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4 Retirement Plans That Your Employees Will Want to Stay For

4 Retirement Plans That Your Employees Will Want to Stay For

Employees are a company’s most valuable resource. They are the ones who make things happen, and they deserve to be treated well. A retirement plan is one of the best ways to show your employees that you care about them and creating a plan to incentivize the retention of your employees help everyone.

Not only does it provide them with financial security in their golden years, but it also incentivizes them to stay with the company longer. In this blog post, we will discuss four retirement plans that your employees will want to stay for.

But first…

Create a Balance “Rich Plan”, That Incentivizes Longevity in the Employees 

When designing a retirement plan, it is important to find the balance between creating a “rich plan” and incentivizing longevity in the employees. A rich plan offers generous benefits that encourage employees to save for their retirement.

On the other hand, if the benefits are too generous, employees may become complacent and not work as hard. It is important to find the right balance so that employees feel appreciated and are also motivated to stay with the company for a long time.

401k plan design

Understand What and How a Vesting Schedule Works and the Benefits for the Employer 

A vesting schedule is a timeline by which an employee becomes fully vested in their retirement plan benefits. This means that they have ownership of all the benefits they have accrued and can withdraw them without penalty. There are two types of vesting schedules: cliff and gradual.  

With a cliff vesting schedule, employees become fully vested after completing a certain number of years with the company.  This can be good for employers who are looking to save benefits for loyal employees.

A gradual vesting schedule, on the other hand, allows employees to vest gradually over a period of time. This is a more gradual process and gives the employees a target to reach down the road and incentivizes them to stay longer.   The hope is that the longer the vesting schedule, the longer the tenure of your employees.

Retirement Plans That Allow You to Use a Vesting Schedule

Here are 4 plan types that will make your employees want to stay with your company: 

1) Traditional 401k  

A Traditional 401k is a type of retirement plan that allows the employer to design a plan from scratch. This means that they can create a matching and vesting schedule based on their goals.  Whether it’s for employee retention, or to fit the plan within the company’s budget.  The benefits of a Traditional 401k include:  

  • Roth or Pre-tax contributions.
  • Employees can contribute up to $20,500 per year (2022)  
  • Employers can design a plan on budget and to incentivize their employees.

A Traditional 401k is a great option for employers who want to create a vesting schedule. They can match employee contributions on a gradual or cliff vesting schedule. This allows employees to become fully vested in their benefits over time and incentivizes them to stay with the company for a long period.

2) QACA (Qualified Automatic Contribution Arrangement) Safe Harbor 401k  

A QACA is a type of Safe Harbor 401k that has a 2-year, cliff vesting schedule.  As opposed to the Standard Safe Harbor, that has an immediate vesting schedule. 

This plan is great for businesses with high turnover to incentivize the employees to stay longer, but also to keep any matching contributions within the company if an employee were to leave within the two years.

Its benefits include:

  • Roth & Pre-tax contributions. 
  • Employees can contribute up to $20,500 per year (2022). 
  • Employees are vested after 2 years. 
  • Allows the owners and HCEs to maximize contributions regardless of employee contribution rates.

3) Profit Sharing (stacked on top of any 401k plan or stand-alone)  

A profit-sharing plan lets employers offer profit-sharing plans as a way to attract and retain employees. Profit sharing is a great option as employees like the idea of being apart of the growth and success of the company.

Other benefits to profit sharing include:  

 

  • Employees feel appreciated by their employer.  
  • Gives employees a share in their company’s profits based on its quarterly or annual earnings. 
  • Employers have the ability to create a separate vesting schedule versus the 401k plan.

 

4) Cash Balance Plan (also can stack on any 401k plan or stand-alone)

Cash balance plans are a type of defined benefit plan that can be used as either a pension or as a supplemental retirement plan.  It is a great solution to highly successful business owners with a smaller employee pool.

Cash balance plans have many benefits, including: 

  • Substantial tax reduction on the employer. 
  • Creates a highly sought after employee benefit to recruit high-quality employees.  
  • Employees can roll the funds into an IRA once the plan has shut down, or they leave the company.

