan was to operate on a calendar year and you wanted the safe harbor to be effective for the remainder of 2016. If you wish to turn a “traditional” 401(k) plan—that is, a non-safe harbor 401(k)—into a safe harbor plan, the deadline to do so is January 1, 2017 for an effective date in 2017.

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Posted on September 14, 2016 by Lori Kiess, Account Manager-Retirement Plans

NSBA Cites Kushner's Role in Treasury Withdrawal of Harmful Regulation

In its reporting of IRS Announcement 2016-16 , the National Small Business Association (NSBA) credited Kushner & Company’s President and CEO Gary Kushner with playing a critical role in Treasury’s withdrawal of a proposed regulation that, if finalized, would have significantly damaged a small employer’s ability to structure a retirement plan for the owner and his or her employees. The NSBA article went on to describe why the initial proposal was so harmful , and what it would have meant in reduced or completely eliminated retirement benefits for small business employees.

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Posted on April 27, 2016 by Ian Thrasher

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