2016 Cost-of-Living Adjustments

The following is a list of affected sections of the Code and the 2014 limitations of interest to the ESOP community Code Section Description 2016 Limitations 2015 Limitations 401(a)(17) Limit on the amount of annual compensation taken into account $265,000 $265,000 402(g)(1) Limitation on the exclusion for elective deferrals described in Section 402(g)(3) of the Code $18,000 $18,000 409(o)(1)(C)(ii) Dollar amount for determining the maximum account balance in an ESOP subject to 5 year distribution period $1,070,000 $1,070,000 414(q)(1)(B) Limitation used in the definition of “highly compensated employee” $120,000 $120,000 414(v)(2)(B)(i) Dollar limitation for catch-up contributions to an applicable employer plan other than a plan described in Section 401(k)(11) or Section 408(p) of the Code $6,000 $6,000 415(b)(1)(A) Limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit plan $215,000 $215,000 415(c)(1)(A) Limitation on the annual contribution and other additions for a defined contribution plan $53,000 $53,000 416(i)(1)(A)(i) Limitation used in ... Read More..

Stock Distributions – An Occasional Trap for the Unwary

Distributions from an ESOP in the form of shares of company stock have many advantages. One of the compelling reasons for making distribution in the form of company stock, for example, is that distributions in the form of company stock enable participants to have a portion of their distribution taxed at long term capital gains tax rates rather than having the entire distribution taxed at ordinary income tax rates. This tax benefit derives from IRC Section 402(e)(4)(B), which provides that the employee will not be taxed at the time of distribution on the net unrealized appreciation attributable to employer securities. The result is that the employee pays tax on the cumulative cost basis of the employer securities at the time of distribution, and pays a long term capital gains tax on the appreciation at the time that the stock is sold back to the plan or to the company, as ... Read More..

Four Ways That a Cash Flow ESOP Can Be Used To Help Your Company Survive the Credit Crunch

A “perfect storm” has hit the U. S. economy and its privately-held businesses. Consumer purchasing power has dried up, resulting in reduced revenues for almost all privately-held businesses. At the same time most banks have stopped or curtailed lending, and bank credit is no longer available to many businesses. ... Read More..

Why Should You Consider an ESOP?

Dear Reader: As president of Menke & Associates, Inc., I believe there is significant untapped growth potential in most privately held companies. Whether you want to sell some or all of your stock in the company in the next five years or whether you plan to remain active for the long term, Menke & Associates, Inc. proposes to work with you to develop a program which should help you achieve your growth potential and multiply the total value of your investment in the company. Our experience with more than 2,000 companies nationwide since 1974 proves to us that only on-site, hands-on owners consistently tap the energy, unlock the ingenuity, and muster the commitment necessary to make a business successful. After all, who cares whether the business succeeds or fails? Only owners really care. Over the past 35 years more than 40,000 U.S. company owners have taken advantage of this opportunity ... Read More..

Contribution and Allocation Limitations

CONTRIBUTION AND ALLOCATION LIMITATIONS FOR PLAN YEARS ENDING IN 2009 Date: January 2010 C CORPORATION CONTRIBUTION LIMITATIONS (Sec. 404 of the Code): Example: (The Sec. 404 limit is calculated for all employer plans in the aggregate.) Sec. 404 Gross Compensation 1 $245,000.00 Less Sec. 401(k) Salary Reduction 0.00 Less Sec. 125 Salary Reduction 0.00 Net Compensation $245,000.00 x 25% (or 50% if the ESOP is leveraged)2 x 25% Maximum Total Contribution to All Plans 3 $61,250.00 Less Sec. 401(k) Salary Reduction 0.00 Less Employer Matching Contribution ( 2,000.00) Less Employer Discretionary Contribution ( 2,000.00) Maximum ESOP Contribution (Sec. 404) $57,250.00 It should be noted that compensation in excess of $245,000 per individual is excluded for purposes of Sec. 404, but not for purposes of Sec. 415. In the case of C corporation, company contributions are limited to 25% of eligible payroll, provided that the ESOP is not leveraged. If the ESOP is ... Read More..

Restoring The American Dream

Economic Stimulation and Solutions for Creating New American Jobs and for Protecting Existing American Jobs By John D. Menke, Esq. Historical Background of the American Dream Since the very founding of the original thirteen colonies, America has always been known as the land of economic opportunity and as the most capitalistic country on the face of the earth. During the 1700s and the 1800s, immigrants by the millions came to our shores in search of the opportunity to participate in the American dream­ the opportunity to find a job and then later to become the owner of a farm, a ranch or a small business. During most of the history of this country, Americans by the millions were able to realize their dreams. Although initially most had to work long hours in low paying jobs, many were eventually able to become capital owners. Over the last thirty years, however, this ... Read More..