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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

Locating Missing Participants in Your Retirement Plan

It’s always a good idea to keep your retirement plan as clean as possible by maintaining good employee records. In the event you do lose track of a plan participant, below are some suggested ways to locate former employees.

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Posted on April 12, 2017 by Marla Shires, QKA, Account Manager-Retirement Plans

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

Fiduciaries Beware: Supreme Court Extends Duty to Monitor

In a very closely watched case within the employee benefits community, the US Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Tibble v. Edison International that plan fiduciaries have an ongoing duty to monitor and take action if an investment in the plan becomes imprudent. The decision, which remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit for further review, stresses the importance of what the courts have called “procedural prudence” in administering a qualified plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b) program.

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Posted on May 21, 2015 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

Why Partner with a Retirement Plan TPA

Qualified plan rules are complicated and are constantly changing. Failure to effectively maintain your plan’s required compliance can be costly. Your third party administrator (TPA) can help you navigate these diverse rules so that your retirement plan maintains its tax deferred status and keeps your plan in compliance with ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, and all DOL and IRS regulations.

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Posted on May 20, 2015 by Marla Shires, Account Manager-Retirement Plans

DOL Extends Annual Participant-Level Fee Disclosures in Retirement Plans

In a significant new regulation, the DOL has provided relief for plan sponsors to provide required fee disclosures to participants in qualified retirement plans, including 401(k) and 403(b) programs.

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Posted on March 26, 2015 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

2014 Benefits Limits Announced

Annual benefit limits were delayed a bit this year due to the government shutdown, but we finally have them all now. We’ve compiled the most common limits necessary for Health & Welfare and Retirement plans. If you have any questions about how these apply to your plans, please contact your Kushner & Company representative.

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Posted on November 15, 2013 by Ben Cohen, CEBS, Practice Leader, Health & Welfare Benefits

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