Retirement Plan

News & Analysis as of

The Problem With The BIC

The biggest hallmark for the new Fiduciary Rule is the best interest contract exemption and the need for brokers to get those signed with their retirement plan and IRA clients. Getting legalese written on paper isn’t going to...more

IRS Overhauls the Retirement Plan Correction Program

With the looming end of the determination letter program as we know it, the IRS has issued an updated Revenue Procedure for the Employee Plans Compliance Resolutions System (EPCRS). Released on September 29, 2016, Rev. Proc....more

Some Brokers Will Leave, But Not Like What They’re Saying

Experts saying how many brokers are going to leave the retirement plan business reminds me of the radio report that Henry Hill heard in the shower about the Lufthansa heist, in Goodfellas. Like the loot stolen in the heist,...more

California Employers with Qualified Plans Not Subject to New Secure Choice Program

On September 29, 2016, California Governor Brown approved significant amendments to the 2012 California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act ("Secure Choice"). Secure Choice is intended to provide Roth IRAs and...more

State Run IRA Programs Can Actually Be An Opportunity for Plan Providers

A few states including California are going into the retirement business. While ordinarily competition in the shape of a state government is cause for concern, I believe that it’s an actual opportunity for both third party...more

Your Emails Shouldn’t Be Like Hotel California

I write a lot because social media gets my name out there at a much lower cost than hiring a public relations. director. I know because I’ve been there and done that. I write articles, I blog, and I started this crazy...more

Merrill’s End of Commission IRAs is going to be a game changer

In a move that will shake the broker-dealer and retirement plan industries, Merrill Lynch’s decided to end its commission individual retirement account (IRA) business to comply with the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new...more

Treasury Makes it Easier for Pension Plans to Pay Partial Annuities

The Department of Treasury has issued final regulations that simplify the rules that allow retiring participants to simultaneously elect a partial lump sum and a partial annuity from a defined benefit pension plan. Under the...more

Now You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: New Pension Distribution Rules Allow More Flexibility

If you are one of the lucky few employees who participate in an employer’s defined benefit retirement plan, you previously had to choose between receiving your benefits in a lump sum or in annuity payments. However, in the...more

Prohibited Transactions for Retirement Plans

A recent case reminds us that people need to be careful when dealing with their retirement plans, particularly if those accounts are used as investment vehicles to fund business activities relating to the plan participant or...more

Maintaining Retirement Plan Documents after Revenue Procedure 2016-37

At the 2016 Joint Fall CLE Meeting on October 1, 2016, Andrew Liazos presented on “Maintaining Retirement Plan Documents after Revenue Procedure 2016-37.” As an employer sponsoring a retirement plan, you are required by...more

The Problem with “Top-Heavy” Administration

If you know about a thing or two about plan administration, you know about the top-heavy rules. The top-heavy rules generally ensure that the lower paid employees receive a minimum benefit if the plan is top-heavy. A plan is...more

Final IRS Regulations Simplify Pension Plan Requirements for Partial Annuity Distributions

The Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations addressing the minimum present value requirements for pension benefits payable partly as an annuity and partly in an accelerated form, usually a...more

Keep Politics and Your Business Apart

We’re closing in on Election Day and no matter what side you’re on, you have to admit that it’s one of the most divisive elections in recent memory. So I’m shocked when I see professionals post their political diatribes on...more

Clients are Happy With Their Advisors, But That Can’t Stop You

“Fidelity’s 2015 Plan Sponsor Attitudes Survey,” disclosed the satisfaction level of plan sponsors with their advisors improved to 70 percent last year, reflecting a nice increase from 2010 when it was just 57 percent...more

IRS Updates Correction Program for Retirement Plans

The IRS recently issued Revenue Procedure 2016-51 (the 2016 RP) to provide revised procedures for its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) – the system through which plan sponsors can correct errors in the form...more

The Sky Will Not Fall Because Of The Fiduciary Rule

You’ve heard people screaming up and down about the fiduciary rule. They just had someone screaming that the fiduciary rule is a boon for lawyers (thank you) and that 100,000 to 150,000 advisors will leave the 401(k)...more

Arrange your RMDs before year end

Per IRS rules, people must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their retirement plans and IRAs beginning April 1 of the year after the year in which they turn age 70½. And they must continue taking RMDs...more

Will California Public Pension Systems Go Underground In Implementing New Disclosure Law?

Writing in the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, Catherine Skulan and Raj Marphatia provide an interesting overview of California’s recently enacted alternative investment vehicle fee...more

Eighth Circuit Affirms Enforcement of ERISA Plan Forum Selection Clause

The Eighth Circuit enforced an ERISA plan’s forum selection clause and denied plaintiff’s appeal to have her lawsuit for disability benefits transferred back to the District of Arizona. Plaintiff Lorna Clause, who lives in...more

401(k) Plan Sponsor ERISA Fiduciary Litigation Update: White v. Chevron Corporation

On August 29, 2016, the District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed the lawsuit filed against Chevron Corporation by several participants in the Chevron Employee Savings Investment Plan (the “Plan”). ...more

Workplace Policy Institute Insider Report - October 2016

Littler's Workplace Policy Institute Insider Report details key labor, employment, and benefits news and events at the federal, state, local, and global levels. The October edition of the Insider Report examines what Congress...more

Advisors Advantage - October 2016

The Laurita Rules for 401(k) Plan Providers. Once upon a time in the 401(k) world, I knew a man named Richard A. Laurita. I worked with Rich (as his friends called him) for two different third party administration (TPAs)...more

How Secure is Your Retirement Plan?

Most employers are generally aware of their fiduciary status as a “plan sponsor” of an ERISA-governed retirement plan (e.g., 401(k) and 403(b) plans). In fact, the employer’s hiring of a service provider is in and of itself a...more

Employee Benefits Developments - September 2016

Final IRS Regulations Eliminate Requirement to File 83(b) Election with Tax Return - Under Section 83(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”), if property is transferred in connection with the performance of...more

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