RETIREMENT

Benefits: Should we put details in the employee handbook or the Summary Plan Description?

11/27/2014
Q. Should a small business employee handbook include a safe-harbor clause under the benefits section for their 401k plan? In the past, the benefits information in the handbook has been limited because it can change so often. Instead, the handbook just points the employee to the summary plan documents.

Employees can sock away more for retirement next year

11/19/2014
The amount employees can contribute to their 401(k) or 403(b) plan accounts increases to $18,000 for 2015, the IRS has announced.

401(k) contribution and catch-up limits increase

11/18/2014
The amount employees can contribute to their 401(k) or 403(b) plan accounts increases to $18,000 for 2015, the IRS announced.

Participation in retirement plans starts ticking up again

11/18/2014
The percentage of workers participating in an employment-based retirement plan increased in 2013 for the first time since 2010, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Forget the gold watch! Present last check instead

10/27/2014

Employees who quit in California must receive their last checks within 72 hours if the employee provides no advance notice. If the worker does provide at least 72 hours’ notice, the payment must be immediate. But what about employees who announce their retirement—presumably at least 72 hours before their last workday?

FICA wage base increases to $118,500 for 2015

10/22/2014
The 2015 taxable wage base for the Social Security portion of FICA is $118,500, a 1.28% hike over the 2014 wage base. The 6.2% Social Security tax is payable by both employers and employees; in 2015, the maximum tax is $7,347.

Feds sue Keene company over missing retirement funds

10/07/2014
The DOL is suing a Keene-based rehabilitation therapy practice after investigators discovered that the owner had been deducting retirement plan contributions from employees’ paychecks for the past two years without forwarding any money to the plan.

36% of Americans haven't saved a dime for retirement

08/27/2014
Over a third of all Americans (36%) have not saved any money for retirement, according to a new Bankrate.com survey.

Remind retirement plan participants: Don't neglect stock investments

08/26/2014
Most Americans are unaware that the stock market is booming, according to a new Gallup poll. The S&P 500 gained 30% in 2013, yet only 7% of those polled knew that, and only 52% believe now is a good time to invest in stocks.

Low-wage baby boomers face retirement poverty

08/12/2014
Your lowest-paid older workers can look forward to retirements defined by even poorer income prospects, according to economists who study wage and financial-planning data.

Which has greater value to employees: Retirement or health benefits?

07/30/2014

Employees are more satisfied with their company-sponsored retirement benefits than they were five years ago, but satisfaction with health care benefits (especially the cost), has declined, according to a new survey by the Towers Watson consulting firm. How big is the satisfaction split?

Take it or leave it? What affects retirement rollovers?

07/29/2014
It’s a question that interests policymakers and employers alike: When workers leave or change jobs, what do they do with their employment-based retirement savings—and why?

Uncle Sam is getting rich on 401(k) withdrawals

07/11/2014
Employees who made early withdrawals from their 401(k) retirement savings plans paid $5.7 billion in penalties to the IRS in 2011, the most recent year for which data are available.

Retirement trumps health in benefits survey

06/23/2014
Employees are more satisfied with their company-sponsored retirement benefits than they were five years ago, but satisfaction with health care benefits, especially the cost of medical benefits, has declined, according to a new survey by the Towers Watson consulting firm.

401(k)s must recognize same-sex spouses

06/20/2014
The fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 U.S. v. Wind­­sor decision continues to affect employers. The IRS now says that 401(k) plans that define marriage and spouses in terms of heterosexuality must be amended to define those terms in a gender-neutral way.
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