what we do

Employee Benefits

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You can count on Thomas Howell Ferguson to provide the highest level of administrative and consulting services and tax return preparation available to sponsors of retirement plans, as well as health and welfare plans.

You can count on pertinent information of new legislative changes made that will affect employee benefit plans.

Current law dictates specific measures dealing with anti-discrimination, highly compensated rules, benefit limitations, contribution limits, taxation of benefits, cash outlays, and many other restrictions limiting plan design and corporate objectives. To meet these challenges, businesses must have the flexibility to respond to many different situations. Therefore, one of our primary objectives is to tailor the range of services to fit specific needs of each individual client to achieve the goal of a balance between corporate objectives, cost efficiency, and compliance with current law.

You can count on open communication because of the focus we place on staying in touch with employers and their employee benefit plan goals.

At THF, service ultimately means a commitment to the delivery of all requisite corporate and participant reports within a reasonable amount of time following receipt of all correct corporate, participant, and asset data. We believe this rigorous standard of accurate, timely reporting to both the company and participants will optimize the positive characteristics of each plan. In addition, this service commitment extends to all other phases of our administrative obligations.

You can count on industry expertise and other services we provide through Employee Benefits:

  • Consulting on Specific Employee Benefit Issues
  • Qualified Retirement Plan Design
  • Qualified Retirement Plan Administration
  • Qualified Retirement Plan Documents
  • Cafeteria Plans
  • Welfare Plans
  • Non-Qualified Plans
  • Employee Benefit Plan Audit
  • Retirement Services
  • Audited Financial Statements
  • Other Fringe Benefits

Consulting On Specific Employee Benefit Issues.

We answer questions on design, operation, and reporting matters related to most employee benefit plans. Internally, we provide legislative and regulatory updates in the form of our Client Alerts, as dictated by events and developments.

Qualified Retirement Plan Design.

We feel that the care that goes into the design of retirement plans is the most important element that influences the ultimate success of the plan. Each employer has unique demographics, in-house capabilities, financial resources, and benefits philosophies. THF works closely with you and your organization to clearly define your objectives and translate them into an appropriate retirement program.

Qualified Retirement Plan Administration.

We provide plan administrative services for all types of defined contribution plans whether profit sharing, 401(k), age-weighted, cross-tested, target benefit, or money purchase. Our services include full service balance-forward work on an annual basis. We can provide all aspects of the recordkeeping and administrative processes or any portion of the processes, to meet our client’s needs.

Qualified Retirement Plan Documents.

We contract with the SunGard (formerly, Corbel & Co.) document processing system. This is the largest non-prototype document provider in the country. Because of our relationship with SunGard, we can easily create documents to meet your specific objectives. Also, because we have retirement plan specialists examining the intent of the plan, they will not blindly request document information, but will draw to your attention any overlooked opportunities in the plan’s design.

Cafeteria Plans.

Our described services for qualified retirement plans are also available for cafeteria plans (e.g., design, consulting, and documents). We have tools called POP-Kits available. A POP-Kit is a package for establishing a “Premium-Only Plan” that comes with fill-in-the-blank style documents and administration forms. It is ideal for the employer who wants a simple and inexpensive cafeteria plan.

Welfare Plans.

Consulting on the tax and ERISA issues concerning welfare plans is an important part of our practice. In the tax area, we offer advice on the taxability of benefits and assistance with the nondiscrimination rules. With regard to ERISA, we are very familiar with the Form 5500 filing requirements and audit requirements for plans. We also review documents for compliance with ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and can provide information on health care cost containment.

Non-Qualified Plans.

Since many benefit matters cannot be handled through a qualified retirement plan, we are also familiar with the design, documentation, and operation of non-qualified retirement plans. Our experience covers classic deferred compensation, excess benefit plans, incentive compensation, and non-qualified pensions, phantom stock, stock appreciation rights, ISOs, IRC §83, IRC §457, etc. We provide advice regarding the administration of these arrangements but do not provide recordkeeping services for these programs.

Audited Financial Statements.

We perform audits of a Plan’s financial statements in accordance with accounting principles and auditing standards generally accepted in the United States.

Other Fringe Benefits.

We assist clients with tax and ERISA issues for other fringe benefits (health, life, time-off, etc.). We analyze total fringe benefit packages for design, cost effectiveness, and technical compliance.

Contact

Canita Gunter Peterson
Shareholder, Tax Services
cgunter@thf-cpa.com
850.668.8100