Category Archives: Pension Protection Act of 2006

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The Restatement Requirement for Defined Benefit Plans: FAQs for Employers Adopting a Pre-Approved Plan

If you’re an employer who has adopted a pre-approved defined benefit pension plan, it’s time to amend and restate your plan. All defined benefit plans using pre-approved plan documents must restate their plan before April 30, 2020. It’s important that you understand why your plan document must be restated. What follows is a non-technical explanation … Continue Reading

Miss the April 30, 2016 PPA Restatement Deadline? Use Plan B.

The deadline for restating a 401(k), profit sharing, or money purchase pension plan to a pre-approved Pension Protection Act document has come and gone. So what’s a fiduciary to do? It was, after all, a responsibility of the plan fiduciary to ensure that the plan was updated and signed by the April 30, 2016 deadline. … Continue Reading

What Advisors Need to Know About Retirement Plans: Presentation to Illinois CPA Society

I had the opportunity recently to make a presentation on qualified retirement plans to the Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS). Actually, it was using PowerPoint to begin a dialogue with the members of the ICPAS Investment Advisory Services/Personal Financial Planning Forum The ICPAS describes their Forums as being “composed of members with shared interests who interact … Continue Reading

IRS opens window for Pension Protection Act Restatements

If you’re an employer who sponsors a 401(k) or profit sharing plan, it’s time to amend and restate your plan. Qualified retirement plans must operate in accordance with their plan documents. Ongoing legal and regulatory changes in retirement plan rules frequently require plan sponsors to amend and restate their plans to keep their documents compliant … Continue Reading

Bill Singer’s Broke and Broker Blog added to our blog roll

Much of what’s out there on blogs is pretty vanilla at best. Except for those individuals that combine their expertise with a definite point of view. It’s makes for interesting reading and provides context for what’s going on in their particular field – and sometimes in the larger picture of the economy and business environment. … Continue Reading

“I asked you what time it was, not how to make a watch”

Every once in a while I’ll start to wander off into “Pensionspeak” when I’m talking to a client. And when I do, I’ll catch myself by remembering what one of our important business partners once told me when I started to get too technical. Or even technical at all depending on the audience. He told … Continue Reading

Giller and Calhoun launch new blog, the Business of Benefits

We welcome a new blog to the employee benefit blogging community. It’s the Business of Benefits, the focus of which is issues facing insurance companies, financial service providers, and plan sponsors. It’s being published by the law firm of Giller & Calhoun. The named partners are Evan Giller in New York City and Monica Dunn Calhoun, Denver. Bob Toth in Ft. Wayne, Indiana … Continue Reading

Timing now is really everything for defined benefit pension plans

ERISA, of course, requires adherence to a host of deadlines, and the failure to meet some of them can have serious consequences for a retirement plan sponsor. Here’s a new batch of such deadlines added by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) that could affect defined benefit pension plans for 2008 calendar year plans. … Continue Reading

Pension Dumping: The Reasons, The Wreckage, the Stakes for Wall Street by Fran Hawthorne (Book Review)

Fran Hawthorne is an accomplished journalist who over the last 20 years has specialized in finding and writing about the intersection of corporate America and timely and sometimes contentious social issues. She’s written articles for publications such as Fortune, Business Week, and Institutional Investor and has authored books on such issues as the dangers of … Continue Reading

Conference of State Bank Supervisors Trust Forum

I am honored to be a guest speaker at the 2008 Trust Forum sponsored by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) in San Antonio  on April 14-16, 2008. The CSBS is the national organization for state bank supervisors, and the nations leading advocate for the state banking system. The Trust Forum is the annual … Continue Reading

Wading through the alphabet soup of financial service designations

See full-size image. If you’re confused about the various types of designations in the financial service marketplace, you’re not alone. Even the financial service industry and the regulators are having a hard time making sense of the alphabet soup of designations. The American College, a non-profit institution that provides financial services education, has been tracking … Continue Reading

If you can’t tell the rollover alternatives without a scorecard, then this may help

Last year, I wrote that IRAs are becoming increasingly important, but rules can be confusing. And even more so when considering the rollover possibilities in moving benefits from one plan to another.  Portability of benefits between IRAs, SEPs, SIMPLE IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans, defined benefit plans, 457 plans, and 403(b) plans … Continue Reading

Cash balance plans and retirement security

While cash balance litigation continues to wind its way through the courts, the long-term implications of these types of retirement plans have been generally ignored. That is until now. Richard W. Johnson and Cori E. Uccello have just authored a study, "Cash Balance Plans: What Do They Mean for Retirement Security?", published by the Urban … Continue Reading

New Pension Protection Act rules can make two retirement plans better than one

Baseball fans and particularly Cub fans will recognize this picture of Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, “Mr. Cub”. Banks became well known for his catch phrase of, “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame… Let’s play two!” In retirement plan terms, it’s the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) telling business owners that two retirement … Continue Reading

401(k) auto-enrollment: the shape of things to come

It’s the New Year, and it’s prediction time. So what’s ahead for employers in 2008? Paul Secunda in his post in The Workplace Prof Blog, 2008 Workplace Trends, points us to Diane Stafford’s predictions in the on-line edition of the Kansas City Star. Paul comments that These all sound right to me, and I would … Continue Reading

401(k) automatic enrollment or how to overcome employee inertia

Click to make bigger. Inertia, in classical physics, is defined by Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as: “a property of matter by which it remains at rest or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force.” In 401(k) plans, inertia can be defined as many eligible employees never signing up … Continue Reading

Jet fuel prices and retirement plan funding

ABC7 Eyewitness News in New York has been reporting the story of planes at New York area airports landing low on fuel. On Thursday, the station reported they were given a memo by a Continental Airlines pilot that was sent by Continental’s senior flight operations director to the airlines 4,500 pilots. According to ABC7, while … Continue Reading

Savers tax credit shouldn’t get lost in the shuffle of Pension Protection Act’s many provisions

With much of the attention focused on the major provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA), there is a tax benefit available to low to moderate-income taxpayers that shouldn’t be overlooked.  It’s the Saver’s Credit slated to expire after 2006 which the PPA made permanent., and it provides an added bonus to the increasing number of employees that … Continue Reading

Is there such a thing as too much information for 401(k) participants?

I started to think about that question after reading Jonah Leher’s post, Don’t Read the Business Page, on The Frontal Lobe Blog. Mr. Leher tells us to ignore the mass media coverage about the stock market and the growing liquidity coverage because it’s too much information. He writes about the experiment that Harvard psychologist Paul … Continue Reading

ERISA agencies have full regulatory plate with Pension Protection Act

That’s the metaphorical objective of any regulatory agency whose responsibility is to interpret and administer laws passed by Congress- to translate those laws into regulations, rules, and produres. Mitchell Port on his California Tax Attorney Blog gives us an initiation to understanding IRS guidance, excellent background for anyone who is involved with retirement plans, and especially  the Pension … Continue Reading

Got the Pension Tension Blues?

If dealing with pension and fiduciary issues are getting you down, then you’ve got the Pension Tension Blues. Dr. Susan Mangiero, founder and President of Pension Governance, and Steve Zelin, the Singing CPA, have co-written a satirical song on the current state of affairs for retirement plan sponsors and participants. I’ll never see them on … Continue Reading