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Cash Balance Plan

A Cash Balance Plan is a defined benefit plan that defines the benefit in terms that are more characteristic of a defined contribution plan. In other words, a cash balance plan defines the promised benefit in terms of a stated account balance. In a typical cash balance plan, a participant’s account is credited each year with a “pay credit” (such as 5 percent of compensation from his or her employer) and an “interest credit” (either a fixed rate or a variable rate that is linked to an index such as the one-year treasury bill rate). Increases and decreases in the value of the plan’s investments do not directly affect the benefit amounts promised to participants. Thus, the investment risks and rewards on plan assets are borne solely by the employer. When a participant becomes entitled to receive benefits under a cash balance plan, the benefits that are received are defined in terms of an account balance.

The benefits in most cash balance plans, as in most traditional defined benefit plans, are protected, within certain limitations, by federal insurance provided through the PBGC. Plans are exempt from PBGC coverage if there are no common-law employee participants.

SD Pension is by no means the first company that I have worked with for defined benefit plan services. It’s not the first, but it’s clearly the best. DBP’s are complex; mistakes have serious ramifications and, yet, you can’t ignore them because the tax benefits are significant. Two things make SD Pension unique in the field. First, you have easy access to smart people that have been in the field for years if not decades. They are accessible; they have seen your concerns before; they know the answers. Second, they’re are not just focused on your this year tax return. Getting into these plans and managing these plans is one thing; preparing for a proper exit is quite another and, done incorrectly, can rob you of many of the benefits. Once again, SD Pensions has been there before and they can provide the needed advice. Bottom line, SD Pensions is simply the best.

John Major