On April 23, 2024, the DOL finalized its 2023 proposed package of amendments to the regulations defining who is a fiduciary under ERISA by virtue of providing investment advice for a fee, and amendments to seven existing prohibited transaction exemptions. This latest iteration of the fiduciary rule, the DOL’s third attempt at revising this rule

Seyfarth Synopsis: On March 28, 2024, Washington State’s Governor, Jay Inslee, signed into law a bill that creates a new state-run retirement program called “Washington Saves.”  Under the program, “covered employers” must give “covered employees” the opportunity to contribute a portion of their pay to an individual retirement account (“IRA”) on a pre-tax basis in order to save for retirement. 

Which Employers Must Comply With Washington Saves?

Only “covered employers” must comply with Washington Saves.  A “covered employer” is an employer that:

  • has been in business in Washington State for at least two (2) years;
  • has a physical presence in the State as of the immediately preceding calendar year;
  • does not offer a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(a), 401(k), 403(b) plan, to their “covered employees” (employees who are at least age 18) who have been continuously employed for at least one year; and
  • employs, and at any point during the immediately preceding calendar year employed, employees working a combined minimum of 10,400 hours (which translates to approximately 5 full-time or full-time equivalent employees.)

Continue Reading Washington Saves; Washington State’s New State-Mandated Retirement Program

Seyfarth Synopsis: As previously reported here, on December 20, 2023, the IRS issued Notice 2024-2 (the “Notice”) providing guidance on several outstanding questions related to provisions under SECURE 2.0. This blog post summarizes the guidance under the Notice for in-service distributions to terminally ill employees that qualify for a waiver from the 10%

Seyfarth Synopsis: Under Section 604 of Secure 2.0, sponsors of 401(k), 403(b) and eligible governmental plans may allow employees to designate employer match (including match on student loan repayments) or nonelective contributions as Roth after-tax contributions at the time they are made. This provision was effective for contributions made after December 29, 2022 (i.e., the date Secure 2.0 was enacted). Since the issuance of Secure 2.0, a number of questions relating to this optional provision have been lingering. As previously reported here, on December 20, 2023, the IRS issued Notice 2024-2 (the “Notice”) providing guidance on several provisions under Secure 2.0, including Section 604.  A brief overview of the guidance issued relating to designated Roth employer contributions is provided below. 

Are plans required to allow employees to elect to make Roth employer contributions?

No.  The Notice clarifies – as we expected – that plans may, but are not required to allow participants to designate employer matching and/or nonelective contributions as Roth.  This is the case even if the plan allows employees to make Roth employee contributions.Continue Reading “SECURE-ing” the Answers to Outstanding Questions on the Rothification of Employer Contributions  

On November 24, 2023, the IRS issued highly anticipated proposed regulations concerning the provisions under SECURE and SECURE 2.0, requiring 401(k) plans to expand deferral eligibility for long-term part-time employees. The proposed rules answer a number of burning questions that have been lingering since 2019 when SECURE was first enacted. In this special episode, Seyfarth

True to form, the IRS released long-awaited proposed regulations during a long holiday weekend. This time they are narrowly focused on the eligibility rules for Long-Term Part-Time employees first introduced under the SECURE Act, and then expanded by SECURE 2.0. But, they did not disappoint, and are chock full of useful and detailed information on

Seyfarth Synopsis: The IRS just announced the 2024 annual limits that will apply to tax-qualified retirement plans. For a third year in a row, the IRS increased the annual limits, allowing participants to save even more in 2024. Employers maintaining tax-qualified retirement plans will need to make sure their plans’ administrative procedures are adjusted accordingly.

In Notice 2023-75, the IRS announced the various limits that apply to tax-qualified retirement plans in 2024. The “regular” contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b) and most 457 plans will increase from $22,500 to $23,000 in 2024. The “catch-up” contribution limit for individuals who are or will be age 50 by the end of 2024 is not changing, and remains $7,500 for 2024. Thus, if you are or will be age 50 by the end of 2024, you may be eligible to contribute up to $30,500 to your 401(k) plan in 2024. These same limitations apply if you work for a governmental or tax-exempt employer and participate in a 403(b) plan.Continue Reading Want to Put More Away in Your 401(k)? Qualified Plan Limits Generally Increase in 2024

This afternoon, the IRS issued Notice 2023-62, providing welcome guidance relating to the mandatory Roth catch-up provision under Section 603 of the SECURE Act 2.0 (“S2”), which is effective for plan years beginning after December 31, 2023. First, the Notice clarifies that catch-up contributions are still allowed after 2023, despite a technical glitch in S2. Second

Enacted in December 2022, the SECURE 2.0 Act contains over 90 provisions that impact qualified retirement plans. Notably, SECURE 2.0 mandates the adoption of auto-enrollment features for plans established after its enactment. Grab your cup of coffee and tune in to hear Richard and Sarah chat with Matthew Calloway from Mercer, about the effects that

By this point, most people in the employee benefits space have heard about the MOVEit and Retirement Clearing House (RCH) cyber incidents, which could directly impact employers’ benefit plans. The MOVEit file transfer application is used by a number of vendors, including those that locate missing plan participants or find information regarding deceased plan participants