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Plan Design | Controlled Groups | Plan Setup

Is Your Company Part of a Controlled Group?  You Need to Know or Risk 401(k) Plan Disqualification

By: Eric Droblyen
May 26th, 2021

When two or more companies with common ownership meet the IRS’ controlled group definition, they are considered a single employer for 401(k) plan purposes. 401(k) plans must often benefit the employees of all controlled group members to pass the IRC section 410(b) “coverage” test annually. Put differently - overlooking a member can often mean a failed coverage test. Steep IRS penalties - including plan disqualification - are possible when a failure goes uncorrected for years. A basic understanding of the controlled group rules can help employers avoid this trouble.

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