Retirement Plan/401k/Pension

Earning the Q in your QDRO

In a Texas divorce, one of the major assets to address in a property division include retirement accounts, such as a 401k or defined benefit pension plan. Retirement assets within a private employer’s retirement plan are typically governed by ERISA. ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, establishes particular processes for dividing assets …

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It’s your pension. Who is your financial adviser helping?

This week I fielded a question from a soon-to-be-retiree regarding her pension that I thought was worth sharing. Her employer offers a defined benefit pension plan, which she is fortunate enough to receive. Her employer’s pension plan offers the opportunity to receive benefits in the form of a single lump sum payment or various annuity …

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Age Discrimination and Early Retirement Incentives

Employers who want to thin the herd of highly paid, older employees often offer early retirement incentive packages that trade off an increased pension benefit or severance package in exchange for an employee agreeing to voluntarily retire early. Early retirement is typically offered to a large number of employees before the company decides to engage …

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7 Ways You Are Mishandling Retirement Plans in Your Texas divorce

, next to perhaps the home. Regardless of the value in these retirement plans, 401k plans and pension plans, many couples mishandle these accounts in divorces. The result can be a substantial financial loss for one spouse, sometimes even for both. Today’s post will detail some of the most common ways people in Texas divorces mishandle …

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Pension overpayments / pension recovery: Dallas pension lawyers

You worked for decades at an employer, retired and began receiving your defined benefit pension from your employer. You have planned your finances around your pension payments, social security and other sources of retirement savings. Then a letter shows up from the pension administrator. No, it isn’t your monthly check. It isn’t a spare check, …

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Blackberry layoffs show why KSOPs are bad for employees

In my 2010 article about KSOPs, I discussed how KSOPs risk employees over-leveraging their employment into excessive financial risk. KSOPs blend 401k and ESOP plans in which the employer uses an ESOP with the employer’s stock as an investment as an investment option within the 401k to let employees use their retirement savings to invest in …

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DOL releases official guidance on ERISA and same sex marriage

In a highly important move, the Department of Labor released guidance on how ERISA-governed employee benefit plans will treat same-sex marriages following the Supreme Court’s overruling of DOMA’s definition of marriage as limited to one man and one woman. ERISA-governed benefit plans include private employer benefit plans like 401k plans, defined benefit pensions and health …

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What happens to my beneficiary designations after a divorce in Texas?

During a divorce one of the biggest issues in dividing the marital property is dividing the financial assets. Most married people will designate their spouse as the beneficiary on the account or policy. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) governs most employee benefits. It requires married employees to designate their spouse as the primary …

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Should I invest in company stock in my 401k?

In an article I authored back in 2010 published in the National Law Review I discussed the risks involved for both companies and employees in allowing employees to invest in company stock within their 401k plans. The company stock becomes availabl e through an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) within the 401k known as a KSOP. Companies …

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Should I be concerned about 401k fees?

401k fees have come into focus as one of many ways the financial services industry leeches money from the investors. That focus turned into litigation by participants against their plans (and plan service providers). Eventually the Department of Labor instituted fee disclosure rules that require plan service providers to break down fees charged to the …

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Employment Attorney explains: When can I take a 401k loan?

401k loans allow you to borrow against your 401k account tax-free (as long as you pay it all back). The loan payments typically occur by payroll deductions. If considering a 401k loan you should carefully consider he loan terms and the ramifications. Your employer does not have to offer 401k loans and can severely limit …

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Retirement Plan Participant Disclosures

By now you received fee disclosure statements on your 401k, ESOP, 403(b) and profit sharing plans. These fee disclosure statements, known as 404a5 Participant Disclosures, ensure these retirement plans provide plan participants with a minimum amount of information about the fees charged by plan investments and fees paid by the plan (often from those investment fees) …

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What is the difference between a 401k plan and a deferred compensation plan?

Generally, both plan formats defer compensation because the employee has elected to defer taking cash in hand to obtain some additional benefit, such as deferring taxes on the money or investing on a tax deferred basis. Under more specific legal definitions, there is a distinction between how these different plans work. Today’s post will discuss …

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ERISA Retirement Plan Participant Disclosures

By now you received fee disclosure statements on your 401k, ESOP, 403(b) and profit sharing plans. These fee disclosure statements, known as 404a5 Participant Disclosures, ensure retirement plans provide participants with a minimum amount of information about the fees charged by plan investments and fees paid by the plan (often from those investment fees) to companies that …

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Benefits of staying in your 401k after you leave an employer

When employees leave employment, the common response is to want to sever ties and move on, especially if the employee left involuntarily or on bad terms. However, withdrawing or rolling over your 401k may not be the best decision in every case. There are important financial and legal considerations. Before making decisions about your 401k …

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What is a living trust and should I have one in Texas?

Known as either a “living trust” or a “revocable living trust”, a trust is a legal creation to simply passing assets from one generation to the next without having to rely on a will and probate courts, which can be more expensive, more complex and financially disadvantageous. While there are many kinds of trusts that …

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