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March 2019  Volume 17, Number 3        

This Just In ...

Expanded Hardship Distribution Rules Proposed for 401(k) Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has proposed regulations that will make it easier for employees, who are facing a hardship, to take money out of their 401(k) retirement accounts. The IRS defines a hardship as an "immediate and heavy financial need" and is "necessary to satisfy the financial need."

The changes will be made to the hardship rule section of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 that took effect Jan. 1, 2019, and make hardship distributions more widely available and easier for plan sponsors to administer.

The proposed regulations eliminate the rule under the non-safe harbor standard that currently requires a plan sponsor to determine whether a distribution is necessary to satisfy a financial need based on all the relevant facts and circumstances. The IRS has provided one general standard for determining whether a distribution is necessary.

While you, as an employer, may implement some of these changes retroactively to apply as of Jan. 1, 2018, you are not required to amend your plans this year.

As always, consult your broker for guidance on steps you will need to take for your plan administration. For more information about the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, visit www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1892/text. For more information about the proposed changes, visit https://tinyurl.com/ybp3ucpn.

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In this issue:

This Just In ... Expanded Hardship Distribution Rules Proposed for 401(k) Plans

Millennials —Changing the Health Care Landscape

Hospital Prices Now Must be Published Online — But is it a Game Changer?

Retirement Plan Options for Former Employees

How to Determine Whether Your Voluntary Plans Fall Under Safe Harbor



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