The Internal Revenue Service today issued IRS Notice 2023-75, setting out the limits on benefits and contributions for 2024. As expected, the limits rose, but not as steeply as last year. Maximum deferrals under a 401(k) or 403(b) plan rose from $22,500 to $23,000, while maximum benefits under a defined benefit plan rose from $265,000 to $275,000.
The Social Security Administration today issued a News Release announcing that the Social Security wage base will rise from $160,200 in 2023 to $168,600 in 2024. In addition, based on the issuance of the CPI-U for September 2023 we have been able to project section 415 and several other IRS limits for 2024.
A recent CLE webinar provided employee benefits counsel, plan sponsors, and administrators guidance on identifying critical retirement plan issues and correction methods. The panel discussed new IRS self-correction rules and procedures and the primary focus areas of IRS and DOL examinations and audits.
The PowerPoint presentation for the portion of the webinar giving a step by step guide on correcting some common 401(k) plan issues is now available at this link.
Carol V. Calhoun has written a Benefits Guide entitled “Government and Tax-Exempt Organizations” for Bloomberg Law. The Bloomberg Law Benefits Guide is intended to be a resource for non-benefits practitioners that is easy to understand and explains complex topics in a straightforward way. Ms. Calhoun’s guide covers the types of plans maintained by governmental and tax-exempt organizations, determination of whether a plan is governmental, legal requirements and restrictions, and correction methods in case of errors in administration. The Benefits Guide is available to Bloomberg subscribers, or a copy of Ms. Calhoun’s chapter is available at this link.
A new article, Section 403(b) Plan Design and Compliance, discusses the rules that apply when eligible tax-exempt organizations establish tax-sheltered annuities, custodial accounts, or retirement income accounts, as described in Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code (403(b) plans).
This article addresses the following topics:
- 403(b) Plan Overview
- Eligible Employers and Employees
- ERISA Coverage of 403(b) Plans
- Qualification Requirements
- 403(b) Plan Contributions
- 403(b) Plan Distributions
- Implementation and Operation
- Correcting 403(b) Plan Errors
- Terminating 403(b) Plans
- EP Subcommittee Report: 403(b) Plan Issues and Recommendations
- Advantages and Disadvantages of 403(b) Plans
In March 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began issuing advisory and opinion letters to the first preapproved retirement programs described in Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.) § 403(b) (403(b) plans). A new article, Pre-Approved 403(b) Plans, discusses preapproved 403(b) plans, including their advantages, legal pitfalls, and other issues that an eligible employer may consider when determining whether to convert its existing 403(b) plan into a preapproved plan.
The major topics are:
- What Is a 403(b) Plan?
- What Is a Preapproved 403(b) Plan?
- What Are the Advantages of a Preapproved 403(b) Plan?
- What Are the Legal Pitfalls of a Preapproved 403(b) Plan?
- What Operational Issues Can Arise for a Preapproved Plan?
- What Practical Issues Can Arise for a Preapproved Plan?
- When Should an Employer Adopt a Preapproved 403(b) Plan?
- Can the Employer Cure Past Plan Issues by Adopting a Preapproved 403(b) Plan?
- What Should an Employer Do If It Did Not Comply with the Written Plan Document Requirement in the Past?
A new article, Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Rules for Tax-Indifferent Entities (Section 457A), discusses the rules that apply to deferred compensation plans maintained by certain corporations located in tax haven jurisdictions and partnerships owned by such corporations and/or by tax-exempt organizations. Topics covered include:
- Purpose of Section 457A
- Application of Section 457A
- Substantial Risk of Forfeiture
- Nonqualified Entities
- Service Providers
- Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans
- Tax Effect of Section 457A
- Relationship between Section 457A and FICA Taxes
- Relationship between Sections 457A and 409A
- Effective Date and Transitional Rule
A 76-page PowerPoint presentation from a live Lorman Telecom webinar, “Navigating Pension and Annuity Payments: General Rule and Taxation Guidelines,” is now available by clicking here.
The webinar covered distributions from qualified plans (pension, profit sharing, stock bonus, and 401(k), including Roth accounts), IRAs (regular and Roth), and commercial annuities. Topics covered:
- Sources of distributions (employer contributions, employee deferrals, Roths, after-tax contributions, and rollovers);
- Restrictions on how early and how late distributions can be taken;
- Penalties on early withdrawals;
- Taxation of lump sum distributions;
- Taxation of withdrawals and partial distributions;
- Taxation of annuities and other periodic payments;
- Plan withholding and reporting; and
- Participant reporting.
The article, dealing with the proposed IRS regulations dealing with the definition of normal retirement age for governmental plans, is subscription only. However, in relevant part, it said:
The proposed rules generally were favorable, allowing plans to maintain the status quo in most cases,
Carol V. Calhoun,president of the Bethesda, Md.-based Calhoun Law Group,[now Counsel at Venable LLP, Washington, DC] told Bloomberg BNA on Feb. 4.
“They say a governmental plan does not have to define normal retirement age, that it will be at whatever point you can receive a normal retirement benefit under the plan that is not reduced actuarially,” Calhoun said. For instance, the rules said that if a governmental plan says that normal retirement age is 25 years of service, then that will be considered the normal retirement age, she said.
Qualified Government Plan
A qualified governmental plan is one that is established and maintained for its employees by the federal government, a state government or political subdivision thereof, or by any agency or instrumentality of the federal or state government. The proposed rules “basically took all of the normal retirement ages that any state-wide plan has and they said all of those were going to be acceptable,” Calhoun said.