Here you’ll find all news stories and all posts on ASPPA Net, with the newest items at the top.
Fidelity has changed the way it manages its 401(k) plan. That took some convincing — it had been sued by 29 current and former employees on behalf of 50,000 of their peers over conflicts of interest in its plan.
The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the congressional scorekeeper of tax legislation, on Aug. 5 issued its latest estimates of the increasing costs of the tax incentives for retirement savings. The numbers are eye-popping.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) have named members to the commissions they have established to make retirement savings secure. ASPPA members are among those they have named to the groups.
ASPPA and ACOPA, in an Aug. 13 letter to Robert Choi, Director, Employee Plans at the IRS, have requested guidance regarding the application of the funding stabilization provisions in section 2003 of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (HTFA) to plan years beginning in 2013 and 2014.
ASPPA’s annual conference will offer an unparalleled opportunity to learn, be informed and network with experts and other members and professionals, but also a little bit more. On Tuesday evening, Oct. 28, relax and unwind as we travel back in time and dance the night away with The Pink Flamingos, an '80s cover band!
No one expects the Spanish Inquisition — or, rather, an IRS or Department of Labor (DOL) audit. And yet, it can’t hurt to be ready for one. Of course, the best way to be ready is to comply with the law and regulations and follow best practices. But there are practical steps one can take to be ready as well, just in case — and the Millennium Trust Company suggests some in its recent webinar, “Preparing for and Surviving a Plan Audit.”
The Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index slipped eight points in the second quarter driven largely by a 17-point decline in optimism among retired investors.
During the last week of July, the Bipartisan Policy Center hosted a panel on retirement security — and shared some interesting perspectives on the state of America’s retirement readiness. Pension professionals should understand these perspectives, as they could well find their way into future retirement policy proposals.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has identified companies that offer advances in exchange for receiving all or part of their pension funds and questionable practices that may put plan participants at risk. “Pension Advance Transactions: Questionable Business Practices Identified,” a report the GAO prepared for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, identified questionable elements of these transactions.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has named the members of a panel charged with finding “…ways to better secure retirement savings for private-sector employees in Maryland.” Established by executive order in May and chaired by former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D), the task force brings together representatives from key sectors across the state to find ways to better secure retirement savings for private-sector employees in Maryland.
The proposal to restructure ASPPA has received a seal of approval, and then some. To be exact, 90% approval of the credentialed members — something beyond even categorization as a landslide. After three weeks of voting, the credentialed members have spoken, and have endorsed the plan heartily.
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.
Offering participants too many options can discourage enrollment. But what’s the “sweet spot” in terms of the optimal number of enrollment options? A test by Fidelity found that 78% of participants preferred a three-part enrollment option — and that those who chose that option contributed more.
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.
Is the Form 5500 worth filling out and filing in the first place? Not everyone is convinced, reports Benefitspro. But file they must, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has come to the rescue, offering suggestions in its recent report, “Private Pensions: Targeted Revisions Could Improve Usefulness of Form 5500 Information” regarding how the form could be made more useful.
Plan participants take money out of their 401(k)s prematurely for different reasons — such as plan loans and hardship withdrawals. But the biggest driver of leakage, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), is cashing out when changing jobs.
Recently, in the review process for determination letter applications, the IRS has taken issue with “412(d)(2)” plan amendments. Some plan sponsors have been told by IRS reviewers that the amendments were not permissible if adopted after the close of the plan year, and that a closing agreement would be necessary to avoid disqualification. ASPPA and ACOPA sent a letter to IRS on June 9, 2014, expressing disagreement with the position being taken as contrary to the clear statutory language of IRC Section 412(d)(2).
The 19 ABC chapters feature networking and educational opportunities, right in your own neighborhood! CLICK HERE for more information.
Join our elite network of retirement-plan professionals.
Join as a Credentialed Member
Join as an Affiliate Member
The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries is a non-profit professional society.
The materials contained herein are intended for instruction only and are not a substitute for professional advice.
Copyright 2018 by ASPPA
American Retirement Association
4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 750 | Arlington, VA 22203
P. 703.516.9300 | F. 703.516.9308