LAR Pensions LLC

FAQ

Please refer to the information below as a tool to grasp a better idea of the operation and administration of a qualified retirement plan.

If you have a problem or question not answered on this page, please contact us.

General Information:

Enrollment:

Contributions:

Distributions:


General Information

Why establishing a Pension Plan?

There are actually many reasons to establish a Pension Plan. However, the number one reason is to get a current tax deduction.

Employee retention, tax free investment growth and accumulation, and transfer of wealth are also important attributes of a Pension Plan (i.e. to use with stretch IRA Estate Planning techniques).

 

What Plan best fits my needs?

Please visit the PLAN SCENARIOS section of our website for more information regarding available plans…


WHAT ARE THE RETIREMENT PLAN LIMITS?

Please click here.


How can I make a payment?

All plan related fees can be paid via check or major credit card. If you are mailing
a check please send the payment to:

LAR Pensions, LLC
84 west Park Place, 4th Floor,
Stamford, CT 06902

 

Please be sure to include the invoice number in the memo section of the check.

 

If you are paying with a credit card, payments can be accepted over the phone during
regular business hours. Please note that we would like to have accounts settled by October 15 of the plan year.

 

 

Payments for all invoices are due upon receipt or within a timely manner. LAR Pensions, LLC reserves the right to stop rendering services on past due accounts until payment is made. Such accounts will also be referred to a collection agency if not handled in a timely manner.


Enrollment

How do I become eligible?
Depending on the Plan’s definition of eligibility, you may be required to satisfy a specific number of hours over a set period of time.
You may also be required to have reached a minimum age before becoming eligible to participation in the Plan. If the plan defines eligibility service as one year, you cannot be asked to complete more than 1,000 hours in order to be credited with one year of service.
If the plan offers a eligibility requirement of less than one year, there generally is not a specific number of hours required but the Plan may specify that an employee must work a minimum of 83.33 hours per month.

When do I become a participant?
Once you have satisfied the Plan’s eligibility requirements, you will become a participant on the entry date coinciding with the completion of the eligibility requirements. At this point you will be given a Summary Plan Description (SPD) and asked to complete an enrollment package which may contain a beneficiary form and an election form. If the plan has a 401(k) feature and you choose not to defer a percentage of your pay, it is still important that an election form be completed to reflect your decision not to defer.
It is also important to complete the beneficiary form so that a designated beneficiary is noted on your account.

Who provides the enrollment package and Summary Plan Description (SPD)?
You can obtain this information by visiting the Human Resource department of your company. If your company does not have an HR department, please contact your designated Plan Administrator for this information.


Contributions

What is the difference between Employee 401(k) contributions,
Employer Matching and Employer Profit Sharing contributions?

An employee 401(k) contribution (a.k.a salary deferral) is an amount that the plan participant elects to defer from their compensation to an employer sponsored 401(k) plan. In electing to defer a portion of their pay, Federal Taxes and certain State’s taxes on the amount deferred are postponed until an actually cash distribution of the account balance occurs. Due to the fact that 401(k) contributions are strictly made from the participant’spay, such contributions are 100% vested at all times. An employer Matching contribution is provided by the employer to eligible participants in an employer sponsored 401(k) plan. This contribution is based on a formula which is structured around a participant’s employee 401(k) contribution. If a participant makes anelection not to make 401(k) deferrals, they will not receive an employer Matching allocation. The Plan may also require that a participant satisfy a specific number of hours during the plan year in order to benefit from this contribution. Since this is an employer made contribution, it is generally subject to a vesting schedule.

An employer Profit Sharing contribution is provided by the employer to eligible participants in a qualified retirement plan. Eligible participants share in this contribution based on a predetermined formula known as an allocation method. It is not necessary for a participant to make 401(k) deferrals in order to receive a profit sharing allocation. The plan may however, require participants to be employed on the last day of the plan year or to complete a specific amount of hours in order to share in the allocation. Similar to the Matching contribution, the Profit Sharing contribution is typically subject to a vesting schedule.

What is a Safe Harbor 401(k) Plan?
Safe Harbor is a feature that is added to a 401(k) Plan allowing the Plan to automatically satisfy certain IRS non-discrimination requirements. There are two types of employer allocations offered under this feature. The employer must select an allocation method (based on the demographics of the plan) and must also provide an annual notice confirming this choice to all eligible participants.

