Monday, March 20, 2017

Is It Time to Refresh Your Voluntary Benefits?

by Wesley Price

Voluntary benefits have been around for several decades. These are coverages and products made available to employees for elective purchase at the employee’s expense. Over the years, as the cost of health insurance has continued to increase, employers have shifted the portfolio of offerings from employer-paid to voluntary. As a result voluntary benefits has evolved from being limited to main core benefits like dental, vision, and life insurance to including accident insurance, disability and critical illness. Additionally, new benefits are emerging based on growing demand, such as pet insurance, fraud protection and legal services.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

8 Questions Plan Sponsors Should Ask about 457(b) and 457(f) Plans

Background:

457(f) and 457(b) plans are non-qualified deferred compensation plans for eligible highly-compensated employees. A non-qualified plan is a type of tax-deferred, employer-sponsored retirement plan that is not subject to Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) guidelines. Non-governmental 457 plans are not required to file Form 5500 since they are not subject to ERISA, but they are required within 120 days of the plan’s existence to file a one-time notification (“top hat letter”) with the Department of Labor. These plans are exempt from the non-discrimination testing that is required for qualified plans.

In 1986, Section 457 was added to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to specifically address the unique needs of the not-for-profit sector. The rules address governmental plans sponsored by state or local governments and non-governmental plans sponsored by tax-exempt organizations under Section 501(c). This frequently-asked question (FAQ) document will specifically address questions regarding non-governmental 457(b) and 457(f) plans.