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401k plans for corporationsMatching Contributions and After-Tax Contributions

Corporate 401k Plans

Matching Contribution - three dot image Information about 401k Regulations

If you would like assistance with your corporate 401k plan or if you have any questions, please use this form to contact Atlantic Financial.

Issue

Old 401k Law

Updated 401k Law

Faster Vesting of Employer Matching Contributions


Employer Matching Contributions must vest at least as quickly as under a five-year “cliff” vesting schedule or a seven-year “graded” schedule.

Vesting in Employer Matching Contributions for a participant who completes one hour of service in a plan year beginning after December 31, 2001, must be calculated in accordance with a vesting schedule that provides vesting at least as rapidly as either under Three-Year Cliff Vesting (100% vesting after three years of Vesting Service) or Six-Year Graded Vesting (20% vesting per year beginning with year two).

Catch-Up Contributions


No Catch-Up Contributions are currently allowed in 401k plans.

A plan that can permit deferral contributions generally can permit participants who are age 50 or older before the close of the plan year to make salary deferral, pre-tax, Catch-Up Contributions. These contributions are in addition to the participant's regular deferral contributions. Catch-Up Contributions start at $1,000 for 2002 and increase by $1,000 a year until they reach $5,000 in 2006. Thereafter, the maximum amount will be indexed in $500 increments. Catch-Up Contributions are not subject either to the actual deferral percentage test or the limit on annual additions, provided all employees 50 or older are eligible to make Catch-Up Contributions.

Employer Matching Contributions with respect to Catch-Up Contributions


No Catch-Up Contributions are currently allowed in 401k plans.

A plan sponsor can choose whether to provide Employer Matching Contributions with respect to Catch-Up Contributions.

Any Employer Matching Contributions
on Catch-Up Contributions are subject to nondiscrimination rules, for example, the actual contribution percentage test.

Direct Rollovers into the plan of qualified plan after-tax contributions


Distributions of after-tax contributions may not be rolled over to another qualified plan.

A plan may permit a participant to elect a direct rollover into the plan of a distribution consisting of qualified plan after-tax contributions, provided the plan maintains separate accounting of these amounts, including earnings. This rule applies to distributions made after December 31, 2001.

Increase in Elective Deferral Limits


Employees are currently limited to a maximum of $10,500 (for the 2001 calendar year) in employee pre-tax elective deferrals under 401k plans

After 2007, the maximum elective deferral is subject to annual cost-of-living increases:

YEAR

LIMIT

2005

$14,000

2006

$15,000

2007

$15,500

2008*

$15,500


*This is no cost-of-living increase for 2008.

Limit on Plan Compensation


The annual compensation that may be taken into account in allocating contributions (employee, employer, and any reallocated forfeitures) for an eligible participant in a qualified retirement plan is limited to $170,000.

The annual compensation that may be taken into account in allocating contributions (employee, employer, and any reallocated forfeitures) for an eligible participant in a qualified retirement plan is increased to $200,000 and will be indexed in $5,000 increments. This provision is effective for plan years that begin after December 31, 2001.

Change in the treatment of Employer Contributions that are distributed as a result of a
Financial Hardship


Hardship distributions attributable to 401k deferrals may not be rolled over but such distributions attributable to employer contributions may be.

Any amounts distributed as the result of a financial hardship will not be eligible to be rolled over.
This rule applies to hardship distributions made after December 31, 2001.

Increase in Annual Additions Limits


Contributions (employee, employer, and any reallocated forfeitures) allocated to a participant's account for a limitation year in a defined contribution plan are limited to the lesser of $35,000 or 25% of the employee’s compensation.

The limit for contributions (employee, employer, and any reallocated forfeitures) allocated to a participant’s account for a limitation year are increased to the lesser of 100% of compensation or $40,000.
The $40,000 limit increases in $1,000 increments. These new limits apply to limitation years beginning after December 31, 2001.

Changing the definition of Key Employee and the Look-back Rule for Top-Heavy Testing purposes; Employer Matching Contributions can be used to satisfy the Top-Heavy Minimum Contribution requirements


A plan is top-heavy if at least 60% of the contributions/benefits are for “key employees.” Distributions made to key employees must be included in the top-heavy test for purposes of determining the 60% threshold. If a plan is top-heavy, the employer is required to make a minimum contribution to all “non-key” employees eligible to participate. Employer Matching Contributions are not considered to satisfy the minimum employer contribution requirement.

1) Changes to the top-heavy rules include a revised definition of “key employee," and the reduction of the five-year look back rule to one-year for distributions after the employee's separation from service.

2) Employer Matching Contributions are taken into account in satisfying the minimum employer contribution requirement.

These new rules apply to plan years that begin after December 31, 2001.

Repeal of Multiple Use Test


The multiple use test combined 401k, after-tax, and employer matching contributions for highly compensated employees and subjected them to a nondiscrimination test.

The multiple use test is repealed, effective for plan years beginning after December 31, 2001.

Expansion of Eligible Rollover Distributions from the Plan


Amounts distributed from a 401(a) plan may only be rolled over to the same type of plan or to an IRA. Distributions consisting of after-tax employee contributions are ineligible for rollover.

Distributions from a 401(a) defined contribution plan will be eligible to be rolled over to any other defined contribution arrangement, including 403(b) and 457 plans. A distribution to a surviving spouse or an alternate payee under a qualified domestic relations order will be eligible for rollover. After-tax contributions will be eligible for direct rollover.

Expansion of Eligible Rollover Contributions to the Plan


Amounts distributed from a 401(a) plan may only be rolled over to the same type of plan or to an IRA. Distributions consisting of after-tax employee contributions are ineligible for rollover.

Distributions from any defined contribution arrangement, 401k, 403(b), 457, etc., will be eligible to be rolled over to any other defined contribution arrangement. Some non-conduit IRA distributions and distributions to a surviving spouse or alternate payee will be eligible for rollover into a 401(a) plan.
After-tax contributions will be eligible for direct rollover.


Loans for "Owner-Employees"


Loans are not available for "owner-employees."
An "owner-employee" is a self-employed individual, a partner with a 10% or more ownership interest in the partnership, or a 5% or more shareholder of a Subchapter S corporation.

Loans are available to "owner-employees," effective for plan loans made after December 31, 2001.

Change in the Contribution Suspension Period from 12 to 6 months after receipt of a Hardship Distribution


The IRS has imposed a 12-month suspension period on elective contributions from participants who have received a hardship distribution under its safe-harbor hardship rules. The IRS is directed to revise its regulations to provide that a 6-month suspension from making elective contributions will constitute a safe-harbor under these rules.
The IRS has done so.




Note: The table above shows the 401k regulations that were changed in 2002

This information is subject to change. Please contact Atlantic Financial for current 401k information.



 








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