Small Business 401(k) Blog

The Frugal Fiduciary Small Business 401(k) Blog

Get the latest industry news, deadlines and tips you need to know to help tackle your fiduciary responsibility needs.

Blog Feature

Testing | Fiduciary Responsibility

401(k) Nondiscrimination Testing - Basics and Deadlines

By: Eric Droblyen
January 19th, 2021

Each year, 401(k) plans must pass certain IRS-mandated nondiscrimination tests to confirm Highly-Compensated Employees (HCEs) do not disproportionately benefit and no IRS contribution limits are exceeded. These tests are often completed soon after the close of the year so test correction and tax deduction deadlines are not missed. For calendar-based 401(k) plans, that means now.

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Testing

401(k) Testing – Deadlines Employers Should Know

By: Eric Droblyen
January 22nd, 2020

To meet IRS qualification requirements, 401(k) plans must pass nondiscrimination testing annually to ensure plan contributions do not disproportionately benefit Highly-Compensated Employees (HCEs) or exceed legal limits. While most employers hire a professional third-party administrator (TPA) to complete this work, all employers should understand the deadlines that apply to the process – which generally relate to failed testing and contribution funding. This basic knowledge can help avoid the often painful consequences of late testing – including missed tax deductions, IRS penalties, and plan disqualification.

Read More

Share

401(k) Plan Design Checklist

Feeling overwhelmed?

Subscribe to the The Frugal Financial Small Business 401(k) Blog and receive this free checklist for help in determing the best 401(k) plan design options and fit for your company.

Blog Feature

Testing | Plan Design | Plan Setup

How to Attribute Family Ownership When 401(k) Plan Testing

By: Eric Droblyen
November 27th, 2019

It’s impossible to complete annual 401(k) plan testing accurately without a clear understanding of the plan sponsor’s ownership structure. This information is used to determine the company’s controlled or affiliated service group status as well as the Highly Compensated Employee (HCE) and key employee status of plan participants. To make these determinations properly, certain “family attribution” rules must be applied correctly. These IRS rules exist to thwart ownership structures that would otherwise permit a 401(k) plan to discriminate in favor of business owners.

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Retirement Plan Types | Safe Harbor 401(k) | Testing

Safe Harbor or Traditional 401(k) Plan – How to Decide

By: Eric Droblyen
March 6th, 2019

Safe harbor 401(k) plans are the most popular type of 401(k) used by small businesses today. Unlike a traditional 401(k) plan, they automatically pass the ADP/ACP and top heavy nondiscrimination tests when mandatory contribution and participant disclosure requirements are met. This trade-off is worth it for many business owners, who often bear the brunt of the consequences when their 401(k) plan fails testing. However, a safe harbor 401(k) plan is not the best fit for every small business. They can cost more than a traditional 401(k) plan, but offer less plan design flexibility – making it harder for some business owners to meet their plan priorities

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Safe Harbor 401(k) | Testing | Fiduciary Responsibility

401(k) Contribution Deadlines – You Don’t Want to Miss Them!

By: Eric Droblyen
January 9th, 2019

All 401(k) plan contributions have deposit deadlines – and it’s up to 401(k) fiduciaries to meet them. Yet, many employers are unclear about the deadlines applicable to their 401(k) plan. That confusion can easily lead to late contributions. When that happens, there are always consequences for the employer. They range from mild (losing a tax deduction, making participants whole for lost earnings) to severe (plan disqualification, IRS and/or civil penalties). Fortunately, these consequences are easily avoided with some basic education.

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Safe Harbor 401(k) | Testing | Plan Design

401(k) Matching Contributions – What Employers Need to Know

By: Eric Droblyen
June 13th, 2018

One of most effective ways an employer can persuade their employees to participate in a 401(k) plan is by matching a portion of their pre-tax or Roth 401(k) salary deferrals.  This is unsurprising when you consider matching contributions are like a guaranteed return on salary deferrals - or “free” money. 

Read More

Share