Book - Hardbound

Coverage and Nondiscrimination Answer Book, Fourth Edition

Coverage and Nondiscrimination Answer Book, Fourth Edition by Thomas E. Poje, Frank J. Bitzer, Bernadine Topazio

Coverage and Nondiscrimination Answer Book, Fourth Edition

By Thomas E. Poje, Frank J. Bitzer, Bernadine Topazio
Update Frequency
Last Update
Product Line
Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
Available formats


Coverage and Nondiscrimination Answer Book is the first reference guide that focuses exclusively on the participation, coverage, nondiscrimination, and compliance requirements that must be met to ensure a plan's qualified status. This book is designed to help plan sponsors and administrators, as well as benefits professionals, attorneys, and consultants, cope with the complicated requirements of compliance testing.

The practical guidance, regulatory and legislative updates, and detailed analysis in Coverage and Nondiscrimination Answer Book will assist pension professionals in managing all aspects of coverage and nondiscrimination testing and compliance.

Coverage and Nondiscrimination Answer Book uses straightforward language and avoids technical jargon whenever possible. Citations to authority, particularly the Internal Revenue Code, are provided as research aids for those who wish to pursue particular items in greater detail.

Coverage and Nondiscrimination Answer Book will help you:

  • Understand the impact of EGTRRA on coverage and nondiscrimination testing
  • Discover methods of plan design that avoid the need for most coverage and nondiscrimination testing
  • Determine which entities comprise an "employer" for qualified plan purposes
  • Craft employee census and data requests that capture the information essential to accurate testing
  • Perform all required compliance tests accurately
  • Be aware of corrective measures available and the time frame for these corrections
  • Design plans or combinations of plans that favor certain targeted employees
  • Know the benefits of applying for a determination letter
  • Complete required schedules needed to request a determination letter from the IRS

Coverage and Nondiscrimination Answer Book offers real-life examples, charts, and illustrations in a concise format. It provides specific tools and answers such frequently occurring questions as:

  • Do I have a controlled group situation?
  • Is my plan providing meaningful benefits?
  • And more!

Coverage and Nondiscrimination Answer Book has been updated to include coverage of:

