Our affiliate, ML&R Wealth Management, brings a holistic investment approach to 401(k) plan management. Expect expertise in plan design, compliance, and execution of qualified corporate retirement planning. As fiduciaries, they design and manage tailored retirement plans to help business owners and their employees enhance their outcomes with full transparency.
ML&R Wealth Management serves as your single point of contact, handling all aspects of your retirement plan, as well as coordinating with other service providers, freeing you to focus on the management and growth of your business. They take fiduciary responsibility for plan selection and monitoring, reducing your liability and putting your interests first.
401(k) plan management can be difficult without professional guidance. The experienced team at ML&R Wealth Management delivers comprehensive retirement solutions that keep your company’s best interests in mind, while ensuring your employees are satisfied with their plans.
There’s no need to work with different financial services companies when you work with Maxwell Locke & Ritter and our affiliate, ML&R Wealth Management. We will meet your needs with 401(k) plan management and corporate retirement planning, as well as other services such as auditing, tax services, Quality of Earnings Reporting, and IT Security & Compliance services. Collectively, we will work with you to create a custom financial plan that works toward your goals. Our specialized knowledge and years of experience can help you succeed.
Our affiliate, ML&R Wealth Management, designs and manages tailored retirement plans that benefit business owners and their employees by an investment philosophy based on a long-term outlook and full transparency in pricing with no hidden fees. Contact us today to see how together, we can assist you.
What service providers do retirement plans need?
Typically, retirement plans will need at a minimum a custodian and a third-party administrator (TPA). The custodian holds the assets in a trust account and the TPA will keep the plan in compliance with all the complex rules and regulations that retirement plans must follow as well as filings, notices and participant statements. In today’s world, most retirement plans will also have a recordkeeper who keeps a record of the participants’ accounts, processes the contributions, distributions and loans as well as the participant statements. To reduce fiduciary liability, many plans will also hire an investment advisor to advise on investments for the plan, a directed trustee which is a co-fiduciary with regard to the assets, and/or a 3(16) plan administrator to provide administrative oversight, review distributions and loans and sign and submit government filings. For a more in depth discussion on service providers, please review this article HERE written by one of our associates.
What is a fiduciary?
A fiduciary duty is an obligation to act in the best interest of another party. A person acting in a fiduciary capacity is held to a high standard of honesty and full disclosure with regards to the client and must not obtain a personal benefit at the expense of the client. If you are unsure if you are a fiduciary, err on the side of caution and behave as a fiduciary while you consult an outside expert’s opinion, such as an ERISA attorney on the matter. Each year, ML&R provides fiduciary training and THIS is a link to the most recent presentation.
What happens if I rehire an employee?
If you rehire an employee, they may be eligible to re-enter the plan immediately. Your plan document will determine if that is the case. Some documents will require that the participant re-satisfy service if they have been gone from your employment for a longer period. When in doubt, always check the document and contact your service provider to have them review. Review THIS article for more information on new hires and rehired employees.
What happens if I forget to let someone into my plan?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does realize that errors occur and have correction methods in place for many situations including this one. If the error is caught quickly, you may be able to provide a notice to the participant and make up any employer contribution plus earnings that the participant is due. If the error is not caught quickly, you may be required to make up a portion of what the participant would have deferred – plus the employer contribution AND any earnings that might be due. For more information, please see the IRS website HERE.
When are employee contributions due to the retirement plan?
For small plans, those who have less than 100 participants, employee contributions that wish to use the safe harbor timing of the Department of Labor (DOL) must be submitted to the retirement plan account no later than the 7th business day after they are withheld from the employee’s pay check. For large plans, those who cover more than 100 lives, they are held to a slightly different standard. They must be deposited consistently, and the IRS and DOL can hold you to that schedule whether it is 2 business days or 10. The absolute latest that contributions can be submitted is the 15th business day of the month following the month in which they were withheld. If you don’t meet those standards, the IRS and DOL consider that you as the employer benefitted financially by holding those contributions in your account and penalties would be due to correct this violation.
What do I do if I am late submitting my 401(k) contributions?
Both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Labor (DOL) have correction methods available when and if this occurs. Of course, the first step is to get those contributions into the plan. Next calculate any lost earnings that may be due to the plan. Any late deferrals should be reported on the Form 5500 for that plan year. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also has a Form 5330 that you should file to pay excise taxes due as a penalty to you as the employer to holding on to those contributions. Lastly, you can file through the Voluntary Fiduciary Compliance Program (VFCP) with the Department of Labor (DOL) to receive a “No Action Letter” to absolve you from future inquiries about that deposit. For more information you can review the IRS website HERE.
When can employees withdraw money from their retirement plan?
Every retirement plan will dictate when employees may or may not withdraw from the plan. Typically, once an employee no longer works for you, they can apply for a distribution. During employment, your plan document may allow for a participant to take a loan and repay that loan through payroll deduction without being subject to taxation. If an employee rolled over funds from another retirement plan, they may be allowed to withdraw those funds at any time. Another type of withdrawal during employment would be in a special circumstance called a hardship distribution. Those are generally limited to a very specific set of circumstances and possibly from certain types of contributions. Lastly, your document may allow for actively employed participants to withdraw funds once they have reached a certain age. Note that any withdrawal with the exception of a loan is subject to taxation and possibly penalties for the participant. HERE is a more detailed discussion on withdrawals during employment.
When will my retirement plan need an audit?
Until a retirement plan has a participant count (active and eligible employees regardless of their participation in the plan plus terminated participants and beneficiaries with balances due) of over 100, they will not need an outside audit. Once a plan hits that threshold, they will need to retain the services of a certified public accountant who can independently review their retirement plan, and they will need to file a longer, expanded Form 5500. There is a special circumstance that if your count is between 80 and 120, you can file the same form as the previous year with the same audit/no audit requirements. To review who is and is not a participant in your plan, click HERE.