Tis the season for… 401(k)
Andrew Answers / 23 Dec 2011 / Retirement Trends
This is absolutely great! I received my first question from the blogosphere and couldn’t be happier about it. For many businesses, this time of year is the busiest. Everyone is buying gifts, many are working very hard to be able to create those gifts, and a few are just relaxing and enjoying the time off. But for us in the financial industry, it’s the close of the year and everyone is working toward that last day deadline, December 31
As many folks are out there looking for a home for their 401(k) before the end of the year, it’s the perfect time to ask questions about 401(k)s, what’s best for your company, and what type of plan will work best for you! Today is a most momentous day for me as I’ve received my first inquiry from the blogosphere. This one has a ton of elements to it, so hang on and let’s begin:
I’ve been far behind in setting up a retirement plan for my small business. We’re the largest toy distributor I know of and it’s a shame not to provide something for this group that gives so much. While I do provide many benefits in the workplace, such as ample time off (seasonal) and transportation flies them to and from, I’ve not done anything to encourage retirement wellness. They make too many kids happy not to get a little something back.
Here are the details of my organization:
- Billions of clients all over the world
- Seasonal business (100% of business done in December)
- Most of the company is remote staff (30 workshop employees)
- My wife does our payroll, but she tends to wear so many hats (mostly red, white and furry)
- I’d like to max out what I can stuff in my stocking!
- It’s going to be a busy week, but I’ll be sure to talk before the end of the year. I know it’s best to get it going soon.
You’ve been on the nice list this year and I look forward to hearing back!
Thanks for the message, Mr. Kringle… if that’s your REAL name. Sounds like you’ve got a small business that’s been quite successful for you. What’s curious is that you seem to be doing it miraculously with such a small group. No wonder you want to reward them! Since you’re being gracious, you might as well throw in a match, too! In fact, if you make it what we call a “Safe Harbor” match, you get a free pass at your testing at the end of the year!
What’s testing, you say?
In short terms, the IRS wants to make sure you truly are opening the plan for everyone’s benefit and not just your own (since you probably make the most money). They deem this discriminatory, but they want you to be able to save. That said, you have to make the plan alluring to employees. Make them want to participate. Make them an offer you can’t refuse. Give them free money. I know, I know, it’s crazy, but if you give them a little bit, you can then put as much away as you like without worry about failing your test. If you do that, you will either a) have to put money in any way, or b) take your own money out. Bah! Humbug!
Happy Holidays from our nest[egg] to yours!