401khelpcenter.com Logo


This archive contains not only the most current material on the topic, but also older items that are still relevant, provide background, perspective or are germane to the topic.

If you find a broken link or an items that you feel is outdate, irrelevant or no longer appropriate, please let us know.

To subscribe to our free weekly newsletter, enter your email address below then click the "Join" button.

Email Address:



Beginning in 2010, an employer may adopt an "Eligible Combined Plan." Consisting of a defined benefit plan and a 401k plan held in a single trust, using one plan document, one summary plan description, one Form 5500, and one audit (if required). The DB(k) plan may be used only by employers with no more than 500 employees.

The DB(k) would be deemed NOT top-heavy or subject to non-discrimination testing where it meets specific safe harbor formulas for both the DB and the 401k elements of the plan. The DB component is either a 1% of final average pay formula for up to 20 years of service, or a cash balance formula that increases with the participant's age. The 401k component must provide automatic enrollment and a fully vested 50% match on the first 4% of deferred pay.

There has been very little written on these plan because DB(k)s have never caught on. See "DB(k) Plans: A Good Idea at the Time" below.

How to "Pensionize" Any IRA or 401k Plan

American workers face three challenges in a DC world: Inadequate savings, Leakage, and Generating retirement income. This 19-page white paper focuses on solutions to the third challenge while acknowledging the importance of the first two.

Source: Stanford.edu, January 2018

Employers Looking to "DBification" of DC Plans as Industry Matures

As the defined contribution pension industry continues to mature, Canadian employers are considering ways to improve their DC plans by introducing elements of defined benefit plans, according to an industry expert.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, September 2017

DB(k) Plans: A Good Idea at the Time

A DB(k) Plan, formally called an "Eligible Combined Plan," is a hybrid retirement plan that was created by Congress as part of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 under Section 414(x) of the Internal Revenue Code. But after the January 1, 2010 effective date for Section 414(x), DB(k)s didn't take off. Since then, there have been very few DB(k) sightings. Was it a failure?

Source: Retirementplanblog.com, July 2014

The DB(k) Retirement Plan

What makes this plan unique? What are some changes going on with this plan right now?

Source: Focus.com, February 2012.

Investopedia Defines 'DB(k) Plan'

A retirement plan that combines some of the characteristics of a 401(k) plan with those of a defined benefit (DB) plan.

Source: Investopedia, February 2012.

Technical Update DB(k) Retirement Plans

Background, recently issued IRS guidance for DB(k) determination letters, steps to create a DB(k) plan, requirements for DB(k) plans, and more.

Source: Ftwilliam.com, February 2011.

Defined Benefit 401ks Set to Make Their Debut

Why haven't you heard more about the DB/401k? The authority for this new plan, which becomes available on Jan. 1, 2010, was buried deep within the massive Pension Protection Act of 2006. But interest in DB/401ks is expected to heat up during the coming year.

Source: Accountingweb.com, October 2009.

401khelpcenter.com, LLC is not the author of the material referenced in this digest unless specifically noted. The material referenced was created, published, maintained, or otherwise posted by institutions or organizations independent of 401khelpcenter.com, LLC. 401khelpcenter.com, LLC does not endorse, approve, certify, or control this material and does not guarantee or assume responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, efficacy, or timeliness of the material. Use of any information obtained from this material is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficacy, and timeliness. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by 401khelpcenter.com, LLC.

About | Glossary | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact Us

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.