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 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

By John Iekel7/1/2014 • 0 Comments

Nondiscrimination tests, sometimes described as the “rocket science” of the tax compliance world, can make an employer run afoul. And that’s exactly what happened to 57,277 of the 401(k) plans that Judy Diamond Associates reports in a study it recently released. The study says that the plans in question failed the most recent nondiscrimination tests they conducted in compliance with IRS regulations.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/30/2014 • 0 Comments

Fiduciaries of an ESOP are not entitled to any special presumption of prudence with regard to purchases or sales of employer securities, except as the duty of prudence relates to diversification of plan investments, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 25.  In an ASPPA asap, Ilene Ferenczy of Ferenczy + Paul LLP, offers her insights on this case and what the ruling means.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/27/2014 • 0 Comments

According to Acting Director of IRS Employee Plans Thomas Petit, the IRS still lists 401(k) plans among its top examination priorities. Petit provided that confirmation to attendees of the ASPPA Regional Conference in Chicago. READ MORE

By John Iekel6/26/2014 • 0 Comments

It will be a good deal more congenial than testifying before the Treasury Department — but just as informative. Maybe moreso! Robert M. Kaplan, who has more than 30 years’ worth of experience and is the recipient of the Pension Administrator’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Institute of Pension Administrators and has indeed testified at Treasury, will share his expertise on working with safe harbor 401(k)s in a July 17 webcast. READ MORE

By Judy Miller6/26/2014 • 0 Comments

The Senate Finance Committee met June 26 to consider a modified chairman’s mark of revenue raisers to pay for an extension of the highway trust fund through the end of the year. The hearing adjourned with no action, but with the stated intention of reconvening to mark up a proposal early in the week following the July 4 recess. Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) indicated that in the interim, he and ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) would be discussing the revenue provisions with House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) with the goal of reaching common agreement. READ MORE

By John Iekel6/26/2014 • 0 Comments

Early withdrawals — loans taken against plan balances, hardship withdrawals and retirement account payouts when changing jobs — can provide participants quick infusions of cash that help meet pressing needs. But these forms of “leakage” can come at the expense of their future retirement security. A new analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) provides empirical data on the full impact of leakage on 401(k) balances.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/26/2014 • 0 Comments

Proposed increases in Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation premiums are a fool’s errand at best, says a report prepared for the American Benefits Council (ABC). “Further PBGC Premium Increases Pose Greatest Threat to Pension System,” a report Quantria Strategies, LLC prepared for the ABC, warns that it would it be more than pointless to raise PBGC premiums — it would be counterproductive. 
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By John Iekel6/26/2014 • 0 Comments

At their current savings rate, many Americans will have tough choices to make as they age. Not only that, but a low savings rate has broader serious implications for the U.S. economy and its solvency. “Another Penny Saved: The Benefits of Higher U.S. Household Saving,” a paper by Oxford Economics, paints a sobering picture of the current savings rate and its consequences for retirement. But it also offers some suggestions regarding how to address and maybe even reverse it, and what could result from that. READ MORE

By John Iekel6/24/2014 • 0 Comments

Critics of 401(k)s argue that they will not deliver on what they promised. But MSN Money reports that the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) has provided empirical evidence that their assessments may be very much off the mark. 
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By John Iekel6/20/2014 • 0 Comments

You were sure your filing with the IRS was accurate, but you double checked and found that you made a mistake. It’s tempting to stand pat and hope that the IRS won’t notice, but you know it could — and that could have negative ramifications. What to do?  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/20/2014 • 0 Comments

Defined benefit plans, DC plans and 403(b) annuity arrangements, take note: July 31 is right around the corner. That’s the day by which most plans must file the dreaded and onerous Form 5500. The clock is ticking on filing the form that reports on 2013.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/19/2014 • 0 Comments

The ink is barely dry on the legislation that raised the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) premiums, and already there is a proposal to hike them again. In an op-ed that appears in Roll Call, Judy Miller, ASPPA’s Director of Retirement Policy, writes about the prospect and what it means and portends. READ MORE

By John Iekel6/19/2014 • 0 Comments

Generally, federal law requires employee benefit plans with 100 or more participants to have an audit as part of their obligation to file a Form 5500. Note that some pension plans with fewer than 100 participants also may be required to have an audit if they fail to meet certain conditions relating to their plan investments, bonding, and disclosure requirements. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/18/2014 • 0 Comments

Adding fuel to the fire, an attack on the IRA rollover industry by Bloomberg cites numerous examples of advisors preying on retirees rolling their 401(k) money into IRAs. One expert claims that IRAs are the “Wild West,” with limited oversight and regulation. The report focuses on one advisor who had built a business working with retiring AT&T employees and ended up with 37 FINRA complaints.
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