Conclusion

As an employer, you should consider implementing one (or more) of these plans as part of your overall compensation package.

If you are self-employed without employees, keep in mind that starting a solo 401k plan allows you to save tax-free for retirement and offer employer contributions to yourself. 

Building a custom plan based on the goals of your company is a good practice of any employer.  Whether it’s tax savings or the recruitment & retention of high-quality employees, our 401k experts can help you design the best plan for your goals.

 

If you need help finding which plan makes sense for your company, schedule a plan discussion with us or take 30 seconds to find which plan is best for your company with The Retirement Plan Evaluator.

 

Securing A Strong Retirement Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0)

Securing A Strong Retirement Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0)

American workers are set to be the key beneficiaries of the ongoing transformation of retirement savings plans, with small businesses playing a bigger role to make this a reality. On Tuesday, March 29, 2022, the House of Representatives turned up in a big way to pass the Securing A Strong Retirement Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0) by a vote of 414 – 5.

The new legislation rides on a previous retirement legislation, The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act), boosting all workers, including those working in small businesses, to live a secure retirement future. Among the key changes the bill will actualize are expanding retirement saving plans offered by small and large businesses and broadening the automatic enrollment.

The Senate, which is making the next move toward passing the bill, has unveiled the Retirement Security and Savings Act, which has the same features as those in SECURE 2.0. Workers can rest assured that both the House and Senate will work together with the future of the American worker at the forefront.

Some of the over 50 highlighted provisions under SECURE 2.0 that small business owners and plan administrators should watch out for include:

Secure 2.0

1. Expansion of Automatic Enrollment

Small businesses offering 401(k), 403(b), and SIMPLE plans are required to automatically enroll their employees. The enrollment starts with a contribution rate of 3% of employees’ pay, which will gradually increase by 1% every year until it reaches no more than 10%. Employees are also free to no longer participate in the plan. Those exempted from the rule include businesses hiring 10 or fewer employees, new businesses that have been running for less than three years, churches, and government plans.

2. Extension of Saver’s Credit

Small businesses would receive tax credits of up to $1,000 per employee to minimize startup costs for contributions made on behalf of the employee. Further, the tax credit will be increased from 50% to 100% to cover up to 100 employees from the previous 50 employee limit for small business startups. The allocations would be as follows: 100% in years 1 and 2, 75% in year 3, 50% in year 4, and finally 25% in year 5.

3. Incentivizing for More Plan Participation

The plan would allow employers to offer employees financial incentives such as small gift cards to encourage participation in 401(k) and 403(b) plans.

4. Allow Student Loan Payments to Qualify as Elective Deferrals

The SECURE ACT 2.0 will allow the employer to make contributions to match the qualified student loan payments for their employees.

5. Ease the Process to Enroll Military Spouses Into Employer Retirement Plans

Small businesses would claim tax credit per employee in exchange for; i) making it possible for military spouses to be eligible for plan participation within two months of employment, ii) ensuring they are eligible for matching or nonelective contributions, and iii) making sure 100% of military spouses are vested in all employer contributions. The tax credit would be $250 for every military spouse and 100% of employer contributions for the military spouse up to $250 each year.

6. Raising the Required Minimum Distributions Age

Under the SECURE Act, the retirement withdrawals by workers were delayed by two years from age 70 to 72. With the new provisions, this will further push them back up to age 73 starting in 2022, 74 by January 1, 2030, and 75 by January 1, 2033, which gives workers a long time to save more.

9. Reduced Eligibility Requirement for Part-Time Workers

The new proposal modifies the SECURE Act, where long-term, part-time workers are allowed by employers to defer to their 401k plans provided they’ve worked for three consecutive years with at least 500 hours of service annually. Now the three-year limit will decrease to two.

10. Securing Retirement Savings

Through the Act, a national online lost and found database will be set up for retirement savings. This will assist individuals to trace and receive their benefits lost due to a business changing names or merging with other organizations.

11. Lowered Penalty for Not Taking Minimum Distributions

The plan will reduce the excise tax from 50% to 25% for those who don’t take their minimum distributions. The tax will be reduced to 10% if there is a timely correction of the failure.

