Retirement

Tax

IRS Clarifies Retirement Savings Contributions Credit

You may be able to take a credit of up to $1,000 (up to $2,000 if filing jointly) if you make eligible contributions to a qualified IRA, 401(k) and certain other retirement plans, says the IRS.The Retirement Savings Contributions Credit applies to individuals with incomes up to $25,000 ($37,500 for a head of household) and married couples, filing jointly, with incomes up to $50,000.

Sen. Hagel Proposes Alternate Social Security Plan

Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, has proposed his own fix for Social Security, which would include increasing the retirement age to 68 years old, the Associated Press reported.Hagel's plan was unveiled Monday and includes a provision to allow younger workers to divert some funds to personal investment plans. The plan is based partially on life expectancy."This reality is daunting, but there is good news in all of this. The system can be fixed. It is within our power to preserve the social safety net of this nation," said Sen.
Community News

PwC, Partners Hit with Class-Action Pension Suit

A former PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC employee has instigated a class-action suit against the Big Four firm claiming unfair pension practices, Pension and Investments reported.The company, as well as its partners who oversee the pension and retirement plans, face a class-action lawsuit that contends they used the pension plans as tax shelters for well-off partners to the detriment of regular employees and the public.Pension and Investments reported that PwC's cash balance plan, with $1.4 billion in assets at the end of June 2003, and a 401(k) plan, with $1.6 billion in assets for the fisca
Tax

Tax Shelters Remain A Mystery To Many Affluent Investors

Don't assume that wealthy investors know all the tricks to avoiding taxes.More than two-thirds (70%) of affluent investors admit they have little to no knowledge of tax shelters, according to the Spectrem Perspective report "Tax Planning and the Affluent Investor," released late last week.
Tax

IRS Clarifies Early Distributions From Retirement Plans

An early distribution from an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) or a qualified retirement plan need not be a “taxing” experience, according to the IRS.Any payment that you receive from your IRA or qualified retirement plan before you reach age 59½ is normally called an “early” or “premature” distribution. As such, these funds are subject to an additional 10 percent tax. But there are a number of exceptions to the age 59½ rule that you should investigate if you make such a withdrawal.
Technology

AICPA Launches Web Site For Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has launched an enhanced Web site for its members who audit or are interested in auditing employee benefit plans.
Practice Management

Ten Signs of Job Dissatisfaction—Don't Ignore Them!

The new year is a great time to analyze your job satisfaction. As you make your new year’s resolutions, include career fulfillment as a top priority.There are ten sure signs that you are experiencing job dissatisfaction.

Money Flowing into Tax-Free 'Dynasty Trusts'

Wealthy Americans are taking advantage of looser rules in some states that allow so-called dynasty trusts to remain tax-free in perpetuity.About $100 billion in assets has poured into trusts in states that have started allowing them to last for hundreds of years or even forever, according to new research published in the Wall Street Journal.
A&A

NASD Warns Investors Too Much Company Stock Can Jeopardize Financial Future

NASD today issued an Investor Alert warning workers against concentrating too much company stock in their 401(k) plans and stressing the importance of diversifying retirement investment accounts. The Alert, Putting Too Much Stock In Your Company -- A 401(k) Problem, identifies the problems with owning too much company stock and explains how investors can balance their 401(k) portfolios. "For some people, a 401(k) plan is their only form of retirement savings," said John Gannon, NASD Vice President for Investor Education.
Tax

IRS Tax Tip: Roth IRA Contributions

Confused about whether you can contribute to a Roth IRA? The IRS suggests checking these simple rules:IncomeTo contribute to a Roth IRA, you must have compensation (e.g., wages, salary, tips, professional fees, bonuses).

Opinion Study: Attitudes about Social Security Reform

President George W. Bush's intention to reform the Social Security system has put the issue in the spotlight again. To better assess the public's reaction to possible changes, the American Enterprise Institute recently released a new Public Opinion Study "Attitudes about Social Security Reform," by AEI resident fellow Karlyn Bowman.
Tax

Final Regs. for Certain Defined Contribution Retirement Plans Announced

The Treasury Department and IRS issued final regulations this week to conform to changes made under section 411(d)(6)(E), as added by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), relating to defined contribution retirement plans that offer lump sum distributions. The regulations are substantially similar to proposed regulations that were issued in 2003.The regulations are effective immediately. These final regulations retain the general structure and much of the substance of the proposed regulations, including an example illustrating the provisions.
Education & Careers

Majority of Workers Believe Their Bosses Lack Integrity, Fairness

More than half of American workers question the basic morality of their organizations' top leaders and say thattheir managers do not treat them fairly, according to results of a just-released, representative, nationwide survey of 7,718 American workers aged 18 and over.Reacting to ongoing corporate scandals, accelerating outsourcing and continued downsizing, only 36 percent of workers said they believed top managers acted with honesty and integrity.

Companies Delaying 401(k) Deposits, Costing U.S. Workers Millions

Some companies are taking weeks to deposit workers' 401(k) contributions, earning interest on the money that should rightfully go to employees.According to MarketWatch, depositing 401(k) deposits can take as long as seven weeks, enough time for employers to earn short-term interest on the period between the deduction and deposit. The 1997 law is expected to be updated with deadlines of “a couple of weeks or so,” said Ann Combs, assistant secretary for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Labor Department unit that oversees 401(k) plans.

Nearly Half of U.S. Workers Financially Ill-Prepared for Retirement

Nearly half (45 percent) of the U.S. workforce does not believe it will have enough money set aside for a comfortable retirement. This according to the latest national Hudson retirement survey, which also finds that three-fourths (74 percent) of U.S. workers plan to work at least part-time during their retirement years.
Community News

Financial Executives Research Foundation Issues Three New Reports

Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), the research affiliate of Financial Executives International (FEI), has issued three new research reports as part of its mission to provide ongoing education to FEI's members. FEI is the leading professional association for CFOs and other senior financial executives. The reports include:Corporate Governance Survey -- FERF and The Board Institute (TBI) conducted a survey to help shed light on the quality and standards of corporate governance in the U.S. today at public and private companies.
Community News

Talent Management Among Top Five Priorities in 2005

Providing rewards programs that attract, motivate and help retain employees has been ranked among the top five priorities for employers in 2005, according to a new survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting LLP's Human Capital practice and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS).

GASB Clarifies Accounting for Contributions to Cost-Sharing Pension & OPEB Plans

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has published a staff Technical Bulletin, Recognition of Pension and Other Postemployment Benefit (OPEB) Expenditures/Expense and Liabilities by Cost-Sharing Employers. The Technical Bulletin clarifies the application of requirements regarding accounting for employers' contractually required contributions to cost-sharing pension and OPEB plans issued in Statement No. 27, Accounting for Pensions by State and Local Governmental Employers, and Statement No.

Treasury and IRS Issue New Rules for 401(k) Plans

On Tuesday, the Treasury Department and the IRS issued final regulations governing 401(k) plans. The 401(k) plan is the most common type of employer-sponsored retirement plan, providing retirement income security for millions of American workers and their families.
Tax

IRS Issues Rules on Automatic Rollovers From Retirement Plans

Earlier this week, the Treasury Department and the IRS issued guidance on the new automatic (or default) rollover rules for qualified retirement plans.

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