From the Executive Editor

By Alan Stone • June 18, 2018 • 0 Comments

Hello all – Sweet June has arrived and thus begin summer concerts, pool parties, vacation time and the inconsequential deadline of July 31 for my Form 5500s. To my clients: You are all going on extension!! (though I have sent out as many as I possibly can).

I have some technical articles in the pipeline for future issues of the ACOPA Monthly, and a couple of our esteemed colleagues even reached out to me to volunteer to write articles. I won’t rest, though, until some of our quieter members contact me to write an article (if I don’t reach out to them first). I remember when Norm Levinrad asked me to write a recap of his ACOPA Symposium class in Chicago, “Cash Balance Plans—Design, Testing and New Developments (except that we have none)” back in August 2012. What a great time that was in getting involved with ACOPA activities.

Before I introduce the articles this month, let me tell you a quick-ish story of when I last went to see Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin in concert (I am seeing him again this month). Not only was it Valentine’s Day, but it was a milestone birthday for my significant other, Janine. The concert at Manhattan’s Beacon Theatre was sold out, and after a month of searching on secondary resale sites like Stubhub, I found two tickets at face value off Craigslist. We were so excited!

The night of the concert, we met up with friends from high school, had a drink, and then walked next door to the venue. I hand the tickets to the usher at the door, and she informs me, “these tickets are fake.” I can only imagine that that is what it feels like to be hit by lightning, because I felt a bolt go through me and I literally jumped back from shock. As disappointment set in, we met three other couples who were also scammed by the same person off Craigslist.

It was only 30 minutes until showtime, and so I checked Stubhub, and luckily there were still six seats left — and hardly marked up in price. If I got ripped off again, so be it; it was time to chase good money after bad. Once I purchased the new tickets, the website said tickets would be downloaded in an hour (at this point it was the scheduled start time — and I was not even sure if we needed to print out the tickets — with no printer in sight). I was holding off panic as calmly as possible. Things started to come together as I got a call from Stubhub verifying my purchase; the tickets were immediately downloaded; and we walked to our great seats 5 minutes before the show started (and what a great show it was).

The moral of the story is that the above was going to take the place of an ACOPA Monthly article had those who wrote articles this month not done so. So a big thank you to writers past, present and future.

Speaking of past, present and future, this ACOPA Monthly features articles by past, present and future ACOPA Presidents. John Markley of Markley Actuarial and The Retirement Advantage, Inc. (TRA), the current President Elect of ACOPA (and noted Philadelphia Eagles fan), discusses ACOPA’s participation at meetings in Washington and Mexico, and provides some interesting details of his time in Mexico. You can find the article here.

John may not know this, but he made me an Eagles fan. I was frazzled from losing my phone at the ASPPA Annual meeting, and to relax, I took up John’s offer to watch the Eagles game at the hotel’s sports-themed restaurant with him and his co-worker (I believe the Eagles beat the Giants, and my phone was recovered). The next year, I coincidentally got to see an Eagles game in Philly. I was very happy for John after the Eagle’s recent Super Bowl win.

Our current President, Bill Karbon, provides us with details of the meetings of ACOPA leadership in Washington, DC in May. Leadership met with our new Executive Director, attended American Retirement Association (ARA) Government Affairs Executive Committee meetings, visited the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and met with Senate and House tax and labor staffers. You can find his article here.

A big shout-out for our next author, former ACOPA President and the eponymous owner of Mary Ann Rocco, EA Actuarial Consulting Services. Known as the “Queen of PBGC Missing Participant Calculations,” Mary Ann provides great information on the new rules on such calculations, effective in 2018. In the past, I considered going to Mexico to search for some missing participants before I would even attempt to decipher the calculation rules. With Mary Ann’s article and the simpler rules, I think I can cancel my plane reservations. You can find her article here.

Lastly but not least, Andrew Forgrave of Pinnacle Plan Design provides information on the 2018 ACOPA Actuarial Symposium. I will be attending this year’s meeting and had the pleasure of sitting next to Andrew at last year’s Symposium. By sitting up front, and next to the Committee Chairperson, I ensured that I would not nap during the workshops. Luckily, the workshops were so full of relevant info, there was no time for napping. My apologies to those who suffered through my snoring at EA meetings through 2009. You can find Andrew’s article (and the first haiku in my time as editor) here.