Ray Harmon

Ray Harmon

Ray Harmon

By Ray Harmon6/6/2017 • 0 Comments

A bill that would repeal some of the major provisions of Dodd-Frank and the DOL’s fiduciary rule will move to the House floor for a vote; however, its chances in the Senate are bleak. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon5/19/2017 • 0 Comments

A congressional hearing on “Regulatory Barriers Facing Workers and Families Saving for Retirement” ran the gamut from the fiduciary regulation to multiple employer plans to state-run programs. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon3/28/2017 • 0 Comments

More than 50 bills will be heard for the first time in the Illinois House Personnel and Pensions Committee on March 30; they include measures that would affect state and local retirement plans. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon3/24/2017 • 0 Comments

On March 22, while Alexander Acosta faced his confirmation grilling in the Senate, the ERISA Advisory Council had its first meeting of the Trump administration era, setting its 2017 agenda. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon9/29/2016 • 0 Comments

Two bills that would facilitate reform of New Jersey’s public pension plans are now before the state Senate. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon3/17/2016 • 0 Comments

At the March 16 meeting of the ERISA Advisory Council, Department of Labor Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security Phyllis Borzi provided an update on the DOL’s proposed fiduciary rule, state-run plans initiatives, Form 5500 updates and more. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon11/6/2015 • 0 Comments

“In my 40 years of doing this, I never thought I’d see the day we’d have a president giving us direct instructions …” [on state-run, automatic enrollment IRA programs], Assistant Secretary of Labor Phyllis Borzi told the ERISA Advisory Council Nov. 3-4. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon10/28/2015 • 0 Comments

A recent panel discussion the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council (IALC) held in Washington, D.C. titled, “The State of American Retirement: Navigating the Gender Imbalance,” made a strong case for more attention being paid to better enabling women to engage in financial planning. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon, John Iekel3/19/2015 • 0 Comments

Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White confirmed March 17 that the commission will “implement a uniform fiduciary duty for broker-dealers and investment advisors where the standard is to act in the best interest of the investor.”
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By Ray Harmon12/4/2014 • 0 Comments

With time running out on its deadline for providing recommendations, a task force examining alternatives for a possible state-run IRA program in the Old Line State continued to debate the issues. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon11/24/2014 • 0 Comments

When President Obama named Loretta Lynch as his nominee to replace U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, speculation about Secretary of Labor Tom Perez being tapped for the role was put to rest, while speculation about the impact on the DOL’s agenda was reinvigorated. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon11/21/2014 • 0 Comments

In the wake of the surprise election of Republican Larry Hogan to the Maryland governor’s mansion earlier this month, the task force outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) established to study retirement plan access and potentially recommend a state-run automatic enrollment IRA program had its first post-election meeting Nov. 19.
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By Ray Harmon11/6/2014 • 0 Comments

The ERISA Advisory Council has now made its final recommendations of 2014, and got an update on regulatory proposals in return. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon10/16/2014 • 0 Comments

The President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans recently held its annual meeting — but retirement planning was barely mentioned. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon9/23/2014 • 0 Comments

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the Secure Annuities for Employee (SAFE) Retirement Act (S. 1270) last year to reform the public and private pension systems and, amid recent retirement reform hearings, his bill is now getting support from an otherwise unlikely place: the left-leaning Urban Institute.
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By Ray Harmon9/12/2014 • 0 Comments

At a recent event commemorating ERISA’s 40th anniversary, Phyllis C. Borzi, Assistant Secretary of the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), did not directly address her agency’s forthcoming proposed change to the definition of a fiduciary. But then, she didn’t have to.
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By Ray Harmon8/25/2014 • 0 Comments

The DOL’s ERISA Advisory Council wrapped up a three-day series of public meetings Aug. 21 with a focus on lifetime plan participation. The Council’s final session honed in on whether and how communications and specific plan design features may be used to enhance participants’ decisionmaking. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon8/21/2014 • 0 Comments

This week the ERISA Advisory Council turned its attention to the issue of outsourcing employee benefit plan services and how that might impact and influence fiduciary responsibilities, and touched on how an accreditation program could help fiduciaries make more informed outsourcing choices. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon8/4/2014 • 0 Comments

The Senate capitulated to the House on a bill to replenish the dwindling federal Highway Trust Fund by a vote of 81-13 on the evening of July 31. The final version of the bill that will now go to President Obama’s desk will include the MAP-21 pension smoothing extension initially rejected by the Senate on July 29. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon7/31/2014 • 0 Comments

The U.S. Senate passed legislation July 29 to fund the nation’s Highway Trust Fund — legislation that does not include a pension smoothing provision. The vote tally on the $8.1 billion bill was 79-18. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon7/24/2014 • 0 Comments

In a piece published in The New York Times on Tuesday, July 22, Gene B. Sperling, former Director of the Economic Council under the Office of White House Policy for President Obama, put on a white lab coat and diagnosed the tax incentive system for private retirement savings with a serious illness by cherrypicking data points to paint his desired picture. It’s no surprise that during Sperling’s time working for Obama, the President borrowed his favorite line and called the system “upside-down.” I criticized the President then for that misdiagnosis and I’ll criticize “Doctor” Sperling now for it too. 
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By Ray Harmon5/15/2014 • 0 Comments

On May 15, the IRS issued Notice 2014-37 containing additional post-Windsor guidance for 401(k) or (m) safe harbor plans in response to an informal request by the ASPPA Government Affairs Committee.  READ MORE

John Iekel

John Iekel

John Iekel

By Ray Harmon, John Iekel3/19/2015 • 0 Comments

Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White confirmed March 17 that the commission will “implement a uniform fiduciary duty for broker-dealers and investment advisors where the standard is to act in the best interest of the investor.”
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