To register for Relius Education seminars and conferences, please login or register for a new login account before proceeding. For more information, please see the Benefits of a Relius User Login Account. For assistance, please contact Client Services at 800-326-7235, and select Option 6.

Focused Topic 09: An In-depth Look at HCEs
Presentor: Stephen Forbes Recorded Date: 11/12/2013 Duration: 60 Min.

This program was recorded during a live presentation on November 12, 2013.

An In-depth Look at HCEs
Tuesdays with Derrin and Steve

One of the most fundamental aspects of coverage and nondiscrimination testing is correctly determining HCEs. While most practitioners understand the basics, comparatively few truly understand the most important details. This presentation, loaded with examples, addresses questions such as:

  • When would an employer choose to use the top 20% test?
  • How does a plan elect the top 20% test?
  • Which employees count in determining the top 20%?
  • Can someone be in the top 20% if he or she doesn’t count in determining the top 20%?
  • How does the top 20% rule impact 5% owners?
  • What is the calendar year election?
  • When would an employer choose the calendar year election?
  • How does an employer make these elections?
  • What definition of compensation does a plan use in determining HCE status?
  • How do you determine HCEs if there are related employers?
  • How do you handle short plan years?
  • How does the recent Supreme Court decision on same gender marriage affect HCE determination?

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites or advance preparation for this presentation.

Level: Overview

Instructional Delivery Method
Group - Internet-Based

Speaker - Stephen W. Forbes, J.D., LL.M.
Author of The 5500 Filing Guide

Objectives: After the presentation, an attendee should be able to:

  1. Advise an employer on whether to adopt the 20% rule
  2. Correctly apply the top 20% rule
  3. Correctly determine HCE status
  4. Correctly apply attribution rules relating to same gender couples

Hardware System Requirements: 

  • Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Windows 7
  • Internet Explorer 4.01 or later, Netscape 4.08 or later, and set Internet browser to allow pop-up windows.
  • High-speed Internet connection.
  • Pentium 166+ MHz, 128MB RAM or more.
  • 1023 x 768 or higher display resolution.
  • Soundcard and Speakers.

Software Requirements:

Program related requests, questions, or concerns may be emailed to: