Retirement Plan Consulting



Retirement planning is an integral part of complete and holistic financial planning. Lurie’s retirement plan consultants in Minneapolis custom designs and administers qualified retirement plans that help small to medium-sized business owners and employers reduce their current taxes, increase their retirement savings, and attract and retain their employees. In our pursuit of providing smarter, more strategic Retirement Services, we partner with Financial Advisors, Accountants (CPAs), and other Third Party Administrators (TPAs) and help them customize a design that meets the business owner needs. We offer highly experienced and forward-thinking retirement plan experts that will help determine whether a 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan, a Cash Balance Plan, or a combination of the two will be best suited for each individual situation.

We provide complex retirement plan design, consulting, administration and actuarial services to over 500 qualified plans, and our clients are located throughout the country. Our consultants have earned industry designations through the American Society of Pension Professionals (ASPPA), the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA), and the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries (JBEA). We attend industry conferences and keep current on legislative changes so that we can provide you with the highest level of service.

Retirement Plan Consulting includes:

  • Actuarial studies, including:
    • Accounting Disclosure and Expense Reporting
    • Actuarial Funding Valuations
  • Compliance reviews
  • Plan Design Consulting
  • Plan termination support
  • Retirement plan design consultants
  • Third party administration (TPA) of qualified retirement plans, including:
    • 401(k) Plans
    • Cash Balance PlansProfit Sharing Plans
    • Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)Traditional Defined Benefit Plans
  • Vendor searches


Lurie Retirement Benefit Plan Options

What plan is right for you?

The chart below outlines the basic features of available plan options. Sometimes the optimal solution requires a combination of plans. Our Retirement Plan Consulting Group can review your situation and recommend the right plan design for your company.

  • $55,000 individual limit
  • 25% deduction limit on employer contributions
  • Little or no annual administration cost
  • Can exclude employees under age 21, or less than 3 years of service in the last 5 years
  • Can be established after the end of the plan year, up to the tax filing deadline of the employer
  • Small businesses with few employees
  • Owners who are comfortable allocating the same percentage of pay to all eligible participants
  • $12,500 employee deferral limit with $3,000 catch up for participants over age 50
  • Required employer match of 3% or 2% nonelective contribution to all eligible employees
  • Little or no annual administration costs
  • Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees that want to offer an elective deferral plan to employees
  • $55,000 individual limit
  • 25% deduction limit on employer contributions
  • Discretionary contributions
  • Vesting permitted
  • Flexibility in allocation formulas to benefit key employees and/or owners
  • Can exclude employees who work limited hours, are under age 21, or have less than 2 years of service
  • Companies with fluctuating income that want to make discretionary contributions
  • Companies concerned about the high administration costs with a 401(k) plan
  • Employee deferrals permitted up to $18,500/$24,500 for those over age 50
  • Total contributions of $55,000/ $61,000 per employee
  • 25% deduction limit on all contributions
  • Discretionary matching and profit sharing contributions
  • Elective deferrals can be either pre-tax or Roth
  • Flexibility in allocation formulas to benefit key employees and/or owners
  • Vesting permitted on all employer contributions
  • Can exclude employees who work limited hours, are under age 21, or have less than one year of service
  • Companies who have a desire to offer a retirement saving option that includes employee deferrals
  • Same as 401(k) profit sharing plan
  • Required employer contribution that can be either a match or nonelective
  • No nondiscrimination testing on 401(k) deferrals, which allows highly compensated employees to maximize salary deferrals
  • Elective deferrals can be either pre-tax or Roth
  • Vesting permitted on discretionary employer contributions
  • Companies with a group of highly compensated employees or owners that want to maximize deferrals
  • Plans with low participation rates among employees
  • Employee limit is amount needed to fund $212,000 annuity beginning at retirement
  • Employer deduction is the amount needed to fund the plan, or 31% of aggregate compensation if paired with a profit sharing plan
  • Ability to maximize contributions and tax deductions
  • Vesting schedule permitted
  • Can be sponsored by companies that also have a 401(k) profit sharing plan
  • Can exclude employees who work limited hours, are under age 21, or have less than 2 years of service
  • Companies with high, steady earnings
  • Owners and/or key employees who desire to contribute more than $55,000/$61,000 contribution plan limit

Lurie Cash Balance Plans

Cash balance plans are a solution for business owners looking to maximize retirement savings. A cash balance plan is a type of defined benefit plan that offers many advantages to employers. The easily understood benefit formulas and flexible plan design make it an ideal retirement plan to attract and retain top talent.


  • Accelerate Savings, Maximize Tax Deductions
  • Cash Balance Plans are Ideal for Employers:
  • With partners or owners who want to contribute more than $52,000 to a retirement account
  • With owners approaching retirement who want to accelerate savings
  • Who want to increase current tax deductions
  • Who have steady cash flows

When the proper care is taken during the plan design process, a cash balance plan is easily manageable with a firm such as Lurie to administer your plan.

Working closely with your office staff, our plan administrators will provide you with careful and consistent attention to detail to facilitate the smooth operation of your plan functions, including:

  • Plan design
  • Plan documentation assistance
  • Employee communication

Cash Balance Table Example

Whether a cash balance plan is right for you depends on your particular situation. Lurie will include an illustration, based on your numbers, as part of a proposal for Third Party Administration services.

Lurie Cash Balance Plan FAQs

What is a Cash Balance Plan (CBP)?

