The IRS has issued the much-anticipated final regulations on hybrid retirement plans and has also provided regulations on the tax treatment of distributions from Roth accounts under tax-favored retirement plans, such as 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans.
Its authors may not have led with that title, but a recent paper calls for wholesale changes to the way Americans currently save for retirement, including suspending all defined contribution savings arrangements. One is inclined to give the authors credit for coming up with a new alternative, but the reality is that their proposal is a cobbled-together mish-mash of ideas that have been tried before.
The U.S. Census Bureau has published its annual survey of public pensions. The 2013 Survey of Public Pensions: State-Administered Defined Benefit Data provides revenues, expenditures, financial assets, membership and liabilities information for DB public pension systems.
What happens to executive retirement benefits when employers close or freeze their defined benefit pension plans? What if that plan is a hybrid/cash balance? And what does that mean for advisors? Towers Watson recently conducted an analysis of how Fortune 200 companies in 2013 transitioned executives after changing their underlying broad-based retirement programs to find the answers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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