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 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

By John Iekel7/25/2014 • 0 Comments

It’s easy for inertia to take over when financial decisions have to be made, especially when it comes to investment choices in a 401(k) plan. In “Using Re-enrollment to Improve Participant Investing and Provide Fiduciary Protections,” a white paper prepared for JP Morgan Chase & Co., Fred Reish and Bruce Ashton discuss one solution — re-enrollment, or requiring participants to re-invest in the plan by making new decisions about how the funds in their retirement accounts are invested.
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By John Iekel7/24/2014 • 0 Comments

Is Washington obsessed with rollovers? ASPPA Executive Director and CEO Brian Graff thinks so. “There’s no one who doesn’t care about this issue. There is an obsession with the rollover issue in D.C.,” said Graff in the July 22 webinar, “Washington Update: Rollovers, Rollovers, Rollovers — it’s All About Rollovers.” He and ASPPA Director of Government Affairs Ron Triche discussed the ways in which rollovers are front-and-center on the federal radar screen. 
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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 John Iekel7/23/2014 • 0 Comments

Expenses charged to 401(k) plan participants declined in 2013, says a new study from the Investment Company Institute (ICI). In “The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees and Expenses, 2013,” the ICI reports that last year, participants spent less when they invested in equity, hybrid and bond funds.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/21/2014 • 0 Comments

Target date funds (TDFs) are growing and likely to comprise a larger percentage of 401(k) assets, says Paladin Registry, an independent educational resource for investors.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/18/2014 • 0 Comments

Seventeen states have, or are, considering measures that would allow private-sector employers to automatically enroll employees in IRAs. None of these measures has yet resulted in a law that does, although three states — California, Connecticut and Oregon — have enacted measures that create boards to study the matter, and an executive order in Maryland does so. But 14 of these states, if they enact an auto IRA law, will face an inconvenient little problem — they already have laws on the books that prevent such arrangements.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/17/2014 • 0 Comments

The PBGC is stopping its enforcement efforts in open cases involving ERISA Section 4062 (e), and will not take on any new ones until after Dec. 31, 2014. In a July 8 press release, the agency said it is doing so to ensure that its efforts are targeted at cases in which pensions genuinely are at risk. The agency also said that it plans to work with the business community, labor and other stakeholders during this period. READ MORE

By John Iekel7/15/2014 • 0 Comments

Millennials’ embrace of savings is robust, says a report the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies issued on July 15. The report says that employees born between 1979 and 1996 have a strong interest in saving and preparing for retirement.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/14/2014 • 0 Comments

The IRS on July 11 announced that it is withdrawing a proposal it made in 1981 for an amendment to regulations governing IRA rollovers. The proposed amendment to Treas. Reg. § 1.408-4(b)(4)(ii) would have applied the rollover limitation on an IRA-by-IRA basis. This withdrawal affects individuals who maintain IRAs and financial institutions that are trustees, custodians, or issuers of IRAs. READ MORE

By Judy Miller7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

On Thursday, July 10, both the House Ways and Means (W&M) and the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) marked up bills to extend funding for the highway trust fund. Both bills include extension of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) interest stabilization provision to provide part of the necessary funding.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/9/2014 • 0 Comments

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has announced that its ERISA Advisory Council will be examining issues and considerations related to facilitating lifetime retirement plan participation. In explaining its rationale for doing so, it cites the recent movement of participant assets out of defined contribution and defined benefit plans, and into retirement accounts not covered by ERISA — such as IRAs or other savings accounts — or as plan distributions.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/2/2014 • 0 Comments

The Treasury Department issued a rule July 1 that essentially allows employees to convert part of their IRA or 401(k) balances into a longevity annuity. Under the rule, an IRA or 401(k) can allow participants to use $125,000 or up to 25 percent of their IRA or 401(k) — whichever is less — to buy a longevity annuity. The dollar limit will be adjusted for inflation in $10,000 increments.  READ MORE

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