Cause and effect is a fairly simple concept that can be applied to almost every decision, action, or in this case, legislative ruling. The Supreme Court’s recent decision, declaring a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, has received much public attention. However, something that has been less discussed is the ruling’s effect on retirement plans. Read more
Posts from the ‘Legislation & Regulation’ Category
Nobody likes to have something taken away from them, especially kids. At least at my house, when one of my kids takes a toy from another one I always have to intervene. Of course, two minutes later the toy is laying on the floor and no one is playing with it. They have quickly moved on to something else, but there was still an emotional outburst.
You also hear a version of this from employees who are not contributing to their retirement plan. They often cite “I can’t afford to” or “I have too many other priorities” as reasons. This emotional response is a big reason why some plan sponsors are apprehensive of implementing automatic enrollment. They are afraid of the reaction/feedback they will have to deal with by employees who all of a sudden see a reduction in their paycheck. Read more
Safety is often thought about in terms of the present: keeping children out of harm’s way, protecting family, wearing a seat belt…the list could go on forever. But, how often do we ask ourselves, how is the safety of my financial future?
Employer sponsored 401(k) plans and other work site retirement plans have helped millions of workers save trillions of dollars. These dollars not only help create security, but also peace of mind that medicine can be paid for and unforeseen situations can be taken care of. And most importantly, these dollars help ensure quality of life can be sustained long after retirement. Read more
If proposed legislation is passed it will mean two things: more opportunity and more participants!
The legislation under review is titled, Retirement Plan Simplification and Enhancement Act, and it aims to do just that: simplify rules surrounding existing retirement plans and make enhancements toward expanding who qualifies for retirement plans going forward. It aims to accomplish these lofty goals by expanding 401(k) and defined contribution plan eligibility, providing tax incentives to small businesses that start a plan and simplifying disclosures required from participants and government. All of these individual variables may or may not mean much to you, but together, they create two major impacts.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an idea of how much income your retirement savings could deliver when you retire? Well, legislators are looking to make this information available right at your fingertips through The Lifetime Income Disclosure Act.
Details of proposed legislation:
The intent of the bill is to help participants of defined contribution plans understand how their current account balance translates to monthly lifetime income at retirement. In other words, participants would receive a snapshot into their financial future in just one glance.
Plan sponsors of defined contributions plans (subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)) would be required to illustrate how a participant’s account balance would translate into guaranteed monthly payments at retirement. The monthly income estimates take into account the participant’s current accrued value of benefits, with no future earnings or contributions assumed in the income calculation.
If you’ve attended a Little League baseball game recently, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of watching a young batter watch a perfectly good strike go by and then take a wild swing at a pitch that hits the dirt before it hits the plate. You may find yourself saying under your breath, “Coulda hit that one, or shoulda let that one go by…..”
Maybe plan participants are watching the same type of opportunities go by with their retirement accounts. Read more
We are often asked the following question from investment professionals and recordkeepers – “How do I demonstrate that my compensation is reasonable?” Understanding and demonstrating the “reasonableness” of your compensation has come to the forefront of what plan sponsors now expect in evaluating financial professionals and other plan service providers because of the onset of the Department of Labor’s fee disclosure regulation. And there can be little doubt that the fee disclosure regulation will continue to garner a lot of attention.
What seems to be lost in all of the publicity surrounding these new disclosure requirements is that the mandate that service provider fees be reasonable has been a condition to exemptive relief under DOL’s 408(b)(2) regulation since the enactment of ERISA. In other words, while it may now be the case now that provider compensation needs to be disclosed, it has always been the case that the amount paid needs to be reasonable.
All of this begs the question – how can I prove that the compensation I receive satisfies the “reasonableness” test? Read more