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Church Plans

A 501(c)3 ministry has a main office and 12 chapters throughout the state, all of which operate under the same employer identification number (EIN). In Tech Talk, Susan Diehl tells us whether one could set a plan up under the main entity and have the chapters as participating employers, or whether... READ MORE
A self-employed minister who receives Forms 1099 is considered to be their own 501(c)(3) employer and could have contributions made into only a 403(b)(9) account. In Tech Talk, Susan Diehl tells us whether there is any benefit for him if he opens such an account. READ MORE
Compliance can be a challenge for any employee benefit plan, but it can be even more complex if the arrangement in question is a church or governmental plan. In MarketBeat, Susan Diehl looks at just such complications. READ MORE
In Tech Talk, Susan Diehl addresses whether a church that sponsors a “steeple church” plan will also be the sponsor of a plan that covers non-QCCO pre-school employees, and what that portends. READ MORE
A steeple church has a pre-school that is a participating non-qualified church-controlled organization. The pre-school is under the EIN of the church. In Tech Talk, Susan Diehl discusses what that means regarding sponsorship of the plans and more. READ MORE
The IRS has announced that it has updated its Issue Snapshot, an online publication, concerning qualification requirements for non-electing church plans under Code Section 401(a).The Issue Snapshot notes that such a plan must satisfy certain IRC requirements that were in place before the Sept. 1,... READ MORE
Editor’s Note: ERISA Tips is a feature provided with you in mind — to make the newsletter more useful to you! If you have any content for ERISA Tips or the 403(b) Advisor that you would like to contribute or suggest, please contact John Iekel, editor of the 403(b) Advisor, at jiekel@usaretirement.... READ MORE
A church sponsors a 403(b) annuity plan. The minister is paid by the church but also has self-employment income from other sources. If the church only includes the minister’s income paid by the church, can the minister participate in the church’s 403(b) plan, or does the church need to sponsor a... READ MORE
Should one be cautious regarding all mergers of church plans, or only mergers of certain kinds of plans? In Tech Talk, Susan Diehl tells us. READ MORE
Are churches exempt from the requirement that there be a plan document? In Tech Talk, Susan Diehl tells us. READ MORE
What section of the Internal Revenue Code provides that governmental and church plans are not covered by ERISA and therefore are not required to be fiduciaries? In Tech Talk, Susan Diehl tells us. READ MORE
There’s strength in numbers, and there are no greater numbers than unanimous ones when it comes to the U.S. Supreme Court. And that is how the Court ruled in a decision it handed down June 5 that says that religiously affiliated non-profits’ plans are exempt from ERISA even if they were not... READ MORE
In January, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2017-18; since then advisors, investment companies, and employers have posed questions about certain 501(c)(3) organizations and the Pre-Approved 403(b) Program. In MarketBeat, Susan Diehl writes that these questions have primarily related to charter... READ MORE
Can a SEP or solo 401(k) be used to designate post-retirement housing allowances as tax-free distributions? In Tech Talk, Susan Diehl tells us and discusses the circumstances of an employer that does not have a 403(b) plan and that set up a SEP to fund retirement for its clergy member. READ MORE
If a portion of a minister’s normal wage is declared to be a housing allowance, must it be excluded from “plan compensation” under the federal income tax code and for plan allocations, or can it be included? In Tech Talk, Ellie Lowder tells us. READ MORE
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on three church plan cases and review them as a consolidated case. The Court granted petitions for writs of certiorari on the cases on Dec. 2. The cases are Dignity Health v. Rollins, Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, and Saint Peter's... READ MORE
There have been more than a dozen church plan cases filed in the past couple of years, and the Supreme Court has now decided to take up the matter. In MarketBeat, Robert Toth writes that the final decision could have a significant impact on a very large number of 403(b) plans of church-related... READ MORE
On Sept. 21, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a request for a stay in the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Dignity Health v. Rollins. The stay remains effective until the High Court either denies a hearing of the case or issues a final judgment this term.In the last few years, 403(b) plan participants... READ MORE
A church with one pastor established an employee deferral 403(b) plan via a mutual fund. There are no employer contributions, nor is there a plan document. Could the church establish a SIMPLE IRA as more pastors are added as long as there are no 403(b) contributions in the same plan year? In Tech... READ MORE
The PATH Act made extraordinary and fundamental changes to church 403(b) plans. In MarketBeat, Robert Toth writes that merging 403(b)s and 401(a)s has been an ongoing issue in the tax-exempt marketplace, and discusses how the Internal Revenue Code now will allow such mergers and the transfer of... READ MORE

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