Pensions & Retirement Benefits -- 401(k) Plans

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    Employment-based retirement plans have changed drastically during the past 30 years. Companies are moving away from defined-benefit plans, such as traditional pension plans, in favor of defined-contribution plans, such as 401(k)s. A number of federal laws govern employment-based retirement plans, including the Employee Retirement Income...

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    The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a federal law, sets standards for the establishment and operation of employee benefits plans. If you offer employees a health insurance plan or retirement plan, chances are you're covered by the Act. Some ERISA requirements apply to both retirement and welfare benefit plans. Welfare plans are...

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    Employer restores pension benefits after investigation. A U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) investigation of a California trucking company has resulted in the restoration of $1,979,779 in 401(k) pension benefits to 515 drivers working on U.S. Postal Service contracts. Lange Trucking Inc. as well as its president and other officers have been debarred...
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    Q We would like to reduce the hours of a 63-year-old employee to part-time. Are we setting ourselves up for an age discrimination lawsuit? When the employee's hours are reduced, she no longer will be eligible for benefits, and we want to handle this in the correct manner. A It is always wise to address potential age discrimination issues before...
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    Q We have a number of employees who work on an hourly basis. On the few occasions we do not have work for them to do in the middle of their shift, we give them long unpaid breaks that last anywhere from one to three hours. Is that permissible? A Under both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York state's Labor Law, you are...
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    Q A former employee has a balance in his 401(k) account, and the quarterly statements keep coming back marked "Returned to sender; addressee unknown; unable to forward." What is our responsibility? A Unfortunately, you can't just ignore your former employee's irresponsibility. As a 401(k) plan sponsor, you have a fiduciary obligation to try to...
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    Since their inception more than 30 years ago, 401(k) plans have become the prevalent private retirement program in the country, with more than 500,000 plans covering approximately 60 million U.S. workers. Along with social security, the plans form a key element of the nation's retirement system. For that reason, it's vital that they operate...
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    Since their inception more than 30 years ago, 401(k) plans have become the prevalent private retirement program in the country, with more than 500,000 plans covering approximately 60 million U.S. workers. Along with Social Security, the plans form a key element of the nation's retirement system. For that reason, it's vital that they operate...
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    Since their inception more than 30 years ago, 401(k) plans have become the prevalent private retirement program in the country, with more than 500,000 plans covering approximately 60 million U.S. workers. Along with Social Security, the plans form a key element of the nation's retirement system. For that reason, it's vital that they operate...
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    Automatic enrollment seen boosting retirement readiness. More than half the Baby Boomers and Generation Xers are expected to have sufficient retirement income to cover basic expenses and uninsured healthcare costs, according to projections by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). But that leaves 44% of those workers projected to be at...
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