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Brian Graff

By Brian Graff | 7/30/2019
Another presidential candidate has proposed to pay for a campaign promise with a tax on retirement savings.    U.S. senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D-CA) announced yesterday that she would propose a financial transactions tax to pay for her “Medicare-for-all” proposal –... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 7/17/2019
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board has challenged a specific “pay for” provision in the SECURE Act. But they’re missing the big(ger) picture. One of the main reasons the SECURE Act passed the House of Representatives by the large margin of 417-3 was that, as the WSJ acknowledges, it was “... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 3/20/2019
Lawmakers in our nation’s capital may have been focused on shutdowns, declared emergencies and “new” deals, but in state capitals across the nation, legislators and regulators have been proposing, passing and implementing change that could dramatically impact your practices and your practice. Most... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 12/20/2018
The mid-terms are over and the Democrats took back control of the House for the first time since 2010, while the GOP slightly expanded its hold on the Senate majority. Believe it or not, while the talk outside the Beltway has largely focused on the prospects for even more gridlock, the prospects... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 10/18/2018
ERISA was enacted to provide national protections for participants in employer-sponsored retirement plans – but proposed legislation would undermine those protections.A bill introduced in the Senate in July would create a new type of “open” multiple employer plan (MEP), an employee benefit plan... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 4/26/2018
The 21st Century is nearly two decades old — so why are we still relying on 17th Century technology for critical participant communications?A generation ago, plan sponsors only had to worry about the annual delivery of a Summary Plan Description. Much has changed since then, but not the mandated... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 7/17/2017
The debate over our nation’s health care policy has consumed the first few months of the 115th Congress and shows no signs of abating. While it may have faded from the headlines for the moment, House Republicans continue to debate different options for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 3/30/2017
The November election was a shock to many people. Few anticipated the outcome, which created a political environment that is the most conducive to a comprehensive reform of the tax code since it last happened 30 years ago. Given this reality, a close examination of the Tax Reform Blueprint issued... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 1/26/2017
A Joker is taking over Gotham City. Known as the New York City Nest Egg Plan, it is an ambitious attempt to close the retirement plan coverage gap for residents of the largest city in the United States. But instead of focusing squarely on the coverage issue — which remains a legitimate concern for... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 10/24/2016
The 2016 general election is upon us, a knock-down, drag-out fight between two intensely polarizing figures – Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald J. Trump – vying for votes among an increasingly polarized electorate. In this intensely partisan political atmosphere, it is easy for the topic of saving... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 2/11/2016
Small business retirement plans are under attack again. Buried in a Treasury Department proposal to make it easier for large corporations to close their defined benefit plans to new entrants is a provision that will make it harder for small businesses to form new retirement plans or maintain their... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 8/26/2015
There were four days of hearings on the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary rule and I kept waiting… and watching… and waiting. But it never came up. And that surprised me. You see, I was fully expecting someone to ask these two questions: “What about individuals who actually want to be... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 5/8/2015
Registered investment advisors may be thinking that the Department of Labor’s proposed “conflict of interest” regulation doesn’t have an impact on them. After all, they are already fiduciaries acting in the best interest of their client. However, when it comes to retirement savings, there’s a new... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 3/12/2015
Several months ago, ASPPA members overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new name and structure for the umbrella organization of our four sister associations — the American Retirement Association.  As such, the American Retirement Association steps into the role of coordinator, overall industry... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 1/9/2014
Here we go again. Yesterday, the Indiana Senate Labor and Pensions Committee unanimously approved legislation that would create a state-run multiple employer plan for private sector businesses in the state. The proposal is being pushed by AARP, which is arguing that there are no cost-effective... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 12/2/2013
It’s now less than a year until the next mid-term congressional elections, and the protracted talk about the critical need to reform our nation's tax laws has yet to result in an actual piece of legislation. So is it time to send the issue of tax reform into hibernation — until 2015 at the very... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 8/12/2013
By now you have undoubtedly heard about the recent effort by Prof. Ian Ayres of the Yale Law School to threaten plan sponsors with negative publicity for voluntarily offering their employees “high cost” 401(k) plans (see “Love Letters from Yale” and “Yale Responds”). ASPPA has sent our own letter... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 7/25/2013
As we reported last week, a Yale University Law School professor sent letters to over 6,000 plan sponsors suggesting their 401(k) plans were “high cost” and, among other things, implying that they may be violating their fiduciary obligations. We pointed out the serious flaws in the data being used... READ MORE
By Brian Graff | 7/15/2013
We have recently learned that a Yale Law School professor has sent a letter to thousands of 401(k) plan sponsors. The professor is doing a “study” on the financial impact of plan fees and has identified the employers receiving the letter as sponsoring a “potential high-cost plan.” According to the... READ MORE