12. Amendment of the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) 

The Act will permit plans to be put in place to enable the EPCRS to make self-corrections to errors made in the system, including IRA errors.

The above key provisions are aimed to expand the coverage, encourage and preserve retirement savings for all workers and help small business owners offset the cost of administering retirement plans.

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Secure 2.0

What Next for Small Business Owners?

It now remains to be seen if the Senate adopts the House bill or enacts their own; either way, the expectation is that it will get many Americans to save more.

In addition, it will make it easy for employers to navigate the retirement rules, such as more time for employers to amend beneficial discretionary retirement plans and modernizing family attribution rules, which hugely affect small businesses and women business owners.

The upside is that the Act is designed to recognize the impact employers have over their employees’ retirement savings, more so small business owners, who may be limited compared to larger organizations.

This can be seen in how the plan capitalizes on aspects such as integrating 403(b) plans under PEP, including increased tax credits to make it cost-effective to manage 401k plans.

If you need help finding which plan makes sense for your company, schedule a plan discussion with us or take 30 seconds to find which plan is best for your company with The Retirement Plan Evaluator.

 

Should You Support Your Employee’s Side Businesses?

Should You Support Your Employee’s Side Businesses?

As an employer, it may feel difficult to support your employee’s side businesses.  But first, let’s dive into why it might be beneficial to your business by supporting them.

The U.S is recognized for its great economy and hardworking population. Unfortunately, the country’s economy suffered a big blow, especially in the second quarter of the global pandemic. 

The GDP declined at a 32.9 percent rate. This is the highest decline since 1947. As a result, the working class is compelled to work harder to revive the declining economy. For instance, a growing number of employees have a side hustle in order to survive the tough times.

However, the idea of employees having a side hustle has attracted a lot of controversies among employers. In this article, we’ve explained why employers should encourage their employees to have a side hustle.

Benefits of Supporting Your Employees Side Business

Many employers strive to extract every second from their employees’ schedules, causing some employees to work overtime day in and day out. 

These are employers who view an employee’s side business as a threat to their business. But this isn’t the case. 

Instead, you can gain a lot by supporting your employees side businesses and allowing them to have thriving side hustles. Here’s how you can benefit.

Cut Training Cost  

With the ever-changing technology, employers are forced to invest in employee training programs. The goal is to help them keep up with the new trends. 

Training is a lifeline to businesses, and it comes at a higher cost. However, by supporting your employers to start side hustles, they’ll strive to grow their business so as to remain relevant in the highly competitive environment. 

This helps them acquire new skills. They’ll then use the skills mastered to run your business. This means you’ll have a team of experts at no additional training cost.

For example, IronMonk (digital marketing agency) CEO Jack Choros claimed that most of their staff have freelancing side hustles. They support them because it helps them sharpen their skills, making them better writers without the company shouldering inflated training costs.

Improves Employees Retention Rate

Employees don’t stick with employers who don’t support their goals. Therefore, you may be forced to keep looking for new employees, which could sink your investment. That’s because losing skilled employees means you have to spend more time and money on recruitment and training. And the new employees may take time to adapt to your business style.

With the current tough economic times, supporting your employees to find other ways of boosting their income motivates them and increases their loyalty to you. So, they’ll strive to achieve your business goal along with growing their side hustles. 

That means you’ll retain the right talents in your company by supporting your employee’s side businesses, and this is good for business.

Not sure which plan is for you, check out our Retirement Plan Evaluator to learn in 30-seconds. 

2022 401k contribution limits

A Financially Secure Workforce is More Productive

Financial insecurity can take a toll on your employees’ productivity, directly affecting your business. Regardless of how much you pay your employees, most are always worried about potential changes that could render them jobless. 

Anxiety triggered by money affects relationships, psychological health, and physical health. Employees who have side business regardless of its size are more confident because they have an alternative plan. 

The confidence and peace of mind boost their productivity, creativity, and commitment to you. Besides, they may use income from their side hustles to pay their debts, which helps them remain calmer.

Help them Find Satisfaction

According to 2019 Gartner’s, employees study in the United States, only 13% seem to find satisfaction in their jobs. And over 46% of workers are dissatisfied. 

