Resource of the Month: Life Insurance in Qualified Plans

Welcome to our new Resource of the Month series!

At Robin S. Weingast and Associates, we strongly believe that our clients benefit both from having relevant knowledge readily available and from working closely with us to leverage this knowledge and achieve their goals. We make it our business to make sure that you are always in-the-know and on top of the latest trends and regulations. That’s why we’re so happy to introduce the Robin Weingast Resource of the Month.

Every month we will feature a resource guide about an important aspect of your business—including retirement plans, life insurance policies, and much, much more. Each resource guide that we feature will always be available on our Resource of the Month page for you to download so that you can access all of our resources, whenever you need them. It’s the knowledge you need, right at your fingertips.

The Robin Weingast & Associates team is always available to discuss these resources in depth. We would be happy to walk you through what they mean for your business and how they can help you reach your business goals. We also welcome your feedback on Resource of the Month topics that would benefit you. Just email rsw@rswtpa.com with any feedback, and we’ll get right to work finding you the resources you need to stay on top of your game and ahead of the curve!

Our first Robin Weingast Resource of the Month is about the legal limitations of life insurance in qualified plans. It provides a detailed overview of

1) The legal limitations of personal and business plans, including IRAs, tax sheltered annuities, defined contribution plans, profit sharing plans, and defined benefit plans.

2) Advantages and disadvantages to employees.

3) Advantages to employers.

Download our April 2014 guide today.  Be sure to contact the Robin Weingast & Associates team if you have any questions about this resource guide and how it applies to your business. We look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy our Resource of the Month!

Need to Know: When Should I Start Receiving Retirement Benefits?

Many Robin Weingast & Associates, Inc. clients want to know the best time to start receiving retirement benefits.  Not only do our clients have to make this decision for themselves, their employees often ask for advice on how to maximize the benefits of their retirement plans.  In fact, this is such a common question that the Social Security Administration has prepared a short publication as a guideline.

Some highlights from their recommendations:

1) This decision is personal and involves a careful consideration of many factors:

– Do you want a smaller amount of money each month, sooner or a larger monthly payment for a shorter duration?
– What are your current cash needs (both personally and for your family)?
– Do you have additional income sources?
– What is your current state of health?
-Do you plan to keep working? This will impact your monthly benefits if you elect to receive them before your full retirement age.

2) Life expectancy is longer than it used to be. This is great news that also means your retirement may be much longer than you think.  Approximately one-third of all people who are 65-years-old today will live to be 90. It’s important to consider this when determining a timeline for receiving benefits.

3) Your decision may impact your family—both your spouse and your children who may be eligible to receive benefits.

4) While your total overall benefit distributions will not change, your monthly payments will differ significantly based on when you opt to receive benefits.

Robin Weingast Retirement planning

Credit: www.socialsecurity.gov

This chart is from the Social Security Administration’s article and gives you a breakdown on how your benefits differ based on the age at which you opt to begin receiving benefits. It assumes a benefit of $1,000 at a full retirement age of 66. Notice that receiving benefits at 70 versus 62 results in a 32% monthly increase.

The article explores each of these points in depth. If you would like to read more, you can download the full article here.

Have questions?
The Social Security Administration offers several resources on their site, most notably an online benefits planner and an online Retirement Estimator.

Need to talk?
Online resources are great, but as always, the Robin Weingast & Associates, Inc. team would be happy to discuss a plan that works for you. We would also be happy to help you provide your employees with resources to help them make the best decision about when to receive retirement benefits. Contact us today to ensure that your retirement is personally and financially fulfilling.

Robin Weingast featured in the March 2014 Suffolk Lawyer

Robin Weingast featured in March 2014 Suffolk Lawyer sharing her benefit planning expertise.Employee benefit expert Robin Weingast recently shared her 30+ years of knowledge with the Suffolk Lawyer, the official publication of the Suffolk County Bar Association. In “Cash Balance Defined Benefit Retirement Plans—How to Increase Your Tax Deductible Plan Contributions,” Weingast explores if adding a Cash Balance Defined Benefit Plan is a good fit for your company.

As you know, we are currently exploring Cash Balance Plans in our special series (catch up on part 1 and part 2), and in her article for the Suffolk Lawyer, Robin goes into detail on the many advantages of a Cash Balance Defined Benefit Plan, including:

1) The potential for larger tax deductible contributions than permitted under Defined Contribution (401(k) Profit Sharing Plans) for owners and key employees—which shelters your business profits from taxes

2) Tiered benefit levels, allowing partners and employees to have different levels of contributions

3) A greater appreciation of the plan and its benefits by your employees

4) Less volatility and cost

5) Greater funding flexibility

 

The article also explores if a Cash Balance Defined Benefit Plan is a good fit for your company, and breaks down the many factors to consider, including company demographics (including the age of your staff and your age relative to them), taxes, and if your company has the resources to offer this type of plan.

These are just a few of the many insights offered in the piece. You can download the full article here..

Above all, any benefit plan needs to be thoughtfully constructed and carefully managed by a qualified team of experts. As always, Robin Weingast and her firm of enrolled actuaries, certified pension and employee benefit consultants, and financial and insurance advisors are available to discuss your options for a customized, tax-favorable, and innovative retirement program that is current with ever-changing tax laws. Contact the Robin Weingast team today for more information.