1-520-327-1019 info@wellspringfp.com

Early Withdrawals Can Lead to Tardy Retirements and Problems for Everyone: How to Help

Albert Einstein may not be remembered as a finance expert, but he seems to have had a bead on the power of smart investing. When asked what mankind’s greatest invention was, he’s reputed to have answered “compound interest,” describing it as the “eighth wonder of the world.” Compounding may indeed be one of the most potent forces in the universe, but there’s one noteworthy caveat — to leverage its awesome power, investors need to stay in the game. According…

Read More >

Why Retirement Plan Sponsors Should Care About Employee Student Loan Debt

According to the College Board, the cost of a four-year education increased more than 200% (after inflation) from 1988 to 2018. This has placed a tremendous burden on graduates, with national student loan debt now topping a staggering $1.6 trillion. Surprisingly, while grads ages 25 to 34 are most likely to carry educational loans, the greatest amount of debt is owed by 35- to 49-year-olds, making this a problem not limited to those just entering the workforce.  Whether it’s through providing…

Read More >

Fiduciary Hot Topics • April 2022

Department of Labor Issues Cautionary Warning Regarding Cryptocurrencies Recently, the Department of Labor has become more aggressive about issuing guidance to plan fiduciaries regarding their investment decisions that goes beyond the general fiduciary standards in ERISA. On March 10th, the Department issued a Compliance Assistance Release cautioning fiduciaries of defined contribution plans about Cryptocurrencies. This follows on the recently issued regulations regarding ESG investing and a cautionary letter stating the Department does not view private equity as an appropriate…

Read More >

Thanks for the Memories: Gratitude and Financial Wellness

So much about financial wellness has to do with cultivating a mindset that favors delayed versus immediate gratification. In the language of behavioral economics, the tendency to prefer short-term rewards is called hyperbolic discounting. This often leads to more impulsive decision-making, and it can feed excessive personal debt and hamper retirement readiness over time, whereas those (typically in the minority) who will wait for a larger reward are frequently described as “present-based.” So how do you help your employees…

Read More >

What is an appropriate interest rate for plan loans?

Both, ERISA and the IRS requires that DC plan loans reflect a “reasonable rate of interest”. DOL Reg Section 2550.408b-1 states that “a loan will be considered to bear a reasonable rate of interest if such loan provides the plan with a return commensurate with the interest rates charged by persons in the business of lending money for loans which would be made under similar circumstances.” A pre-existing DOL Advisory Opinion, 81-12A, suggests that plan sponsors should align their…

Read More >

ERISA 3(38) Fiduciary Services

Most companies and organizations’ human resources departments and C-suites are seeking efficiencies and risk mitigation for their entities. For those, and a myriad of other, reasons 3(38) fiduciary discretionary investment management services are getting a closer look by plan sponsors. In exploring these 3(38) services it is important to understand that when you hear “3(38)” or “3(21)” it is understood that these are sections of ERISA that provide definitions for certain types of fiduciaries. As a result, it is…

Read More >

The Auditors Are Coming — Are You Ready?

No one wants to be caught flat-footed when the auditors come calling. And with a new standard issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), both the auditors and plan sponsors will be subject to new responsibilities. The AICPA’s Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 136, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA, raises the bar on benefit plan audits. Issued in 2019, the standard was originally scheduled to…

Read More >

Financial Wellness Needs a Long and Short Game to Work for Both Participants and Organizations

In the retirement plan industry, all too often we tend to conflate financial wellness with retirement readiness — whether that means confidence in obtaining retirement goals or being on track to reach post-employment financial targets. However, that limited view may fail to paint a complete picture for many participants. For example, the New York Life Wealth Watch survey, released in July, highlights generational differences with respect to near- and long-term financial concerns and points to areas of disconnect among…

Read More >

When Does a Participant Loan Become a Deemed Distribution?

A recent IRS Issue Snapshot (link below) affirms that a participant loan is a legally enforceable agreement and terms of the loan agreement must comply with Internal Revenue Code (IRC Section 72(p)(2) and Treasury Regulation Section 1.72(p)-1). The terms of the loan agreement must be explicit in writing or deliverable electronically. A loan in default is considered to be a deemed distribution. But plans may offer a cure period during the quarter following the quarter in which the missed…

Read More >

Retirement Plan Limits

IRS Limits on Retirement Benefits and Compensation As published in IRS News Release IR-2021-216, Nov. 4, 2021   2022 2021 2020 401(k), 403(b), 457 Elective Deferral Limit $20,500 $19,500 $19,500 Catch-Up Contribution Limit (age 50 and older) $6,500 $6,500 $6,500 Annual Compensation Limit $305,000 $290,000 $285,000 Defined Contribution Limit $61,000 $58,000 $57,000 Defined Benefit Limit $245,000 $230,000 $230,000 Definition of Highly Compensated Employee $135,000 $130,000 $130,000 Key Employee $200,000 $185,000 $185,000 IRA Contribution Limit $6,000 $6,000 $6,000 IRA Catch-Up…

Read More >