If your employees feel unsatisfied, they may not offer an exceptional service. Supporting their side business helps them fulfill their purpose and lead happier lives. 

The fact that your employees find their side business more fulfilling should not worry you because most still keep their day job. Their side business gives them renewed energy needed to run your business activities. 

In this condition, they’ll address customers better, be more organized and become better time managers.

A Side Business Helps Employees Better their Skills

Even if you’ve constantly been offering training courses to your workforce, it may not bear results like running a side hustle. 

A side business offers both skills and experience. This way, your employee will improve their existing skills and master new skills in the process. 

They’ll improve their communication skills, problem-solving skills, financial management skills, and so on. 

The knowledge gained from side hustles is a great asset to your business. Keep in mind that a well-equipped and skilled workforce is a lifeline to your business. 

Tips on How to Manage Employees with Side Business

While supporting employees’ side hustle comes with tons of benefits, it may cost your business if you don’t set reasonable limits. If some employees are not controlled, they may skip their day jobs or spend hours answering private business calls during working hours.

This is inappropriate and unacceptable. You can prevent this from happening by letting your employees know that you have no problem with them having a side hustle, but they must comply with your business policy. 

This will help protect your hard-earned investment. Here are practical business practices to add to your policy:

  • Must portray good working performance–  It’s important that you specify each employee’s daily obligations. 

Their performance and conduct must be good. That doesn’t mean you implement stringent regulations, keep it professional and sensible. 

For example, implement flexible working schedules and involve your employees. Make sure they understand that non-compliance or misconduct may lead to disciplinary or dismissal.

  • Comply with working time legislations-  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employees are required to work for specific hours per day. The law dictates that they receive time off and breaks between shifts. 

An employee can choose to have a side hustle and run it during their off-days and breaks. To enhance their general well-being, advise your employees to work reasonably to avoid overworking their brains and bodies. 

And avoid denying them their rest time as that could lead to monetary penalties and fines since it’s against the law.   

  • Develop an open communication culture–  Start discussions about side hustles to encourage your employees to open up about their outside jobs. 

This helps build rapport because they’ll be convinced you have their interest at heart. 

Being honest and open boosts productivity and loyalty, and you can borrow their ideas and implement them in your business, especially from employees with thriving side businesses.

  • Protect your business assets–  Employees should not expose your business assets, such as confidential clients materials and information. 

These should remain within the business. A breach of data can harm your brand reputation, and therefore your employees should run their side hustles without exposing your business data. 

Key Takeaway

Your employees’ side hustle should not be a threat to your business.   In face, you have a lot to gain by supporting your employee’s side businesses.

It has tons of benefits like boosting their productivity, skills and giving them satisfaction. Besides, they gain new skills without you spending on educational courses. 

Whether you need advice on practical business solutions or looking for a reliable 401(k) provider, Life, Inc Retirement Services is the best option. We value your business and employees. 

Partnering with us gives you time to concentrate on your business growth as we handle the hard stuff.

If you need help finding which plan makes sense for your company, schedule a plan discussion with us or take 30 seconds to find which plan is best for your company with The Retirement Plan Evaluator.

 

Can Real Estate Investors Have A 401k Plan?

Can Real Estate Investors Have A 401k Plan?

There are several ways to invest in real estate.  However, it depends on a few factors if real estate investors can have a 401k plan.

While the joys of being a real estate investor are many, so are the stressors. One of the main stressors is that you have to plan for retirement by yourself, unlike when you are employed.

Luckily, there are various retirement savings plans that were created to house all kinds of professions. One such plan is the 401k plan. This is a retirement savings plan that allows individuals to save a certain percentage of each paycheck directly to a long-term investment account. So, to answer the question “can real estate investors have a 401k plan,” the answer is yes. 

Here is everything you need to know about real estate investors’ 401k plans.

What Retirement Plans Can Be Used by Real Estate Investors?

Here are a few retirement plans for real estate investors. Like other plans, these three plans have various tax benefits depending on which you choose. These plans are:

1. SEP IRA

Simplified Employee Pension IRA is a type of traditional IRA that was created to extend the IRA concept to small businesses. It is set up and funded by the owner. Any business entity can set up a SEP IRA whether it has employees or not.

