Retirement Plan

News & Analysis as of

Why a Plan Sponsor Shold Seek Out a Retirement Plan "Dentist"

More than a dozen years ago, there was a medical report that dental plaque could cause heart disease. I thought it was some sort of dental conspiracy to increase revenue as fluoridated water and other dental hygiene has had...more

The Brave New Fiduciary World Has Arrived – The DOL Tries to Find a More Ideal Balance in the Final “Investment Advice” Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) on April 6, 2016 released the final version of its “investment advice” regulation and accompanying prohibited transaction exemptions, a highly-anticipated milestone that is the...more

DOL and Treasury Update 2015-2016 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits

The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months. On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its Semi-Annual Regulatory...more

Advertising won’t fix this

Over the years, I worked with many organizations starting back with student political organizations and the school paper at Stony Brook. This includes actual businesses, civic and religious organizations. Many of these...more

The Department of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Rule: The Best Interest Contract Exemption

Last month the U.S. Department of Labor published a suite of final regulations governing the fiduciary status of, and prescribing conflict of interest rules that apply to, persons who provide investment advice to...more

DOL Fiduciary Rule Re-Makes Retail IRA Advice

Congress voted this week to de-rail the Department of Labor’s sweeping fiduciary-duty suite of rule-making, but doesn’t have the votes to override the President’s threatened veto....more

The DOL Script

I had a client who had been undergoing a Department of Labor (DOL) audit. Their mistake? Years ago, a former participant asked for a distribution from this trustee directed profit sharing plan (so no 401(k)) and my client...more

DOL’S New Fiduciary Conflicts of Interest Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced a new suite of Rules that are a game-changer for any Financial Institution that gives investment advice (including rollovers and distributions) to owners or beneficiaries of...more

Ninth Circuit Finds That Purpose Of Stock Rights Plan Matters

Most equity award plans that I come across include a statement of the plan’s purposes. I haven’t tended to give these provisions a whole lot of thought, but an opinion issued yesterday by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal...more

It Happened, It Happened: Small 401(k) Plan Sued

I love boxing and one of my favorite fights is when George Foreman shocked the world and knocked out Michael Moorer to become heavyweight champion at age 45. Jim Lampley doing the HBO broadcast proclaimed: “it happened! It...more

Meaningless Plan Sponsor Surveys

There was a new 401(k) plan sponsor survey on which providers are associated with being a “good value for the money”. Providers Most Associated with “Good Value for the Money” - Among all plan sponsors...more

Just Say Sorry

I worked for someone once who I thought was the biggest pain in the rear end and I think when I got older and started my own business, I finally understood where he was coming from. When I work on my own and something...more

Key Legislation Emerging from the 2016 Maryland General Assembly Session and Local Ordinances to Remember

Maryland's 2016 General Assembly session has now adjourned. Maryland employers should be aware of the following new laws resulting from this legislative term:  (1) Equal Pay for Equal Work; (2) Equal Pay Commission; (3)...more

The Bottom Line On What Retirement Plan Sponsors Need To Do

I worked for a third party administrator (TPA) for almost 5 years and one of my favorite things about the boss there was that he just wanted to cut to the chase. We had an actuary who developed a speech im- pediment when he...more

Did Your Company Fail to Adopt a New Preapproved Defined Contribution Plan by the April 30th Deadline? The IRS Has a Solution for...

Background - Sponsors of preapproved defined contribution retirement plans were generally required to sign new plan documents on or before April 30, 2016 that incorporated changes required by the Pension Protection Act...more

DOL Rules that Target Fiduciary Conflict of Interests May Impact Employee Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries

“Middle class economics means that Americans should be able to retire with dignity after a lifetime of hard work. But loopholes in the retirement advice rules have allowed some brokers and other advisers to recommend products...more

Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule: Employers Should Not Overlook Impact on HSAs

The new Department of Labor rule defining the scope of who is an ERISA fiduciary has caused much consternation among investment professionals. Much of the new rule is focused on reworking the outer fringes of the ERISA...more

Might You Be Stumbling Into Being Subject to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest Regulatory World?

The U. S. Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest regulatory package (the “COI Rules”) reaches far more than traditional trustees named in retirement plan documents. Many financial advisors, tax advisors, investment...more

You can say no

I always believe that regardless of whether it’s business or in regular day-to-day life, that you can’t be everything for everybody. Being honest with that is only half the battle. A lot of times, I met folks who are...more

New Fiduciary Rule for Retirement Plans

On April 6, 2016 the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration ("EBSA") issued its long awaited final rule redefining a fiduciary investment advisor (also known as the "conflict of interest rule"),...more

Illinois Supreme Court Issue Long-Awaited Decision on Vesting of Retiree Health Care Benefits in Matthews v. Chicago Transit...

On May 5th, nearly a full year after it heard oral arguments in the case, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its decision in Matthews v. Chicago Transit Authority, et al., addressing the interplay between a public sector...more

Avoid the proverbial “Shrugging of the Shoulders”

One of my pet peeves out there is when you give a list of complaints to a business or an organization and they give the proverbial “shrug of the shoulders”. The “proverbial shrug” is basically the business or the organization...more

The Depart of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Regulations: The New Fiduciary Standard

With this post, we begin our substantive explanation of the Department of Labor’s suite of final fiduciary and conflict of interest regulations. For the financial services industry, and for the retirement plans and IRAs,...more

The New Fiduciary Rule: From the Perspective of the Plan Sponsor

Just one month ago the U.S. Department of Labor released its long awaited final rule re-defining who is considered a “fiduciary” of an employee benefit plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)...more

A Quick Guide to the Taxation of Retiring Allowances

When an employee’s employment is terminated without cause, the employee will typically receive some form of a termination/severance payment. All or part of this termination/severance payment may be considered a “retiring...more

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