Technical Resources

Technical Resources covers the nuts and bolts of the retirement plan market, focusing on IRS and DOL regulations, ERISA litigation, fiduciary governance and more.

 

 


Technical Resources

Technical Resources

By John Iekel8/27/2014 • 0 Comments

This summer, for the first time in more than 20 years, Hawaii was hit by a named tropical system. ays later, a second churned offshore. Hurricane Arthur splashed through North Carolina’s Outer Banks just before July 4. And the height of the Atlantic hurricane season is about to arrive. This portends the possibility of significant property losses, business disruption and the need for hardship distributions from 401(k)s. READ MORE

By Craig Hoffman8/25/2014 • 0 Comments

The Department of Labor’s Inspector General is looking at how the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration monitors plans that claim the “small plan” exemption from the annual independent audit requirement that applies under ERISA, the ASPPA Government Affairs Committee has learned. 

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By Nevin Adams8/21/2014 • 0 Comments

With the ERISA fiduciary community still absorbing the impact of the Supreme Court’s rejection of the presumption of prudence standard for company stock in retirement plans, a federal appellate court has introduced a new and potentially complicating aspect to consider.

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By Nevin Adams8/21/2014 • 0 Comments

The U.S. Department of Labor has published a request for information on the use of brokerage windows, self-directed brokerage accounts and “similar features” in 401(k)-type plans. 

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By Nevin Adams8/18/2014 • 0 Comments

How can the fiduciaries of terminated DC plans fulfill their obligations under ERISA to locate missing participants and properly distribute the participants’ account balances? That’s a question the DOL answered in a Field Assistance Bulletin released Aug. 14.

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By Nevin Adams8/18/2014 • 0 Comments

The SEC on Aug. 11 announced securities fraud charges against the state of Kansas, claiming that the state failed to disclose that the state’s pension system was significantly underfunded, and that the unfunded pension liability created a repayment risk for investors in those bonds.


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By John Iekel8/18/2014 • 0 Comments

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.

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By Andrew Remo8/14/2014 • 0 Comments

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. 

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By John Iekel8/14/2014 • 0 Comments

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.

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By ASPPA Net Staff8/8/2014 • 0 Comments

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. READ MORE

By John Iekel8/8/2014 • 0 Comments

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.  READ MORE

By John Iekel8/8/2014 • 0 Comments

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. READ MORE

By ASPPA Net Staff8/6/2014 • 0 Comments

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.  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 John Ortman8/4/2014 • 0 Comments

So this year’s estimate of when the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) trust fund will run out of money is 2033, the Social Security trustees reported July 28 — roughly the same as last year’s estimate. There’s just one problem: There is no such thing as an OASDI trust fund.
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By John Iekel8/1/2014 • 0 Comments

A secure retirement and adequate retirement savings are targets many Americans can attain. That’s the conclusion that Prudential has reached, based on research by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research. In its most recent National Retirement Risk Index, the center found that to maintain the standard of living they had before retirement, the average American household needs their 401(k) to provide 35% of income during retirement. The exact percentage varies by income level.
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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 John Iekel7/28/2014 • 0 Comments

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. READ MORE

By John Iekel7/28/2014 • 0 Comments

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.  READ MORE

By Judy Miller7/28/2014 • 0 Comments

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). READ MORE

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