Here you’ll find all news stories and all posts on ASPPA Net, with the newest items at the top.

By John Iekel6/11/2014 • 0 Comments

Have you voted yet in the market research ASPPA is conducting? The results are rolling in, but you can still participate in ASPPA’s effort to identify industry trends that regularly cause the most pain.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/11/2014 • 0 Comments

Which factors most influence plan sponsors when they choose a plan provider? At the top of the list: trustworthiness and customer service, according to a new survey conducted by the National Association of Retirement Plan Participants (NARPP). Next are technology, education, administrative service and pricing, according to a Planadvisor article.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/10/2014 • 0 Comments

Many sobering reports have been issued regarding the degree to which U.S. workers are preparing — or not — for retirement. The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Personal Savings Initiative (PSI) may not be the first effort that seeks to help turn the tide of poor savings rates, but it has heft and features a far-reaching and ongoing discussion of the problem and ways to address it.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Plan sponsors are committed to helping plan participants prepare for their retirement, says a study Brightwork conducted for the Principal Financial Group. The study looked at the responses of 283 plan sponsors, all of whom offer a 401(k), have more than 50 eligible employees and use the services of a paid professional to help them choose and monitor investment and service providers, design plans, conduct enrollment meetings and resolve problems with service providers.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/8/2014 • 0 Comments

The federal government and U.S. workers agree that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — a.k.a. Obamacare — will affect the timing of retirements. However, IFAwebnews reports that there’s a wide gap between what the government and many workers expect that effect to be, according to a survey conducted for MoneyRates.com.

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By John Iekel6/8/2014 • 0 Comments

ASPPA is conducting market research with TPAs and consultants in mind to help develop our educational offerings. Please take five minutes to participate in a fun, interactive online voting tool — tell us what industry trend regularly causes you the most pain and prevents you from becoming more successful.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/3/2014 • 0 Comments

When it comes to having sufficient funds during retirement, expectations are low and fears rife everywhere, according to a recent study. In “The Changing Face of Retirement: The Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2014,” the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies and Aegon polled 16,000 employees in 15 counties in North and South America, Europe and Asia and found that while a growing number of respondents expect their finances — and their countries’ economies — to improve in the short term, that optimism does not translate to confidence about the more distant future. 
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By John Iekel6/2/2014 • 0 Comments

Employees who are terminated may be gone, but they’re not always forgotten — at least regarding the retirement plan. A growing number of plans allow terminated employees to live on as participants, notes Robert Leahy of Alliance Benefit Group.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/2/2014 • 0 Comments

Fear of running out of money during retirement is common, but it’s mitigated by interest in saving — the importance of which is not lost on younger employees, according to a new BoA Merrill Lynch report. The Spring 2014 Merrill Edge Report is based on a semi-annual study that looks at the concerns of the “mass affluent” — those with household incomes between $50,000 and $250,000. READ MORE

By Andrew Remo6/2/2014 • 0 Comments

The political dynamic at play between the House of Representatives and the Senate regarding the annual federal spending bills also applies to taxes, as Congress considers tax legislation that includes provisions impacting IRAs and multi-employer pension plans.  READ MORE

By John Iekel5/31/2014 • 0 Comments

The ASPPA Annual Conference — an ideal opportunity to share quality time with representatives from every aspect of the retirement plan industry — will be held Oct. 26-29. Registration for the 2014 conference is now open. READ MORE

By John Iekel5/28/2014 • 0 Comments

More often than not, employees who obtain investment advice do not follow it. And that’s among those who bother to seek it in the first place. The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey suggests that advisors have some work to do in boosting plan participants’ interest and confidence in professional advice.  READ MORE

By Ronald Triche5/28/2014 • 0 Comments

Relying on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in Owens v. Auto Machinists Pension Trust, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in Boulds v. Nielsen that the benefits payable from an ERISA-covered defined benefit plan can be divided between domestic partners as “marital property” pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO).  READ MORE

By John Iekel5/28/2014 • 0 Comments

The so-called DoL “conflict of interest rule for investment advice” — formerly known as the fiduciary redefinition rule — has been delayed until January 2015. The delay was revealed in a posting of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which notes that a second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will not be issued until January, but it does not state a specific date.  READ MORE

By John Iekel5/28/2014 • 0 Comments

This white paper by Lowell M. Smith of Inspira looks at the problems posed by uncashed pension checks, which include handling interest on the funds awaiting transfer, notification requirements and how appropriate corrective actions are, not to mention the added complication of there being no clear guidance from the IRS and the Department of Labor on the subject. This paper examines the regulatory issues surrounding uncashed checks as well as possible solutions for handling them. READ MORE

By John Iekel5/27/2014 • 0 Comments

More than 90 percent of the plan sponsors that filed their final Form 5500 filings the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Unit (EPCU) examined in its “Final Return With Assets Project” had at least one error, the IRS reports. Final Forms 5500 are required even if a plan has been exempt from filing a Form 5500-EZ (the annual return of a one-participant retirement plan) in previous years. READ MORE

By John Iekel5/27/2014 • 0 Comments

The ASPPA Board of Directors has decided that the best way to serve the society’s traditional members going forward is to create a new sister organization focused solely on their unique needs and concerns. The Board has recommended keeping the ASPPA name for the new sister, given its almost 50-year brand identity among retirement plan professionals. The “new ASPPA” would join ACOPA, NTSA and NAPA as part of a new “hub” organization to be named the American Retirement Council.  READ MORE

By John Iekel5/24/2014 • 0 Comments

A May 21 Senate Finance subcommittee hearing that purported to be about strengthening Social Security morphed into a critical discussion of the merits of the defined contribution system and industry.  READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/22/2014 • 0 Comments

While assets in IRAs are larger than those in DC plans, the vast majority of their growth comes from rollovers, according to research from EBRI. READ MORE

By Andrew Remo5/22/2014 • 0 Comments

The Joint Economic Committee, a bicameral congressional committee charged with studying matters relating to the United States economy, held a hearing May 21 that examined the unique issues that women face in retirement. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), vice-chair of the committee, convened the hearing to follow up on a report the committee issued in April which concluded that due to lower lifetime earnings, women age 65 and older collect $11,000 less in annual median income than men. READ MORE

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