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Defined Contribution Plans

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  • Employee and Employer contributions
  • Maximum annual contribution: $55,000 or 20% of compensation (based on $275,000 maximum salary) for 2018.
  • Vesting schedules available when using a maximum of one-year of service for eligibility requirements

Owner-Only or Solo 401(k) Plans

  • Any type of business entity can establish as long as there are no eligible employees, except a spouse.
  • Participant(s) can make the maximum pre-tax employee deferrals or ROTH deferrals AND Company contributions.

401(k) Plans

  • Eligible employees can make pre-tax employee deferrals to the Plan. Sometimes, this is the only contribution to the Plan, as the Employer is not required to make a contribution.
  • If the Plan allows, eligible employees can make after-tax ROTH contributions to the Plan.
  • If the Employer does choose to make contributions to the Plan, they may be small and can be subject to vesting (depending on the type of contribution).
  • Employer may choose to make Safe Harbor, Profit Sharing and/or Employer Matching contributions to the Plan.
  • Safe Harbor contributions are 100% vested, while the Employer can set a vesting schedule for Profit Sharing and Employer Matching contributions.
  • There are different Profit Sharing options possible, as is illustrated on some of the following pages.

403(b) Plans

  • Primarily for non-profit entities, such as churches, schools, etc.

Employer Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP’s)

  • Invests primarily in the stock of the company sponsoring the Plan.

Money Purchase or Target Benefit Plans

  • Employer makes fixed contributions.
  • Employees CANNOT contribute.
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Defined Benefit Plans

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  • Best suited for established companies with consistent profits and key employees who are 10 to 15 years away from retirement.
  • Contribution is not limited (maximum pay per employee to determine benefits is $275,000 for 2018).
  • Annual benefit from the Plan may not exceed the lesser of 100% of a participant’s compensation or $220,000, as adjusted.
  • Company contributions ONLY
  • Vesting schedules are available when using a maximum of one year of service for eligibility requirements.

A Defined Benefit plan could be right for someone who:

  • owns a business.
  • is making money.
  • has made money for several years.
  • has a high tax bill.
  • needs a large deduction.
  • wants to create a substantial retirement fund for himself/herself.
  • wants the largest portion of the plan contribution for himself/herself.
  • is earning more than his/her employees.
  • is 48 or older.
  • is older than his/her employees.
  • has cash available to fund the plan.
  • will have cash available to fund the plan in future years.

Cash Balance Defined Benefit Plans

  • A Cash Balance DB Plan is designed to LOOK like a Defined Contribution Plan.
  • The Employer makes Annual Hypothetical Contributions to the Participant’s Hypothetical Account, Interest is added, and the Participant receives a benefit at Retirement.

Differences Between a Cash Balance DB and a Defined Contribution Plan

  • In a CB Plan, increases or decreases in plan assets DO NOT directly affect the promised benefit amount to the Participant.
  • Contribution limits are not applicable to CB Plans (as in a DC).
  • CB benefits are generally guaranteed by the PBGC.
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How it works

Plan Design

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  • Provide advice and guidance regarding plan design, benefit formulas and eligibility.
  • Provide information regarding expected liabilities, contributions, benefit payments and plan document review.
  • Prepare projections for age‐weighted and target benefit plans.
  • Prepare adoption agreements, summary plan descriptions, and plan amendments, as needed.
  • Determine and recommend necessary plan changes, as needed.
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Plan Services

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  • Provide annual plan valuations to determine the current funding status of the retirement plan and the contribution levels necessary to meet regulatory reporting requirements.
  • Prepare Forms 5500 and related Schedules as required by ERISA and FASB.
  • Determine maximum allowable benefits, contributions and minimum fundingrequirements.
  • Calculate retirement, withdrawal, disability or death benefits for participants andbeneficiaries.
  • Determine benefits and liabilities for terminating plans as required by various regulatory agencies.
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Participant Communications

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  • Provide annual benefit statements, Summary Annual Reports, and other documents to communicate plan and benefit status.
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Plan Administration

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  • Provide administration services for traditional and cash‐balance defined benefit pension plans, including actuarial certification.
  • Provide administration services for traditional and cash‐balance defined benefit pension plans, including actuarial certification.
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