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John Iekel

There are many important topics to cover when educating plan participants about a 401(k) plan and saving for retirement. In the process, it’s not hard to miss some matters that should be covered. A recent blog entry argues that five important topics often are omitted. In “5 Top Education Topics... READ MORE
While it’s clear that mergers and acquisitions comprised the largest share of restructuring in the last two decades, their effect on retirement benefits is less so, says a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. In “Retirement Security: Trends in Corporate Restructurings and... READ MORE
American Retirement Association Chief Government Affairs Officer Will Hansen and past ASPPA President Stephen Dobrow offered testimony concerning benefit plan audits and how they may be improved at the June 25 meeting of the Department of Labor’s Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension... READ MORE
The IRS and the Department of Labor should establish a formal way of collaborating on oversight of prohibited IRA transaction exemptions, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended. The GAO undertook the study that led to its report, “Individual Retirement Accounts: Formalizing... READ MORE
Recent developments at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) have resulted in new forms, a new final rule and a new page listing notices for plan participants. New Form and Instructions The PBGC has announced that a new form and instructions for requesting a determination regarding... READ MORE
Since employees and their behavior are at the root of most decisions about retirement plan participation and how individual accounts are managed, insight into behavior that affects those decisions can be a useful tool in understanding how those choices are made. In a July 9 webcast, “Behavioral... READ MORE
The Auditing Standards Board (ASB) of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has issued two new statements on auditing standards: one concerning auditor reporting on financial statements by plans covered by ERISA, and the other concerning transparency in annual reports. Statement on Auditing... READ MORE
Pension plans managed by religious organizations in Rhode Island now must provide regular updates to participants on the financial health of the plans. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) signed a measure on July 2 setting that requirement into law. House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Warwick)... READ MORE
A savings incentive match plan for employees of small employers (SIMPLE) IRA is intended to be a simplified way for employers and employees to contribute to retirement savings. But are they really simple? A recent analysis questions whether they really are as uncomplicated as they are purported to... READ MORE
Retirement? Never mind, say some. A recent study and blog entry point out that there are individuals — and professionals too, for that matter — who are throwing up their hands and arguing that one should stay nose to the grindstone. According to AP-NORC, 45% of the adult Americans they polled in... READ MORE
A majority of pension plan sponsors in a recent study are seeking to reduce their roles and responsibilities with their plans. Almost two-thirds plan to outsource some or all of their plan-related investment responsibilities and more than 60% plan to terminate their plans in the next five years,... READ MORE
The Oregon Retirement Savings Board (ORSB) now may partner with other states in providing services similar to those offered by OregonSaves, the Beaver State’s the state-run auto-IRA program for private-sector employees whose employers do not offer a retirement plan. On June 27, Gov. Kate Brown (D)... READ MORE
Traditional pension plans are still present, but shrinking — particularly in the private sector. What will fill that void? A recent column argues that the 401(k) can fill the void the decline of the DB plan creates, and then some. In “401(k)s Can Fill the Pension Gap,” American Enterprise... READ MORE
The traditional way of envisioning retirement, settling into a comfortable life of pension payments after the going away party and the bestowal of an expensive watch, is going the way of the dinosaur. Though they approach the matter from different vantage points, that’s the import of two recent... READ MORE
CalSavers, the state-run retirement plan for private-sector employees in the Golden State whose employers do not offer a retirement plan, will be formally launched on July 1. State Treasurer Fiona Ma and former Sen. Kevin de León (D) will launch CalSavers at a ceremony at the State Treasurer’s... READ MORE
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) on June 26  proposed a rule that would make a variety of clarifications, corrections and improvements to four of its regulations. The proposed rule is based on the PBGC’s ongoing efforts to review the effectiveness and clarity of its rules and input... READ MORE
Making it possible for participants to take a loan from their retirement accounts is a common plan feature. But it also is not unusual for mistakes to be made concerning those loans. A recent article, as well as the IRS, offer some suggestions regarding how to identify and fix them, as well as... READ MORE
President Trump on June 21 named seven new members to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s (PBGC) Advisory Committee. The PBGC Advisory Committee is a body appointed by the president that represents the interests of labor, employers and the public. Its duties under ERISA include providing... READ MORE
How do your clients’ participants envision their retirements? Are they riding astride unicorns on cotton candy tufts of cloud? Or are they Sisyphus, endlessly pushing to an idyllic summit they’ll never reach? A recent blog entry outlines five myths concerning retirement planning that may help plan... READ MORE
The July 31, 2019 deadline for most employee benefits plans that must file the Form 5500 for reporting about 2018 is fast approaching. So the June 20 ASPPA Webcast, “Form 5500 Update,” was a well-timed reminder regarding changes that affect the form and its use and filing. Presenter Stephen Forbes... READ MORE

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