It is a great choice because it is easy to set up, has no administrative overhead, the savings are tax-deferred, and has much higher contribution limits compared to Roth or traditional IRA.

With that, the tax deductions for a SEP IRA are much higher than that of an IRA.

2. Solo 401k

The solo 401k plan was designed for solo entrepreneurs without full-time employees. As such, if you run a business that has another employee other than yourself and a spouse, you are not eligible for a solo 401k.

A Solo 401k offers similar contribution limits to the SEP IRA.  However, the way your contributions are calculated require less income to reach those limits.  It also offers a Roth option to the employee portion.

3. Cash Balance Plan

A cash balance plan is different from a 401k plan as it is a defined benefit plan. This is as opposed to the 401k, which is considered a defined contribution plan. That means it guarantees a certain amount of benefit in retirement in terms of a stated account balance.

Each participant in the cash balance plan has an account. The account grows in two ways: the annual contribution, and an interest credit with a rate of return that is typically set by an actuary.

When the participants retire or terminate their employment, they receive the vested portion of their account balances.

Not sure which plan is for you, check out our Retirement Plan Evaluator to learn in 30-seconds. 

2022 401k contribution limits

A Financially Secure Workforce is More Productive

Financial insecurity can take a toll on your employees’ productivity, directly affecting your business. Regardless of how much you pay your employees, most are always worried about potential changes that could render them jobless. 

Anxiety triggered by money affects relationships, psychological health, and physical health. Employees who have side business regardless of its size are more confident because they have an alternative plan. 

The confidence and peace of mind boost their productivity, creativity, and commitment to you. Besides, they may use income from their side hustles to pay their debts, which helps them remain calmer.

Help them Find Satisfaction

According to 2019 Gartner’s, employees study in the United States, only 13% seem to find satisfaction in their jobs. And over 46% of workers are dissatisfied. 

If your employees feel unsatisfied, they may not offer an exceptional service. Supporting their side business helps them fulfill their purpose and lead happier lives. 

The fact that your employees find their side business more fulfilling should not worry you because most still keep their day job. Their side business gives them renewed energy needed to run your business activities. 

In this condition, they’ll address customers better, be more organized and become better time managers.

A Side Business Helps Employees Better their Skills

Even if you’ve constantly been offering training courses to your workforce, it may not bear results like running a side hustle. 

A side business offers both skills and experience. This way, your employee will improve their existing skills and master new skills in the process. 

They’ll improve their communication skills, problem-solving skills, financial management skills, and so on. 

The knowledge gained from side hustles is a great asset to your business. Keep in mind that a well-equipped and skilled workforce is a lifeline to your business. 

5. LLCs

A limited liability company has the pass-through taxation of a partnership and the limited liability of a corporation. It is a great choice for long-term real estate investors and rental properties. On the downside, it is usually dissolved in the event of death or bankruptcy.

6. Single-Member LLCs

Just as the name suggests, a single-member LLC is an LLC that has a single owner instead of more than one. It has all the advantages and disadvantages of a multi-member limited liability company.

Taxes are collected through the owner’s personal tax returns.

7. Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is an entity structure for real estate investors if they want to do everything by themselves without forming anything. It is the easiest to form and doesn’t have extra tax returns. On the downside, a sole proprietorship has unlimited liability.

Where Should a Real Estate Investor Report Income?

There are two types of income for a real estate investor: active and passive. If you qualify to be a real estate professional, your rental income is considered active. Otherwise, it is considered passive.

You are considered a professional if you meet the two requirements below.

  • “More than half of the personal services you perform in all trades or businesses during the tax year are performed in real property trades or businesses in which you materially participate.”
  • “You perform more than 750 hours of services during the tax year in real property trades or businesses in which you materially participate.”

Schedule E is used to report passive income, while schedule C, K-1, W-2, etc are for reporting active income.

Income for owners of S-Corporations and individual partners in a partnership is reported on Schedule E, while that for corporations, sole proprietors, and single-owner LLCs isn’t.

