White Papers

The Key Employee Six-Month Rule and its Application to Public Company Sponsors of NQDC Plans

Public companies sponsoring non-qualified deferred compensation plans are subject to a special rule that requires payments to certain employees (called "specified employees" in IRC 409A) to be delayed for six-months following a seperation from service. This summary is intended to assist sponsors in developing administrative procedures for compliance with this special rule.

FICA Taxation of Deferred Compensation

This paper is intended to summarize for plan sponsors and their financial advisers the FICA taxation of deferred compensation, including the rules for when deferrals are considered "wages" subject to tax and the principles for determining how the tax is calculated.

The Case for Active and Passive Management

Passive investment options continue to grow in popularity and now represent approximately 40% of total equity fund assets1. They are efficient at providing broad exposure to a number of asset classes at a low cost. Active investing provides the potential for higher returns, but at the risk of underperformance, particularly during extended bull markets. Active management benefits from risk oversight and may provide downside protection relative to market benchmarks. We expect the performance of active and passive managers to be complementary over a full market cycle. Retirement plan sponsors that offer a diversified menu of active and passive managers to participants may provide smoother long term returns, as well as gain exposures to asset classes that are otherwise unavailable passively.


 

Correcting a Failure to File the DOL Top Hat Exemption Letter

Top hat retirement plans (unfunded arrangement that benefit a "select group of management or highly compensated employees" and more commonly known as "Non-Qualified deferred compensation plans") are exempt from most of the requirnment of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended ("ERISA"), including the obligation to file annual information returns with the IRS on Form 5500.

Investment Manager Due Diligence Process

Newport Group believes that investment managers should be selected and monitored using a well-defined process. Our dedicated team of research analysts combines both quantitative analysis and qualitative research in order to identify investment managers we believe will provide superior long-term performance.

Best Practices in Index Fund Selection

Index funds are a prominent and growing part of retirement plan design, for good reasons. The category has grown remarkably from $327 billion in 2002 to $2.2 trillion in 2015.1 In addition to low expenses, index funds offer simplicity and relative predictability in comparison to actively managed strategies. However, while index funds are commonly referred to as “passively managed” investments, they are not as simple or homogenous as many investorsperceive them to be.

Form and Function: Optimizing Participant-Directed Menus

The objective of a participant-directed menu is to achieve the best
possible investment outcomes for plan participants, given their time
horizons and risk tolerance. As a consultant to both qualified and
non-qualified defined contribution plans, Newport Group’s fiduciary
consulting team has developed what we consider a “best-in-class”
menu design framework that can serve as a starting point for plan
sponsors.

Stable Value Primer

Stable value strategies are investment options that primarily seek to preserve capital and whose return is based on a pre-determined crediting rate. We have developed this primer to expand the dialogue and provide new investment committee members with a strong foundation from which to select and monitor stable value strategies.

Actuarial Services for Cash Balance Plans

As a type of defined benefit pension plan, cash balance plans can help employers attract and retain employees through enhanced benefit security, and maximize annual tax-allowable contributions to “qualified” deferred compensation arrangements through current (versus future) tax deductions.

Insurance Company-Owned Life Insurance (ICOLI)

Insurance company owned life insurance (ICOLI) is one of the few vehicles that can help improve tax-adjusted earnings, receive favorable Risk Based Capital (RBC) treatment and enhance the investment choices available to insurers.

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Newport Group, Inc. and its affiliates provide recordkeeping, plan administration, trust and custody, consulting, fiduciary consulting, insurance and brokerage services. Fiduciary consulting services are provided through Newport Group Securities, Inc., an SEC-registered investment adviser and FINRA-registered broker-dealer, and InterServ, LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser. Newport Group Securities, Inc. and InterServ, LLC are affiliates of Newport Group, Inc. All securities transactions are provided through Newport Group Securities, Inc., in its role as broker-dealer. All fiduciary consulting services are provided through the registered investment adviser. when offering variable insurance products, Newport Group Securities, Inc. acts solely in its capacity as a broker-dealer.
Trust and custody services provided by Newport Trust Company, a New Hampshire state chartered trust company and wholly owned subsidiary of Newport Group, Inc.