The first allocation method is 3% of compensation and is considered a non-elective (profit sharing) contribution. This contribution must be made to all participants who have met the eligibility requirements for the 401(k) portion of the plan, regardless of whether or not the participant chooses to make 401(k) contributions.

The second allocation method is an employer matching contribution whose formula, in the aggregate, may not be less than 100% on the first 3% of a participant’s 401(k) deferrals plus 50% on the next 2% of a participant’s deferrals. A participant must make 401(k) contributions in order to be eligible for the employer matching contribution.

All Safe Harbor contribution are100% vested at all times and are not subject to an hour requirement for allocation purposes.

Can I roll money into my current employer’s plan?
Rollover contributions are typically allowed in 401(k) and other qualified retirement plans. Your Summary Plan Description will indicate whether the Plan accepts rollover contributions and if it is necessary to satisfy certain eligibility requirements before allowing such contributions.

Where do I send my Plan contribution?
All Plan contributions should be submitted to your Financial Institute. This can be done by enrolling online or sending checks directly to your Financial Advisor for submission. LAR Pensions, LLC does not process any payroll submissions or contributions.

Are we required by the DOL to deposit 401(k) monies into the plan within 7 Days?

Yes. Please click here.

 


Distributions

When can I receive a distribution of my account balance?
Qualified retirement plan distributions are subject to IRS regulations and cannot be distributed to a participant or a beneficiary unless one of the following four events occurs:

  1. Retirement (based on attainment of your Plan’s retirement age)
  2. Death
  3. Disability
  4. Severance from employment

Most plans allow 100% vesting of a participant’s account balance if the participant is deceased, disabled or retired. If severance of employment occurs in a voluntarily or involuntarily manner, your vested account balance will be determined based on the plan’s vesting schedule.

Tax implications apply if you receive a cash distribution of your vested account balance; these implications do not apply if the balance is rolled into an IRA or another qualified retirement plan. A Special Tax Notice Regarding Plan Distributions can be found under the “Downloadable Forms” section of the “Links & Resources” tab on our website.

For additional information or specific plan distribution restrictions, please refer to your Summary Plan Description.

Can I borrow from my retirement plan account?
Loans are allowed from a qualified plan but only if the employer elects to include this feature.

If loans are allowed, the amount a participant may borrow is based on their vested account balance only. The amount borrowed must be repaid to the participant’s account under the plan via payroll deductions and on an after-tax basis.

Participant loans may not exceed the lesser of 50% of the participant’s vested account balance or $50,000. The minimum loan balance depends on the specification of you Plan but is typically $1,000. A loan cannot be amortized over a period less than 1 yearor greater than 5 years. The 5 year maximum is excluded for the purchase of a primary residence in which the maximum loan term can be 20 years (based on your plan specifications).

If a participant takes a loan and fails to pay the loan as specified under their loan agreement, the loan will be defaulted and treated as a taxable distribution.

Please refer to your Summary Plan Description for specific plan details regarding loans.

What is a Hardship Distribution?
Hardship Distributions are allowed from a qualified plan but only if the employer elects to include this feature.

If permitted under the plan, a participant may request a hardship withdrawal from their vested account balance if they have an immediate and heavy financial need in which they lack the resources to rectify. Hardship withdrawals are not repaid to the plan, are available only after all loan options have been exhausted and must meet one of the following conditions:

  1. Unreimbursed medical expenses for the participant, the participant’s spouse, children and other dependents
  2. The purchase of the participant’s principal residence
  3. Payment of tuition and related education expenses of post-secondary education for the participant, the participant’s spouse, children or other dependents
  4. Prevention of foreclosure or eviction of the participant from their principal residence
  5. Burial or funeral expenses
  6. Certain expenses for the repair of damage to the participant’s principal residence

The distribution cannot be in excess of the amount necessary to resolve the immediate and heavy financial need of the participant. Once a Hardship has been taken, the participant’s right to make 401(k) salary deferral contributions must be suspended for 6-months.

Hardship withdrawals are not eligible for rollover treatment and therefore, are not subject to the 20% Federal Withholding but are subject to Ordinary Income Tax as well as the 10% IRS Premature Distribution Penalty (if the participant is under age 59½). Please consult your CPA or Tax Advisor for additional information regarding tax withholding rules.