New article: 403(b) Plan Design and Compliance
(Posted on December 6, 2023 by )


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 Employee>
  • 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

Read more.

New Article: Pre-Approved 403(b) Plans
(Posted on December 6, 2023 by )


On November 21, 2023, the IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2023-37, substantially updating its guidance on 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 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?

Read more.

“Effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 on Nonprofits and Governments,” PowerPoint now available
(Posted on February 15, 2018 by )


The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made a number of changes affecting the compensation and benefits that governmental, church, and other tax-exempt organizations can provide to their employees. Given the short time between introduction and passage of the Act, it is not surprising that many of the new provisions are unclear in their application. Moreover, some of them may produce unintended consequences for these organizations.

As part of a symposium on “Recent Developments in Benefits/Executive Compensation Affecting Tax Exempt Organizations,” Carol V. Calhoun gave a presentation on the ways in which the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will affect the compensation and benefits of such organizations. A copy of the PowerPoint for her speech can be found at this link.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Economically Targeted Investments: Department of Labor Guidance Leaves Many Questions Open
(Posted on December 7, 2015 by )


deptlaborOn October 22, 2015, the Department of Labor issued new guidance, Interpretive Bulletin 2015-01, relating to the fiduciary standards under ERISA in considering economically targeted investments (“ETIs”), or investments chosen to foster specific social goals, such as economic development and/or home ownership in a particular state or area. What does this guidance mean for fund fiduciaries?

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EEOC: Discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status is prohibited sex discrimination
(Posted on May 12, 2015 by )


EEOCLogoFederal law contains provisions forbidding discrimination based on several classifications: race, sex, veteran status, etc. However, no federal law explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status. As a result, many employers in states which do not have their own legislation barring discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status have assumed that no laws prohibited such discrimination.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has now called this assumption into question, by bringing several lawsuits treating discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status as a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This issue is a focus of the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2013-2016. Read more.

IRS Issues Guidance on Vesting Standards to Be Followed By Governmental, Church Plans
(Posted on July 15, 2013 by )


Internal Revenue ServiceWe have just obtained a copy of an internal IRS memorandum issued a little over a year ago, describing the vesting standards the IRS will apply in reviewing determination letter applications by governmental retirement plans. A copy of it can be found at this link. The memorandum states that determination letters will not be issued unless governmental plans include vesting schedules at least as favorable as safe harbors set forth in the memorandum, which appear to be intended to preclude discrimination in favor of employees who are officers, shareholders, persons whose principal duties consist in supervising the work of other employees, or highly compensated employees. And while the memorandum was primarily directed toward governmental plans, it suggested that the same standards would apply to church plans.

Read more.