How Short-Term Rentals vs. Long-Term Rentals Can Be Taxed Differently

The difference between long and short-term rentals depends on the time and not the property type. Any property rented for one month or less is considered a short-term rental. A long-term rental is a property rented for longer than one month.

Long and short-term rentals have their own unique tax treatments as broken down below.

  • Unlike long-term rentals, furniture, property decorations, and painting among others are tax-deductible for short-term rentals.
  • You don’t need to pay property taxes if you run a short-term rental through rental arbitrage. You also won’t need to insure property appliances.
  • Homeowner associations and property taxes are included in long-term rental costs.
  • In some states and countries, long-term rentals have a much higher tax rate compared to short-term rentals.
  • Long-term rentals enjoy deductions such as depreciation, property taxes, repairs, and mortgage interest.

Hire a Retirement Plan Advisor 

There comes a time in the life of a successful real estate investor when it’s imperative to consider ways to allocate duties. For many, top of the list of delegating is the administration of the 401k plan. 

Where there are several methods for delegating the management of a 401k plan, there is now a trend towards hiring a 401(k) specialty firm or advisor that takes on nearly all the fiduciary liability associated with the investment process. 

At Life, Inc. Retirement Services, we assist you in designing a plan fit for your business, and offer administrator and fiduciary support to keep your plan compliant.

If you need help finding which plan makes sense for your company, schedule a plan discussion with us or take 30 seconds to find which plan is best for your company with The Retirement Plan Evaluator.

 

What Is A 401k Controlled Group? Here’s Everything You Need to Know.

What Is A 401k Controlled Group? Here’s Everything You Need to Know.

If you’re not sure exactly what is a 401k controlled group, this article will help you determine if you’re businesses are in one. 

In what seems like an ever-shrinking talent pool, being an employer that matches 401k contributions by your employees gives you an easier time attracting and keeping top talent.

However, keeping track of 401k plans if you have more than one business or have significant ownership rights in more than one business may be tough and demanding.   

Even so, if the related businesses pass one of four ownership tests by the IRS, you can offer all your employees across the different companies the same 401k plan under a controlled group.

This article will explain what a control group 401k is and the laws governing it.

 

What exactly is a 401k Controlled Group?                                  

A 401(k) controlled group is a collection of companies with shared ownership that fall under the IRS’s definition of controlled groups and are therefore allowed and required by law to serve all its employees under one 401(k) plan.

The IRS defines controlled groups as two or more trades, corporations, and/or businesses with specific relationships.

401(k) plans must serve each employee of all controlled group members to pass the coverage test every year.

Disregarding a member can result in failing the coverage test and costly IRS penalties including being disqualified for the plan are possible when controlled group rules are broken for years.

The controlled group laws are designed to deter unscrupulous business owners from dividing their firm into different companies with some hiring highly compensated employees (HCEs) and the others hiring non-highly compensated employees (NHCEs) – in a scheme geared toward providing a hefty retirement plan to the HCEs and a poor plan to the NHCEs.

What is a 401k controlled group
 

Controlled Group Rules

The controlled group relationship exists between two or more companies under these circumstances as stipulated in the Revenue Act of 1964:

1. Parent-Subsidiary Relationship

Under this relationship, one or more owned corporations are linked through the ownership of stock with a common parent corporation owning at least 80% of another corporation.

Think of it like this:  You own 100% of Corporation X, and Corporation X owns 90% of Corporation Y. In this case you can get a 401(k) plan through Corporation X or Y which would serve employees in both corporations.

2. Brother-Sister Relationship

A controlled group has a brother-sister relationship if it is a group of at least two corporations with these characteristics:

  • Has five or fewer owners in common who own at least an 80% controlling interest of each company.
  • Has five or fewer owners in common who have more than 50% of the stock of each corporation.

To fulfill the first requirement, the common owners need to own over 80% of all the businesses in the group. To fulfill the second requirement, the same common owners must own more than 50% of each corporation.

3. Family Attribution

Family attribution occurs when a person is treated as having an interest in a business when it is actually owned by a close family member. 

