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The Florida Bar Member Benefits Retirement Program offers a variety of plans to structure a retirement program to fit your needs, including:
Today's retirement plans are more flexible than ever. As a business owner, your goal might be to maximize the tax advantages available through a retirement plan. You might want to allow for the largest possible share of the firm's contribution to be allocated to the owner and/or key employees. Maybe you are looking to allow your highly compensated employees to make maximum contributions to the plan without having to deal with the restrictive non-discrimination testing. We will help you identify your goals and determine which plan design and features work best for you and your firm.
Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans
If you are a small business owner interested in a 401(k) plan, you need to consider the advantages of a safe harbor 401(k) plan.
These plans allow the key employees to contribute up to the maximum dollar limit of $15,000 for 2008 as their 401(k) elective deferral without regard to what the other employees contribute. The maximum deferral for 2008 is $20,500 if a participant is age 50 or over.
In a traditional plan, the highly compensated employee's contribution may be limited and is dependent upon what all other employees contribute as elective deferrals to the plan. One method of meeting the safe harbor rules is to make a 3% fully vested contribution for all employees. The end result can be a very appealing plan.
New Comparability Profit Sharing Plans
These plans allow for the largest possible share of the companys contribution to be allocated to the owner and/or key employees. There is flexibility in the contribution level since it is a profit sharing plan and the contribution each year is discretionary.
The plan works best when the business owner is older than most of the other employees. Below is a comparison illustrating the power of a New Comparability Plan versus a Traditional profit sharing approach. Note the increase in the owner's allocation of 67% with no increase in the contribution from the business.
Note: in the above example for calendar year 2008, the owner will receive $18,400 more into his/her account without any increase in the contribution for the business. The plan is not considered discriminatory by the IRS even though the owner receives a much larger share of the profit sharing contribution. The increase in the owner's allocation of 67% with no increase in the contribution from the business.
What is a New Comparability profit sharing plan? A New comparability profit sharing plan is a plan design created from recent nondiscrimination regulations published by the IRS. The result is flexibility never before seen in the allowable methods of allocating the firm's profit sharing contribution among the plan participants. This type of plan, therefore, enjoys certain advantages over the traditional profit sharing plan and is worth exploring if you are the owner of a small business.
What are the advantages of a New Comparability profit sharing plan over a traditional defined benefit plan? A New comparability profit sharing plan:
What requirements must be met to qualify as a nondiscriminatory New Comparability plan?
The design is referred to as a "cross-tested" type of profit sharing plan. The discrimination testing is done by reviewing the projected benefits at retirement as opposed to the traditional plan approach of reviewing the contributions allocated to a partcipant's account each year. In this new type of design, the plan is not required to allocate the same percentage of pay to all participants.
The projected benefits of the highly compensated employees are averaged and compared to the average projected benefits of all other employees. If the comparison of benefits fall within a particular range, the plan will pass the mathematical testing stipulated in the regulations to qualify as a nondiscriminatory plan.
The flexibility allowed will be most pronounced if the key employees are, on average, older than most of the other employees. By completing a Request for Proposal, we can determine if this plan design is right for your firm.
Additional Plan Options
Once you have chosen the type of plan, we will customize the plan features to meet your specific requirements. These features include, but are not limited to:
There are many variations of the plan designs, but the examples should give you an idea of the retirement planning opportunites available to you as a member of The Florida Bar. Retirement plans are more flexible and appealing than ever before. Recent changes in the law have enhanced savings opportunities and created new incentives for employers. There has never been a better time than now to adopt a qualified plan or to review the design of your current plan.
How do I know which type of plan is right for my firm? Allow us to give you a free look at the innovative plans available through this program. Complete a Request for Proposal today! You have retirement goals - let us help you achieve them.
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