Multiple Plans May Result in Excessive Participant Loans

Multiple Plans May Result in Excessive Participant Loans

Having more 457(b) or 401(a) plans than you really need can create administrative headaches, cost participants unnecessary fees, and sometimes result in “excessive” participant loan situations. If an employee participates in a 457(b) or 401(a) plan, it is likely that...

Many Governmental 401(a) Plans Must Be Restated By July 31, 2022

Many Governmental 401(a) Plans Must Be Restated By July 31, 2022

In addition to the thousands of private sector 401(k) and 401(a) plans that must be restated by this July 31st, practically all governmental 401(a) plans using recordkeeper-provided plan documents – in other words, pre-approved plan documents – must also be restated....

The Proper Timing of 457(b) Deferral Elections

The Proper Timing of 457(b) Deferral Elections

Although many people think that governmental section 457(b) plans and private sector 401(k) plans are the same – because they both allow pre-tax deferrals of similar amounts of income – they are not the same. Due to their differing origins, their rules and...

Are Your Employer “Pick-Ups” Properly Documented?

Are Your Employer “Pick-Ups” Properly Documented?

Although most public employers are familiar with the concept of a “pick-up” of employee mandatory contributions, many do not appreciate what is required to properly document a “pick-up”. This post reviews the basics of employer pick-ups and the documentation...

Do You Have An Appropriate OPEB Document?

Do You Have An Appropriate OPEB Document?

Due to the rising costs of health care and health insurance, pressure from union bargaining partners, and the application of the “equal contribution rule” for public agencies that provide health coverage through CalPERS, many California cities and special districts...

School District 403(b) Plans and Participant-Directed Investments

School District 403(b) Plans and Participant-Directed Investments

This post addresses the availability of participant-directed investments in practically all California public school district 403(b)s and why the special rules mentioned in California Government Code section 53213.5 must apply if the 403(b) plan is employer-sponsored....

School District 403(b) Plans and Recordkeeper Selection

School District 403(b) Plans and Recordkeeper Selection

Continuing our commentary on California public school and charter school 403(b)s, we shift focus from the ability of a 403(b) employer to limit investment selection to a discussion of the California law on the selection by public school districts and charter schools...

School District 403(b) Plans and Investment Selection

School District 403(b) Plans and Investment Selection

When it comes to 403(b) plans of California school districts or charter schools, there is confusion about the ability of the sponsoring district or charter school to limit the participant’s ability to select a particular insurance provider for their tax-sheltered...

Why a Public Agency Might Want to Add a 401(a) Plan

Why a Public Agency Might Want to Add a 401(a) Plan

The vast majority of public agencies already maintain a 457(b), or eligible deferred compensation plan. A much smaller number also maintains one or more 401(a) plans in addition. This post discusses some of the reasons a public agency might want to add a 401(a) plan...

Is Your 457(b) or 401(a) Plan Fee Allocation Fair and Reasonable?

Is Your 457(b) or 401(a) Plan Fee Allocation Fair and Reasonable?

Investment fiduciaries and plan administrators of California public sector 457(b) and 401(a) plans are required by law to act as “prudent experts” for the sole and exclusive purpose of providing benefits and defraying “reasonable expenses” of administering the plan....

Is Your Social Security Replacement Plan Up to Snuff?

Is Your Social Security Replacement Plan Up to Snuff?

As we previously explained, most public agencies are not automatically subject to Social Security. They have a choice between voluntarily participating in Social Security pursuant to a section 218 agreement, or they can exempt some or all of their payroll by providing...

Plan Administrators, Plan Committees, and Public Agency 457(b) Plans

Plan Administrators, Plan Committees, and Public Agency 457(b) Plans

Many investment advisors for public agency 457(b) plans believe that their public agency clients must have a retirement plan committee in order for the plan to have a proper plan administrator or fiduciary structure. As discussed below, we think that there are a lot...

Problems with Co-Provider 457(b) Plan Arrangements

Problems with Co-Provider 457(b) Plan Arrangements

There is a novel recordkeeping and plan investment arrangement for governmental 457(b) plans that could create a number of problems for the plan’s sponsor, fiduciaries and participants. There may be a significant number of these arrangements throughout California....

Ways to Correct Governmental Plan Problems

Ways to Correct Governmental Plan Problems

There are several tools that can be used to correct or fix governmental plan problems. First, some classification. Practically all the retirement plans we discuss are “tax-advantaged” in one form or another. However, within this group, there are three main subgroups:...

Do Not Apply AB 5 Too Broadly

Do Not Apply AB 5 Too Broadly

Perhaps the biggest news coming out of California’s Legislature this year was the passage of Assembly Bill 5 – the new law that codifies the 2018 Dynamex case and which imposes a new test for determining employee or independent contractor status for California wage...

The Improper Use of Governmental “Pre-Approved” Plans

The Improper Use of Governmental “Pre-Approved” Plans

There continues to be new, complicated problems arising from the improper completion and use of off-the-shelf governmental pre-approval plans. Generally, a pre-approved plan from the document provider is reviewed and pre-approved by the IRS for its general use and...

Time for a Defined Contribution Plan Checkup?

Time for a Defined Contribution Plan Checkup?

Many public sector employers maintain various defined contributions plans (either 401(a) or 457(b)) in addition to their participation in a large, public-defined benefit system, such as CalPERS, CalSTRS or a '37 Act county plan. There are a number of reasons that...

Does Your Plan Have A Proper Fiduciary Structure?

Does Your Plan Have A Proper Fiduciary Structure?

Recently, we have dealt with an "epidemic" of retirement plans, both very large and very small, that all have the same problem – the lack of a proper fiduciary structure.  Why? As with so many personnel and benefits-related programs, new managers and new advisers...