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Maximizing Qualified Retirement Contributions for Business Owners: Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit Plans

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, February 1, 2024

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This course will discuss retirement plan options for owners of limited liability companies, partnerships, C corporations, S corporations, sole proprietors, and other businesses. Our panel of qualified plan experts will reveal strategies to substantially increase owner contributions, minimize staff contributions, and create greater flexibility.


Properly designed qualified retirement plans are a highly effective means for sheltering business owner income from taxes, retaining valuable employees, and protecting assets from creditors. Often, small businesses have qualified retirement plans in place, but have not structured their retirement plans to maximize the significant tax benefits available for their owners.

Retirement plans generally fall into one of two categories: defined contribution plans and defined benefit plans. Defined contribution plans include profit-sharing, traditional and Roth 401(k), and safe harbor 401(k) plans. Defined benefit plans include traditional defined benefit, cash balance, and past service defined benefit plans.

For 2024, the maximum contribution to a defined contribution plan is $69,000, or, for individuals age 50 or older by Dec. 31, 2024, $76,500 with a 401(k) "catch-up" feature. Since defined benefit plans consider work history, age, life expectancy, compensation levels, and expected pay-out, annual contributions to a defined benefit plan can be significantly higher than the amount that can be contributed to a defined contribution plan. Combining plans can help maximize deductible plan contributions on an owner's behalf.

There are additional considerations for qualified retirement plans. Both types of plans require mandatory testing and reporting. Defined benefit plans require actuarial computations. All plans must be updated periodically for legislative changes and must be maintained in both documentary and operational compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. As a tax practitioner or financial adviser, you should understand the best plan or combination of plans for your clients.

Listen as our panel of retirement plan experts covers the benefits of qualified retirement plans over simplified employee pension plans (SEPs), combining a profit-sharing plan and a 401(k) plan, and the impact of SECURE 2.0 on retirement plans.



  1. Tax advantages of qualified retirement plans
  2. Other benefits of qualified retirement plans
  3. Defined contribution plans
  4. Defined benefit, including cash balance and prior service, plans
  5. IRS limits
  6. Impact of SECURE 2.0 on retirement plans
  7. Case studies
  8. Legislative and regulatory updates


The panel will cover these and other critical issues:

  • Coordinating the various IRS limits on deferrals, contributions, benefits, and compensation
  • Using new comparability (cross-tested) plans to maximize contributions for relatively older, higher-paid owners
  • The benefits of qualified retirement plans over SEPs
  • Choosing between a traditional defined benefit plan and a cash balance plan
  • IRS Cycle 3 mandatory restatement of defined benefit and cash balance plans
  • Case studies of retirement plan structures
  • Highlighting the best qualified retirement plan design for various businesses and industries


Miller, William
William Miller

Chief Actuary
Danziger & Markhoff

Mr. Miller is the Chief Enrolled Actuary and Technical Director of the Pension Administration Department of Danziger...  |  Read More

Roth, Andrew
Andrew E. Roth

Danziger & Markhoff

Mr. Roth is a partner of Danziger & Markhoff LLP with over 35 years of experience as an ERISA attorney. He is a...  |  Read More

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