The bailout bill working its way through Congress now has something for everyone – including retirement plans. The legislation is being called TARP, ("Troubled Asset Relief Program"), and it’s an acronym that some retirement plans will get to know better. In addition to bailing out financial institutions, TARP also permits the Treasury to protect "the retirement security of Americans by purchasing troubled assets held by or on behalf of an eligible retirement plan." Presumably that means both defined benefit and defined contribution plans. If passed, there will obviously be direct involvement by the Labor Department regarding the ERISA aspects, e.g., fiduciary and disclosure obligations.

Stay tuned for the details.