A Cash Balance Plan (CBP) is a type of defined benefit plan that looks and feels more like a profit sharing plan. The benefit of a Cash Balance Plan is that employers who sponsor them are generally able to deduct much higher contributions than they can with a 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan alone.

What type of business can establish a Cash Balance Plan?

A Cash Balance Plan can be set up for any type of business, including corporations, sole proprietorships, and partnerships.

How much can I contribute to a Cash Balance Plan?

Contributions to a Cash Balance Plan are based on age and compensation. The IRS has set up benefit limits so that an individual can accumulate $2.8 million in a Cash Balance Plan by age 62. Annual contributions are determined based on age, income and investment performance in the plan.

Can I still maximize my 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan if I set up a Cash Balance Plan?

Deductible contributions to a 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan may be limited if you establish a Cash Balance Plan. Generally, you will be able to contribute the $19,000 ($25,000 for those over age 50) 401(k) deferral limit plus an additional 6% discretionary profit sharing contribution. However, your contributions may be limited if you are  participating in a 401(k) plan sponsored by another employer in the same year.

When are my contributions due to the plan?

Annual contributions are due by the earlier of the due date of the business tax return, with extensions and 8 ½ months following the end of the plan year (September 15 for a calendar year entity).

How does it work?

Each year, once your income is known, Lurie’s actuarial team will calculate a deductible contribution range. As a plan participant, you will have a “Hypothetical Account” that is credited with a pay credit and an interest credit each year. The pay credit is typically a percentage of your income and the interest credit is generally between 4% and 6%.

Are contributions required every year?

Generally, yes. Annual contributions are required and the amount is determined by an actuary. As long as there are not large fluctuations in investment performance and annual income, the contributions should not fluctuate much from year to year.

How are the plan assets invested?

As a plan trustee, you can work with your investment advisor to determine the best investment strategy. You will want to keep in mind that the account should earn a moderate rate of return to match the interest credit in the plan (4%-6% annually in most years). Widely fluctuating investment returns will have an impact on your annual contributions.

What happens if I hire an employee?

Most plans have a waiting period before an employee becomes eligible for the plan. It will be important to let Lurie know when you hire an employee so we can evaluate if plan design changes are needed once he/she becomes eligible for the plan.

Can my spouse be included?

Absolutely. If your spouse is working in your business and earning a salary, he/she can be included in both the  401(k) Profit Sharing and Cash Balance Plans. This may give you an opportunity to contribute even more on a tax-deferred basis.

Can I terminate the plan at any time?

Cash Balance Plans are a type of defined benefit plan, which are required to follow a Permanency Requirement.  However, there is IRS guidance that states that a plan may be terminated for a legitimate business reason. A few examples include business restructuring, a change in law affecting qualified plans, the substitution of another plan and financial hardship.

What happens if the plan is underfunded at plan termination?

Typically, you will have two options if the plan is underfunded at plan termination: make an additional contribution to cover the shortfall or waive your benefits to the extent that the plan is underfunded. At Lurie, we will work with you annually in determining your contributions to make sure that the plan does not become underfunded. However, there may be unforeseen circumstances that require you to waive benefits at plan termination.

What happens to the plan balances at termination?

Cash Balance Plan assets are qualified plan assets that are eligible for annuity payouts at retirement or lump sum distributions that can be rolled over to an IRA or 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan.

Are there any risks?

Contributions to a Cash Balance Plan are usually required each year until the plan is terminated. The IRS requires the plan is established with “permanency” in mind. Contributions may fluctuate from year to year based on the plan’s investment return. It is important to work closely with your investment advisor to set up the proper mix of investments in an attempt to avoid any unwanted fluctuations in contribution levels.

Download the PDF

Lurie Third Party Administration - Business Owners

Flexible Administration Models, Well-Crafted Designs

As a business owner, you are most likely looking for ways to accelerate retirement saving over the next several years. Consider the opportunities a well-crafted retirement plan can offer.

Lurie designs retirement strategies aligned with your tax and savings goals. Using qualified plan design, and third party administration expertise, we analyze the choices you have, focusing on least cost/highest savings potential options. Our technical administration and support services enhance smooth follow-through once your design is in place.

Choosing the Right Plan Options

Which of the following describe your retirement plan goals?

  • To increase my tax deductible contributions
  • To reduce my current taxes
  • To accelerate my retirement savings
  • To retain my best employees
  • To attract talented people

Customized Plan Design

We take the time to understand your business and personal situation, based on employee demographics and salary mix.

Frequently, the optimal plan design blends multiple options to achieve tax and retirement savings goals. Listed below are some of the more popular plan options:

  • 401(k) Plans
  • Cash Balance Plans
  • Profit Sharing Plans
  • Defined Benefit Plans

Third Party Administration

Lurie specializes in third party administration.

Using a flexible service model and efficient processes, our team provides annual plan administration services to over 500 plans.

We Partner With Your Advisors

We work in close cooperation with your investment advisor, and others involved with the service of your plan, to streamline completion and delivery of your retirement plan.

Our Retirement Plan Consulting Philosophy

Our commitment to excellent client service is guaranteed by our service philosophy, that:

  • Your situation receives thoughtful consideration
  • Technical excellence is the backbone of our practice

Comprehensive Expertise

Lurie comprises actuaries and retirement plan professionals. We understand the regulatory complexities governing retirement plans, and can support you through the entire process of plan design and ongoing administration.

2021 IRS Limits on Benefits and Contributions