Watkins Ross Blog

Blog / Latest News

CATEGORY

Latest News

Retirement plans, post-employment health plan benefits, and self-insured business financial and liability reporting requirements continually evolve and change over time. Retirement and health plan regulatory parties must consequently update terms, conditions, and reporting obligations regularly. Keep your business up-to-date and compliant by connecting with the latest retirement and health plan news on the Watkins Ross blog. From 401(k) rules and pension benefit specifics to deferrals, distributions, and incurred liability considerations, Watkins Ross breaks down the latest news and important retirement and health plan updates so you can ensure your business provides the best possible benefits for your employees at the least amount of regulatory reporting risk. Interested in obtaining an expert look into your business’s current benefits and exploring how they fit within an ever-changing regulatory climate? Contact the Watkins Ross actuaries and retirement and health plan teams to obtain an in-depth assessment of your plan positioning, reporting liabilities, and cost-saving opportunities.

Watkins Ross Launches Green Initiative

As many of you know, we moved to our new location (200 Ottawa NW Suite 600) in late October 2014.  It was a very exciting challenge and certainly a learning experience, since you never know how much you have until you have to move it! Watkins Ross is doing our part as...

read more

What is a Cross-Tested Plan?

A cross-tested plan is a defined contribution plan or a defined contribution plan and cash balance plan combination which favors older, long-term employees who are closer to retirement age.  Under this design, the employer contribution percent going to owners and/or...

read more

BINGO to Avoid an Audit Trigger on Your ESOP Form 5500

2I – 2O – 2P – 2Q – 3I, Bingo! Entering incorrect information on the return or report, or leaving a field blank when there should be an entry increases the likelihood that you’ll be selected for an Employee Plans Compliance Unit compliance check. Plan characteristic...

read more

Who Should Consider a Cash Balance Plan?

The content below was originally posted 06/02/2015 and has since been updated. Click here to read the updated information.  Cash balance plans allow high-income earners to save more towards retirement than a defined contribution plan. Unlike a defined contribution...

read more

What is a Cash Balance Plan?

A cash balance plan is a defined befit plan that specifies the benefit as a hypothetical account balance. Each year, the hypothetical account is credited with a principal credit and an interest credit, as defined in the plan document. These plans are required to...

read more

Watkins Ross Named Silver ESOP Award Winner

Watkins Ross has been named a Silver ESOP Award winner by The ESOP Association. The Silver ESOP Awards recognize companies for their work in sustaining their ESOP for 25 years or more. Watkins Ross is one of 48 corporate members of the Association to be honored in...

read more

Hardship and Participant Loan Documentation

The IRS recently published guidelines for Plan Sponsors to adhere to regarding the documentation of hardship distributions and participant loans.  Generally speaking, plan participants sign a distribution form certifying that they qualify for a hardship distribution. ...

read more

2015 401(a)(17) Compensation Limit

In order to be considered a qualified plan, a plan must satisfy section 401(a)(17).  Section 401(a)(17) provides an annual compensation limit for each employee under a qualified plan. The 2015 annual limit on compensation for qualified plans is $265,000.  By placing a...

read more

Do You Ooze ESOP?

Ho-hum, it’s another day in the life of a Retirement Plan Administrator.  March 15th came and went, so the first round of 401k plan testing is over. Is anything exciting happening in this field? Yes! I recently attended the Michigan Chapter of the ESOP Association...

read more

Escalating PBGC Premiums

Plan sponsors of defined benefit pension plans who are subject to PBGC coverage receive an email each year from the PBGC requiring input (and payment).  What’s also required is a deep breath and a strong heart.  Although the purpose of the PBGC is meaningful and...

read more

Will Your ESOP Require a Plan Audit For Form 5500?

Will your ESOP require a plan audit for Form 5500 this year? If so, there is much to do in the next few months! A plan audit is required if the number of ESOP Participants reported on the Form 5500 is 100 or greater, as of the beginning of the Plan Year.  There are...

read more

The Importance of Beneficiary Forms

It’s an easy detail to overlook. Participants occasionally overlook the importance of updating their beneficiary form. It is even more important to update their form if their status has changed, such as divorce, marriage, etc. Maintaining updated beneficiary forms...

read more

A Prying TPA Keeps the IRS Away

January 1st brings anticipation for the future, a fresh start, and a chance to follow through on those New Year’s resolutions. But it also means that it’s retirement-plan reporting season as well. It’s time again to notify your TPA of any business changes that may...

read more

The GreatBanc and DOL Settlement Agreement

The DOL recently reached a settlement of its lawsuit alleging violations of ERISA against GreatBanc. As part of the settlement, GreatBanc was required to enter into a “Fiduciary Process Agreement.” The agreement applies only to GreatBanc and is not a Regulation, Field...

read more

Mortality Improvements

Defined Benefit plan actuaries use various assumptions to calculate a plan’s benefit liabilities for various purposes. One of the main assumptions employed is the rate of mortality for the plan’s population. The IRS requires specific mortality tables for some...

read more

Who is Considered a Leased Employee?

Does your Company employ leased employees? An employee is considered “leased” if all of the following criteria is met: The services must be performed under an agreement between the recipient and a leasing organization. The services must be performed for at least one...

read more