  • Increased IRS compensation and deferral limits and how they are derived
  • Information regarding procedures for obtaining opinion and advisory letters for Section 403(b) preapproved plans
  • Information regarding the Internal Revenue Service program to send compliance letters to organizations to solicit information regarding the design and operation of the organizations’ 457(b) plans
  • IRS regulations pertaining to the mid-year elimination of safe harbor nonelective contributions, provided the possibility of this event was noted in the safe harbor notice
  • Updated IRS and Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustments, including Puerto Rican Plan Limits
  • The latest version of Publication 571, Tax Sheltered Annuity Plans, for employees of public schools and certain tax-exempt organizations
SKU: 10045216-7777
  • 1. Overview of Compliance Testing
    • The Compliance Tests
    • Data Collection
  • 2. Defining the Employer
    • Controlled Groups
    • Affiliated Service Groups
    • Ownership/Attribution
    • Organizational Structures
    • Multiple Employer Plan
    • Foreign Entities
  • 3. Defining the Employee
    • Purpose
    • Defining the Term Employee
    • Highly Compensated Employees
    • Leased Employees
    • Shared Employees
    • Misclassification of Workers
    • Self-Employment Issues
  • 4. Defining Compensation
    • Annual Compensation Limit
    • Section 415 Compensation
    • Section 414(s) Compensation
    • Highly Compensated Employees/Key Employees
    • Compensation for Section 404 Deductible Contributions
    • Earned Income
    • Plan Compensation
    • Compensation Used for Nondiscrimination Testing
    • Compensation Used for Permitted Disparity
    • Imputed Compensation
    • Alternative Forms of Compensation
  • 5. Minimum Participation Requirements
    • Special Rules
    • Meaningful Benefits
    • The Employees
    • Corrections
  • 6. Coverage Testing
    • Plan Participation Eligibility
    • Benefiting Employees
    • Ratio Percentage Test
    • Average Benefits Test
    • Special Coverage Testing Rules
    • Correcting a Failed Coverage Test
  • 7. Safe Harbor Plans
    • Defined Benefit Safe Harbors
    • Defined Contribution Safe Harbors
    • Target Benefit Plans
    • Floor-Offset Plans
    • Social Security Offset Plans
  • 8. The General Test
    • Compensation
    • Testing Age
    • Measurement Period
    • Rate Groups
    • Testing a Defined Benefit Plan
    • Testing a Defined Contribution Plan
    • Former Employees
  • 9. Benefits, Rights, and Features in a Qualified Plan
    • 401(k) Plans
    • Current Availability
    • Effective Availability
    • Life Insurance
    • Amendments
  • 10. Permitted Disparity
    • Integrating Defined Contribution Plans
    • SEPS
    • Integrating Defined Benefit Plans
    • Social Security, Disability Factors, and Other Adjustments
    • Cumulative Disparity Limit
    • Imputed Permitted Disparity
  • 11. Cross Testing
    • The Cross-Testing Process
    • Age-Weighted Plan
    • New Comparability Plan
    • Aggregating Defined Benefit/Defined Contribution Plans
    • Testing Data
    • Target Benefit Plan
  • 12. Nondiscrimination Testing for 401(k) Plans
    • Types of Contributions in a 401(k) Plan
    • Other Contributions
    • Qualified Nonelective and Matching Contributions
    • Actual Deferral Percentage Test
    • Actual Contribution Percentage Test
    • Prior Year Testing Versus Current Year Testing
    • Safe Harbor
    • Corrections and Adjustments
    • Additional Testing Rules
    • Factors That Affect Test Results
    • Catch-Up Contributions
    • Testing Mechanics
    • Multiple Use Test
  • 13. Code Section 403(b) and 457(b) Plans
    • Coverage and Nondiscrimination Testing
    • Notice 89-23 Nondiscrimination Testing Safe Harbors
    • Compensation
    • 457 Plans
  • 14. Applying for a Determination Letter; Reporting and Disclosure
    • Determination Letters in General
    • Scope of a Determination Letter
    • Applying for a Determin


Frank J. Bitzer, Esq., CEBS, is ERISA Legal Counsel and Assistant Vice President, Fifth Third Bancorp. Formerly, Mr. Bitzer was with the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). He received a Special Award of Merit for obtaining the fastest criminal indictment in DOL history. He was recently named a Cincy Leading Lawyer by Cincy Magazine. He has published numerous articles on ERISA in a number of trade publications, including Aspen Publishers' Journal of Pension Benefits, Spencer's Research Reports, and other publications and is the co-author with Nicholas W. Ferrigno, Jr. of ERISA Facts, a reference book and software product that answers over 800 ERISA compliance questions; Benefits Facts, a reference book that answers over 600 employee benefits questions; and The Insider's Guide to DOL Plan Audits, a reference book that provides an insider's perspective on the U.S. Department of Labor's enforcement of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as amended. Mr. Bitzer also served as editor and co-author of the ERISA Question and Answer column on www.BenefitsLink.Com. Mr. Bitzer is a frequent lecturer on the employee benefits circuit, having offered his insight and comments on ERISA fiduciary issues to various trade industry groups, bar associations, and IRS employee sessions across the U.S.

Bernadine (Tina) C. Topazio, Esq., is a Corporate Counsel for Convergys Customer Management Group Inc., a subsidiary of Convergys Corporation. Ms. Topazio was previously an attorney for The Ohio Casualty Insurance Company and Fidelity Investments, and has been in private practice with Graydon, Head & Ritchey. As an attorney, Ms. Topazio has practiced primarily in the areas of employment and employee benefits law. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Miami University of Ohio, an M.B.A. from the University of Cincinnati, and her J.D., cum laude, from Salmon P. Chase College of Law. An adjunct professor of law at Salmon P. Chase College of Law since 1998, Ms. Topazio teaches Employment Law, Employment Discrimination, Insurance Law, and Employee Benefits Litigation. Ms. Topazio is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Cincinnati Bar Association, and the Association of Corporate Counsel.