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Associated Benefits and Risk Consulting - Retirement Plan Services


A hardship reminder and new contribution limits

Earlier this year, Congress passed (and the President signed) the Bipartisan Budget Act which included several provisions affecting qualified retirement plans. As employers look ahead at planning for a new calendar year, let’s take a moment to discuss the change to hardship distributions employers may consider adopting. New legislation did not change what might constitute an individual hardship, but it does make hardship withdrawals easier to obtain for participants.

Is robo-advisor just a novelty, or can it provide real value?

Perhaps the best analogy for a robo-advisor is the self-driving car: it’s cool and impressive — sometimes even useful — but in many situations the technology can be incompatible or downright dangerous. Robo-advisors can provide useful advice to the small-balance investor who wants to get pointed in the right direction, but if you are beyond this point, proceed with caution. 

Something or nothing? The IRS’ narrow approval of a 401(k) student loan repayment benefit

For a few grand and the patience of Job, you can receive a tailored response to your burning 401(k) plan questions autographed by the Internal Revenue Service. This is the Private Letter Ruling (PLR) program. Plan sponsors may seek a PLR to validate a plan term, procedure or practice that is otherwise firmly planted in a gray area of the law. PLRs are plan-specific and do not set precedent. That means that only the plan sponsor to whom the PLR is addressed may rely on that particular ruling.