IRS: Retirement plan limits will remain steady in 2016

For the most part, the annual caps on 401(k) and other defined contribution retirement plans for defined benefit pension plans will stay the same from 2015 to 2016.

Retirement crisis continues: Median savings just $2,500

The typical working household has virtually no retirement savings, according to a study by the nonprofit National Institute on Retirement Security. When all households are included—not just those with retirement accounts—median retirement savings added up to just $2,500.

DOL pushes retirement advice rule change

Public comments closed last month on a proposed DOL rule to redefine the conflict-of-interest standard retirement plan fiduciaries must meet. It’s part of an Obama administration effort to require defined-contribution retirement-plan advisors to act in account holders’ best interests, not just provide “suitable” advice, as the law currently requires.

Consider phased retirement process to retain expertise

Why not hold onto what a skilled worker can give you as long as you can, rather than letting that knowledge walk out the door all at once?

Don't set weekend deadline for appealing benefits denial

When an employer (or plan administrator) denies a request to receive an ERISA-covered benefit, it must inform the employee that he must appeal by a certain date, typically 180 days. When the 180th day falls on a weekend, those days aren’t counted.

More older workers keep working

The number of older people who continue to work has increased dramatically in 10 years, with workforce participation among those 65 and older increasing by more than 80%. Here’s the percentage change in work participation by age, from 2006 to 2016.

Retirement plan participation depends on overall wages

Well-paid private-sector employees are more than three times more likely to participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan than their lower-paid colleagues.

Retired is retired, even without written notice

Recently, a retired employee challenged her retirement and applied for unemployment, arguing that she never put a retirement request in writing and therefore her employer couldn’t oppose her request for unemployment benefits.

Employers must be vigilant on 401(k) options

A new decision by the U.S. Supreme Court has upped the fiduciary ante for employers that offer defined contribution retirement plans.

High Court case could spawn more 401(k) suits

The Supreme Court has ruled that retirement plan fiduciaries have an ongoing duty to monitor all 401(k) plan assets and sell off under-performing securities and funds.

DOL offers stock-appraisal guidance for companies that sponsor ESOPs

The U.S. Department of Labor has developed appraisal guidelines to help employers that sponsor Employee Stock Ownership Plans make informed decisions about legally buying and selling company stock.

Proposed rule would combat retirement plan conflicts of interest

The U.S. Department of Labor has released a proposed rule designed to protect 401(k) and IRA investors by cracking down on conflicts of interest in the retirement plan marketplace. The proposed rule would update and close loopholes in the nearly 40-year-old Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which governs employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Feds crack down on 401(k) hardship withdrawals

Both the IRS and U.S. Department of Labor are increasing their enforcement scrutiny on companies that allow em­­ploy­­ees to take inappropriate hardship withdrawals from their 401(k) plans.

Retirement crisis worsens, no rebound from recession

The U.S. retirement savings crisis continues to worsen, and the typical working household still has virtually no retirement savings, according to a new report by the National Institute on Retirement Security.

As military-leave season nears, plan now for reservists' absence

Summer is usually when employees who belong to the National Guard and military Reserves give their two weeks of duty to Uncle Sam. Some military-connected employees may be deployed for longer periods of time. Now is the time to prepare for their absence.
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