SAL TRIPODI - TRI Pension Services
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The ERISA Outline Book Table of Contents

Chapters 1A and 1B - Important Definitions

  • Over 150 definitions listed alphabetically including the definitions listed below
  • Compensation definitions compared; earned income for self-employed individuals
  • Highly compensated employee and key employee definitions
  • Top heavy plan
  • Related employer definitions (affiliated service group, controlled group)
  • Attribution rules explained
  • Remedial amendment period
  • Mergers, spin-offs and transfers
  • Qualified domestic relations orders
  • Qualified separate lines of business defined
  • Section 403(b) plans and section 457 plans also defined
  • Church plans and governmental plans

Chapter 2 - Eligibility Rules

  • Minimum age and service requirements
  • Crediting years of service
  • Break in service rules
  • Rehired employees

Chapters 3A and 3B - Accruing Benefits

  • How benefits accrue in a plan
  • Defined contribution vs. defined benefit
  • Sample allocation methods
  • Features in a 401(k) plan
  • Why certain types of plans are considered
  • When contributions are allocated
  • Allocation of forfeitures
  • Allocation of earnings
  • Compensation dollar limit
  • Top heavy minimum accruals
  • Protecting accrued benefits
  • Notice requirements under ERISA §204(h) and IRC §4980F
  • Exclusive benefit rule
  • Expenses that may (and may not) be paid with plan assets
  • Make-up benefits for military service

Chapter 4 - Vesting Rules

  • Permissible vesting schedules
  • Crediting service
  • Amending the vesting schedule
  • How forfeitures are triggered
  • Cash-out distributions
  • Rehired employees
  • Vesting due to termination or partial termination

Chapter 5 - Section 415 Limits

  • Identifying annual additions
  • Correcting violations
  • Refunding elective deferrals and employee contributions
  • Defined benefit plan limits
  • Relationship to plan design

Chapter 6 - Plan Distributions

  • Forms of payment
  • Qualified joint and survivor annuities
  • Distribution restrictions
  • Hardship withdrawals
  • Protecting optional forms of benefit
  • Notice and consent rules
  • Minimum distributions
  • Death benefits
  • QDROs

Chapter 7 - Taxation Rules

  • Basis recovery rules
  • Rollovers
  • Roth conversions
  • Withholding requirements
  • Premature distribution penalty
  • Income averaging election
  • Special rules for employer securities
  • Participant loans and tax consequences of default
  • Life insurance investments
  • Collectibles
  • Estate and gift tax issues
  • Death benefits
  • QDRO distributions
  • Employer deductions (including calculations for self-employed individuals)
  • Payment of expenses by employer
  • Unrelated business taxable income
  • Reversions to the employer
  • Tax credits relating to retirement plans

Chapter 8 - Coverage Testing

  • Identifying excludable employees
  • Who is benefiting?
  • Ratio test and average benefits test
  • Sample calculations
  • Separate testing of 401(k)/401(m)
  • Special testing rules
  • Minimum participation test (§401(a)(26))
  • Aggregation and disaggregation rules
  • Correcting violations

Chapter 9 - Nondiscrimination Testing

  • Safe harbor plans (defined contribution and defined benefit)
  • Rate group testing
  • How to perform cross- testing (with factor tables)
  • New comparability calculations and the "gateway" requirements in effect in post-2001 plan years
  • Sample target benefit calculations
  • Testing benefits, rights and features
  • Offset arrangements
  • Aggregation and disaggregation rules
  • Correcting violations

Chapter 10 - Permitted Disparity

  • Safe harbor rules under §401(l)
  • Imputing permitted disparity
  • Overall limits

Chapter 11 - 401(k) and 401(m) Testing

  • Identifying eligible employees
  • ADP and ACP tests explained
  • Prior year testing method vs. current year testing method
  • Correcting failures of the ADP and ACP tests
  • Qualified nonelective contributions (QNECs)
  • "Shifting" techniques for running the ADP and ACP tests
  • Tax reporting rules
  • 402(g) limit and 401(a)(30) limit
  • Catch-up contributions
  • Multiple use limit (effective for pre-2002 plan years only)
  • ADP/ACP testing issues when plans merge
  • Safe harbor 401(k) plans
  • SIMPLE-401(k) plans
  • Roth 401(k) contributions

