Retirement Plan FOCUS Bulletin - Fourth Quarter
Investment Option for Health Savings Accounts—Coming Soon!
Health Savings Accounts have rightfully earned their place as a valuable retirement savings tool. It’s the only type of account that is triple-tax free. Contributions are made pre-tax, and earnings and withdrawals aren’t taxed as long as you have offsetting medical expenses, even if those expenses are in the past. As a result, individuals are using these accounts, not just as cash accounts for short-term medical expenses, but also as long-term investment accounts. Based on this opportunity for our clients, the Retirement Services team has worked with Fulton Bank’s Consumer team to add an investment option for Health Savings Account holders of Fulton Bank.
This new feature will allow HSA account holders to direct a portion of their account balance into a variety of index-based mutual funds for longer-term investment and the opportunity for market appreciation. We are currently in the beta test phase, and Fulton Bank employees and stakeholders are pleased with the results. Our next step is to make this feature available to all Fulton clients in early 2020.
If you offer your employees a High Deductible plan, Fulton Bank can work directly with you to assist employees in setting up a Fulton Bank HSA and provide them insight for utilizing this type of account as a retirement vehicle.
We look forward to offering this feature to all clients and consumers very soon. If you’re interested in more details, please reach out to your Relationship Manager.
Year-End Census Submission
As we approach the end of the year, the majority of our clients will soon be experiencing the annual process of compliance and discrimination testing. When it comes to the accuracy of such tests, the most critical aspect is providing full and accurate census information. The following are some updates, suggestions, and reminders.
Employee Census: It’s critical that we receive full and complete census information for all of your employees and not just the employees contributing to the plan or just the ones that are eligible to be in the plan. Providing full census allows for us to do a full review of eligibility, assess who should be included in the test and why, perform eligibility testing and identify possible changes to your demographics that may affect future tests. Essentially, if an employee received a W-2 from you, we need to know about them!
Compensation and exclusions: Not all plans have the same definition of compensation, and some plans even have different definitions of compensation for different contribution types. We ask that you provide specific compensation information to us in a variety of ways. Please pay close attention to the different compensation information that we require and provide accordingly. Providing detailed compensation information will then allow us to review your document and utilize accurate definitions of compensation for each aspect of your tests.
Hire date, term date, and rehire dates: When it comes to retirement plans, it’s essential that, for employees that are rehired, we maintain their original hire date, their termination date, AND their subsequent rehire date. We often experience situations where we only receive a rehire date, and it’s shown as an original hire date, and a blank termination date—which cause a potential misclassification of that employee.
Ownership of related companies: Ownership of related companies can have a large effect on testing, and rules regarding common ownership are very nuanced. We are changing our annual questionnaire this year to request ownership of related companies and adding a form to complete to provide the ownership for each related company. Please be aware of how critical this information can be.
2020 Contribution Limits
The 2020 COLA changes for contributions were recently announced and, as usual, there were a number of increases. Highlights include:
- Limits for employee contributions have been increased by $500—raising the contribution limit from $19,000 to $19,500
- Limits on catch-up contributions have been increased from $6000 to $6500
- The total contribution limit per individual (including employer contributions) has been raised from $56,000 to $57,000 (before catch-up contributions)
- The threshold for determining if an employee is a highly compensated employees (for discrimination testing purposes) has been increased from $125,000 to $130,000
View a full breakdown of all contribution limits and a year-over-year comparison.
The difference between 3(38) vs 3(21) Advisors
Fulton offers both 3(21) Investment Advisory services and 3(38) Investment Management services. For folks outside the industry, this topic can get confusing, and sometimes it’s beneficial to hear how other industry professionals describe the difference. We feel this article does a great job of providing a different perspective.