For instance, over 50% ownership of a business by a parent can be attributed to the child and the same kind of ownership by a child can be attributed to the parent.

However, attribution does not apply for married couples unless there is direct ownership or clear participatory roles in the company. 

Similarly, spousal attribution does not apply if over half of the company’s gross income is held up in inactive investments.

4. Affiliated Services

This rule was established to deter business owners from starting a service-based company as an affiliate of a principal business. 

Service businesses, according to the IRS, are those that offer health, legal, engineering, architecture, accounting, actuarial science, performing arts, consulting, and insurance services.

To put it another way, if a company provides services to the principal company and a partner or service relationship exists, the two companies can be considered as part of a controlled group.

 

401k Plan Coverage Testing

401(k) plans are required to go through comprehensive IRS testing annually as proof they don’t favor Highly-Compensated Employees (HCEs). 

One of the tests they go through is the coverage test which is done to ensure a 401(k) plan covers the right number of Non-Highly Compensated Employees (NHCEs).

It’s important to understand the basics that run coverage testing to avoid omitting information that can result in inaccuracies. 

While your 401(k) provider completes this test for you, it’s your job to furnish them with the information needed for the test. An omission takes years to discover and too much damage will have been done by that time necessitating costly failed test corrections.

As a rule of thumb, where a 401(k) plan covers 100% of eligible employees, it will pass coverage testing instantly.

However, if your corporation is part of a controlled group, it’s easy to fail the coverage test. 

In this respect, all companies in the 401k control group need to be tested together by applying the ratio percentage test (RPT)

A plan will pass the RPT if the percentage of NHCEs benefiting under the plan is at least 70% of the HCEs benefiting under the plan.

Correcting a Failed Coverage Test

To fix a failed coverage test, you can adopt a corrective amendment up to 9 and a half months after the end of the plan when the failed test took place.

However, since it’s impossible to retroactively make employee contributions in a new year, you can make a qualified nonelective contribution (QNEC) to the new NHCEs to fix their missed deferral opportunity while you make any missed contributions to the new NHCEs.

If you miss to make the corrections within the 9 and a half month period, the IRS considers it a demographic failure. A demographic failure can only be corrected through IRS’ Voluntary Compliance Program (VCP).

The Bottom Line

401k controlled group rules were created to guard employees and ensure business owners don’t set up their own retirement plan by establishing a different business without offering their employees plan benefits.

These regulations are complex and far-reaching. If you are a business owner with two or more business entities that you control or are directly associated with and are contemplating getting a 401(k) plan, it is best to consult a tax professional or a 401(k) third-party firm to help you navigate these rules effectively and safely.

If you need help understanding if you’re business is within a controlled group, schedule a plan discussion with us or take 30 seconds to find which plan is best for your company with The Retirement Plan Evaluator.

IRS Announces New 401k Contribution Limits For 2022

IRS Announces New 401k Contribution Limits For 2022

In the coming year of 2022, employers will look forward to the newly increased 401k contribution limits for their employees. According to the IRS Notice-2021-61, the limits of most defined contributions and defined benefit plans will be increased upwards. This also includes adjustments to 403(b) and 457 defined contribution plans as well as the Thrift Savings Plan.

Every year, the IRS updates these limits to cater to the rising cost of living based on the current cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) so workers can retire comfortably. This serves as a great opportunity for employers to encourage their workers to increase their savings more with the endorsement of the IRS.

Here are changes that both employers and employees should brace for come 2022.

401k Contribution Limits for 2022

The 401k contribution limit will increase from $19,500 in 2021 to $20,500 in 2022. Workers will now stash away an extra $1,000 towards their retirement fund. However, the catch-up contribution limit allowing people aged 50 and older remains at $6,500 annually. Even so, older workers can still revamp their retirement nest up to $27,000 in 2022.

Depending on the plan, employees can make extra after-tax but non-Roth contributions towards a traditional 401k upon exceeding the employee contribution limit of $20,500 or $27,000 for individuals aged 50 years or older, up to $61,000 or $67,500 for age 50 and older. Currently, in 2021, the limits are at $58,000 and $64,500 for those aged 50 years and older.