Chapter 12 - SEPs, SIMPLE-IRA plans, IRAs, Roth IRAs, HSAs

  • Technical requirements for SEPs and SIMPLE-IRA plans
  • Comparing SEPs and SIMPLE-IRA plans to qualified plans
  • Checklist comparing SIMPLE plans to SIMPLE-401(k) plans
  • Checklist comparing SIMPLE plans to SARSEPs
  • IRAs: contribution limits, distributions, taxation, rollovers
  • Roth IRAs: contribution limits, distributions, taxation, rollovers, conversions
  • HSAs: contribution limits, distributions, high deductible plans

Chapters 13A and 13B - Title I of ERISA

  • What plans are covered by Title I of ERISA?
  • Forms 5500 series filing requirements
  • Communicating with employees
  • Advance notice requirements for temporary blackout periods on investment changes, plan distributions, or plan loans
  • Coordination between ERISA and the tax code
  • Who is a fiduciary?
  • Regulations on investment advice fiduciaries
  • What are plan assets?
  • Fiduciary duties and liability
  • Participant-directed plans
  • Civil enforcement of ERISA
  • Relief availablein ERISA lawsuits
  • Reportable events checklist

Chapter 14 - Prohibited Transactions

  • Who is a disqualified person/party-in-interest
  • Description of transactions that are prohibited
  • Statutory exemptions
  • Class exemptions explained, including Best Interest Contract Exemption
  • Participant loan exemption
  • Correcting a prohibited transaction
  • Calculation of the excise tax
  • Parallel rules in Title I of ERISA

Chapter 15 - Tables, Checklists, and Quick Reference Guides

  • Indexed dollar limitations
  • User fees and determination letter requests
  • Plan design checklist
  • Plan administration checklist
  • Checklist for operational compliance during GUST remedial amendment period
  • Checklist of employer responsibilities relating to plan sponsorship
  • Short plan year checklist
  • Tables of uses of compensation
  • QDRO checklist
  • "Red flags" in plan design
  • USERRA checklist
  • Rehired employees checklist
  • Taking over plans as a service provider: what issues need to be evaluated?
  • Reporting and disclosure table
  • Sanctions affecting qualified plans
  • Coverage and nondiscrimination testing flowchart
  • Coverage and nondiscrimination testing checklist
  • Plan termination checklist
  • EPCRS correction program for qualification defects
  • Mergers and spin-offs checklist
  • New law summaries
  • IRS' Cumulative List of Changes to Plan Qualification Requirements

Chapter 16 - Other Employer-Sponsored Deferred Compensation Plans

  • Section 403(b) plans
    • Contribution limits
    • Comparison to qualified plans
    • Form and operational compliance
    • Eligible employers
    • Funding vehicles
    • Distributions, transfers, rollovers
    • Nondiscrimination testing requirements
    • Plan documents; pre-approved plans
  • Section 457 plans
    • Contribution limits under 457(b) plans
    • Eligible employers
    • Distributions under 457(b) plans
    • "Ineligible" plans subject to IRC §457(f)
    • Plans and arrangements exempt from IRC §457
  • Nonqualified deferred compensation
    • Basic tax principles of nonqualified deferred compensation
    • IRC §409A requirements; income inclusion rules
    • Interaction with IRC §457
    • Application of FICA to nonqualified deferred compensation
    • Tandem ("wrap") arrangements with 401(k) plans
    • "Secular" trusts (IRC §402(b)
    • IRC §457A tax rules for certain "tax indifferent" entities

Chapter 17 - Reference Tables, Dollar Limits, Life Expectancy Tables and Interest Rate Tables

  • Table of Federal Circuit Court Jurisdictions
  • Public Law Reference Guide
  • Key To Abbreviations
  • Tables of Authorities by Subject Matter
  • Indexed dollar limits
  • Life expectancy tables
  • Factor tables
    • accumulation factors,
    • annuity factors,
    • corporate bond rate,
    • 30-year Treasury rate,
    • 24-month average segment rates,
    • monthly spot segment rates,
    • 25-year average stabilization rates under MAP-21/HAtFA), minimum present value segment rates,
    • federal mid-term rates,
    • quarterly interest rate charges for underpayment of federal taxes,
    • PBGC interrest rates to compute lump sums in private-sector plans,
    • PBGC interest rates for variable premium calculations

Index Volume

Key words and key phrases, organized alphabetically, to facilitate use of the book for reference purposes.

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Updated factor tables

In Part C. of Section III of Chapter 17 of The ERISA Outline Book, rate tables are published relating to the items listed in the left column for that chapter. For rates announced subsequent to the publication of the latest print edition of the book, click here. Updated rates are added to the online edition on a quarterly basis.

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