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John Iekel

By John Iekel | 8/12/2019
Multiple employer plans (MEPs) figure prominently in many discussions about workplace retirement plans today. And with those discussions including changes that would expand their availability and use, an Aug. 6 webinar provided a useful refresher on the federal rules governing MEPs.  In the... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 8/9/2019
Talking about financial investments and products can help lead to greater financial literacy and a greater propensity to save for retirement, says a recent study. The LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute in “The Roots of Financial Literacy: The Impact of Family on Financial Knowledge and Retirement... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 8/1/2019
Missing participants, and the problems they cause, are becoming a more prominent problem for plan administrators, argues ERISA attorney Heather B. Abrigo. “It’s really come to the forefront,” said Abrigo, a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, in a July 16 webcast offered by ASPPA. “Plan... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 7/26/2019
Legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 24 is intended to assist financially troubled multiemployer DB plans that meet specified criteria, but that help would come with a hefty price tag, according to the Congressional Research Service.  In a report updated July 19, the CRS... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 7/26/2019
The Department of Labor has issued temporary penalty relief related to certain Form 5500 requirements for multiple employer plans subject to ERISA §103(g). The relief is contained in Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2019-01, which the DOL issued on July 24.  Under §103(g) of ERISA, MEPs are... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 7/15/2019
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
By John Iekel | 7/15/2019
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 ERISA Advisory Council. The Council held the public... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 7/10/2019
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
By John Iekel | 7/9/2019
A recent analysis questions whether Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRAs really are as uncomplicated as they are purported to be. In “When SIMPLE Is Not Simple, and Is Expensive,” H.C. Foster & Company suggests that SIMPLE IRAs may not be as simple as one may think. “... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 7/2/2019
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 state-run auto-IRA program for private-sector employees whose employers do not offer a retirement plan.  Senate Bill (SB) 166, signed into... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 6/24/2019
July 1 is the registration deadline for the next wave of employers for the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program, a retirement savings vehicle for private sector employees in Illinois who do not have access to an employer-sponsored plan. Employers with 100-499 employees must register with the... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 6/20/2019
The American Retirement Association, joined by a broad coalition of trade groups, called on the Senate to quickly approve the bipartisan Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (SECURE) Act – and we need your support! With the House passing the measure (H.R. 1994) on May 23 by a vote of 417-3,... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 6/13/2019
Retirement professionals serving 403(b) clients in the two states will be impacted by legislation slated to take effect in the Keystone State in July and the Lone Star State in September. PA School Districts Must Have Multiple 403(b) Service Providers on July 1 A law requiring school districts in... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 6/7/2019
Cyber threats morph and evolve as quickly as the technology and data they compromise. Speakers at SPARK’s national conference in Falls Church, VA suggested ways to protect against them.  Evolving Challenges Wendy Young Carter, a VP and Defined Contribution Director, Public Sector at Segal Group,... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 6/7/2019
Oregon employers that do not comply with the rules of OregonSaves– the Beaver State’s state-sponsored retirement program – will face penalties starting next year.  Gov. Kate Brown (D) has signed into law SB 164, a measure which provides that an employer found not to be in compliance will face... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 6/6/2019
The workforce, like the economy, is changing rapidly. That has implications in many areas, including retirement savings and retirement plan coverage. A June 4 session at the SPARK National Conference held in Falls Church, VA discussed some of those circumstances and how they may be addressed. John... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 6/5/2019
The Department of Labor (DOL) is preparing to act on a variety of issues relevant to retirement plans and participants, according to a department official who offered an outline at a June 5 session of the SPARK national conference held in Falls Church, VA. Jeanne Klinefelter Wilson, Deputy... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 6/4/2019
The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced two enforcement and education initiatives intended to help protect teachers, active members of the military and veterans and their assets, including retirement funds. The initiative augments the agency’s previous efforts in that vein with... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 5/24/2019
Absolute security is never assured. But one can take steps to increase the odds in one’s favor, and that includes retirement plans and preparing for a financially secure retirement.  Jack VanDerhei, Research Director at the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), speaking at the recent Plan... READ MORE
By John Iekel | 5/22/2019
The fire and ice of dragons in winter. Leprechauns sitting in a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This is the stuff of mythology. But even the seemingly commonplace can incorporate a dash of mythology as well, notes longtime industry analyst Warren Cormier – including DC plans.  Speaking at... READ MORE