It’s important to note that the total 401k contribution limit for employers and employees cannot exceed $61,000. The 401k compensation limit is also subject to the COLA and will rise to $305,000 from $290,000 in 2021 as per IRC Section 401(a)(17).

Profit-Sharing

The current limit for profit-sharing 401ks in 2021 is $58,000 for each employee. Usually, business owners can decide to integrate profit-sharing plans into their employees’ retirement ants to manage the contributions as per business profits. With the new updates, employers cannot exceed the limit of $61,000 for profit sharing.

In terms of specifics, for a corporation, the maximum profit sharing contribution is 25% of W-2 gross incomes for employees, while for a sole proprietor, the contribution is 20% of net income, with both being maintained below the $61,000 limit.

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2022 401k contribution limits

SEP IRAs

A SEP IRA is best suited for self-employed individuals and small business owners who want a less complicated and affordable way to save for retirement. Employers can also set them up for their employees; however, it’s their prerogative to contribute.

The annual contribution limit cannot climb above $58,000 for 2021 and $61,000 for 2022. This also includes the compensation limit, which will rise from $290,000 in 2021 to $305,000 in 2022.

Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs

The contribution limits for traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs will remain the same at $6,000, which is from 2019, and $1000 catch up for those of age 50 and older. However, the IRS will allow more Americans to participate in Roth IRA contributions. This is following another announcement that the income phase-out ranges will be increased.

For single filers and heads of households, the new ranges will be $129,000 to $144,000. The range for married couples who file jointly is $204,000 to $214,000. In case a married person files separately from their spouse, the range stays at 0-$10,000 and is not under COLA.

For a traditional IRA contributor who is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the AGI phase-out range for singles is $68,000 to $78,000, while for married couples filing jointly it is $109,000 to $129,000. Similarly, for a married couple filing separately and covered by a workplace retirement plan, the range is 0-$10,000 and is not subject to COLA.

Saver’s Credit Income Limit for 2022

This is good for workers who don’t earn a big paycheck but can improve their retirement savings. They will be able to earn between $1,000 and $2,000 more in 2022 and still qualify for saver’s credit. Saver’s credit targets low to middle-income workers who contribute towards a 401k plan or individual retirement account.

The income limits for saver’s credit will increase to $34,000 from $33,000 for individuals and married couples filing separately and $68,000 from $66,000 for married couples filing jointly. As for heads of households, it will be $51,000 up from $49,500.

 

Simple IRAs

Simple IRAs normally include salary reduction contributions plus the employer’s contribution (matching contribution or non-elective contributions). Employees’ contributions from their salary to a SIMPLE IRA will increase from $13,500 in 2021 to $14,000 in 2022. Should the employee participate in more than one plan which has elective salary reductions, they can only reach the maximum of $20,500 in 2022.

When making a matching contribution to the worker, the employer cannot exceed 3% of the employee’s compensation. If the employer chooses to make non-elective contributions, this is 2% of an employee’s compensation, which has been adjusted to $305,000 in 2022. The catch-up contribution remains constant at $3,000 for participants aged 50 years and above.

2022 401k Limits for Highly Compensated Employees

The IRS is also placing limits on contributions of Highly Compensated Employees (HCEs) as per non-discrimination testing requirements. The limit will shift from $130,000 to $135,000. In general, an HCE can’t contribute more than 2% of their salary to their 401k than the contribution of a non-highly compensated employee. Otherwise, the company will miss out on the tax advantages.

The Next Step

A recent survey by the Gold IRA Guide reveals findings that 48.9% of women have saved less than $25,000 in their retirement accounts, such as 401k, compared to 35.6% of men.

The oncoming 2022 adjustments by the IRS show its commitment to help Americans save as much as they can for their future. Here, employers can get more involved to encourage and educate employees on the new changes, such as increased limits to their 401ks. 

Small business owners can also optimize their retirement savings with the $3,000 boost. Employers should review these new changes to ensure their employees do not miss out on their retirement savings.

If you need help finding which plan makes sense for your company, schedule a plan discussion with us or take 30 seconds to find which plan is best for your company with The Retirement Plan Evaluator.