Benefit Plan “Do” and “Don’t” Reminders

June 3, 2019

Written by John C Hughes of Hawley Troxell

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The following are a few reminders of what to do, and not to do, relative to your retirement and/or health plans. I have recently observed most of these items happening, or not happening, as applicable.

1. Do not ignore a letter from the IRS regarding Form 1095/94-B and C penalties.

2. Do timely file IRS Forms 5500 and 8955-SSA.

3. Do not avoid legal review of IRS Form 5500 prior to filing.

4. Do not move participants’ investments without providing participants with the appropriate notices.

5. Do not act on legal advice from non-legal service providers.

6. Do make sure that related participating employers adopt the plan (before they and their employees begin participating).

7. Do not over-match or under-match plan participants; and if it happens (which it often does), fix the problem the right way.

8. Do ensure that automatic enrollment and escalation is accomplished if the plan provides for it.

9. Do conduct due diligence relative to benefit plans in connection with M&A activity.

10. Do adjust or amend retirement plan operations to conform to new rules regarding hardship distributions.

11. Do adjust and amend plans to address new rules relating to disability definitions.

12. Do not assume that providing legally required notices electronically fulfills the applicable conditions that allow notices to be delivered electronically.

13. Do attempt to locate missing/lost participants (and document those efforts).

14. Do carefully review a proposed plan document amendment or restatement to ensure plan provisions are properly and completely transferred.

Please contact John Hughes or Cydni Waldner with questions or for advice. With regard to legal plan matters, including the foregoing issues and much more, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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