Understanding Employee Benefits

Roth Conversions for Everyone

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The recent “fiscal cliff” legislation, the American Taxpayer Relief Act 2012 includes a revenue raising idea for the government – more Roth conversions. The new provision would allow private company defined contribution plans (i.e., 401(k) and profit sharing plans); Section 403(b) plans for tax exempts and governmental 457(b) plans to... Read More

Topics: Payroll, Retirement Plans

Assisting Victims of Hurricane Sandy

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Although our main office is in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we have clients located in other parts of the country, and ourselves have an office in Washington, D.C. Some of our clients have employees who have been hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. Employers want to help their employees, and employees not affected... Read More

Topics: Payroll

Possible FICA Tax Savings on Severance Pay

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A recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision concluded that severance pay provided to employees as a result of layoff or discontinuance of a plant, operations or other similar condition is exempt from FICA taxes. According to the court of appeals, it does not matter whether the severance is paid... Read More

Topics: Payroll

IRS Clarifies Medicare Premium Deductions for Sole Proprietors, Partners and S Corporation Shareholder-Employees

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Sole proprietors, partners (including LLC members) and two percent shareholders in an S corporation are not treated as “employees” for purposes of certain benefits. Among those benefits is employer provided health insurance coverage. While employer subsidies for health coverage are generally excluded from the income of employees, that is not... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, Health Plan, Payroll

If the Tax Withholding is Wrong, Don’t Rely on the Employer to Fix it

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Verizon Communications, Inc. sponsored a number of plans for its foreign employees. These employees were citizens of foreign countries who never worked in the United States. Because these employees never worked or resided in the United States, their employment income and the benefits from their retirement plans were foreign source... Read More

Topics: ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Payroll, Retirement Plans

Top Hat Plan Benefits Can Be Garnished

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In a recent District Court decision, a court held that non-qualified deferred compensation benefits being paid  to a participant under a “top hat” plan could be garnished by the participant’s creditor. Employers who sponsor plans covered by ERISA know that creditors cannot garnish a participant’s benefits under a qualified retirement... Read More

Topics: Deferred Compensation and 409A, Executive Compensation, Payroll