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Recent Articles From John Iekel

John Iekel

John Iekel

John Iekel

By John Iekel7/22/2014 • 0 Comments

The IRS and the Department of Labor are actively encouraging lifetime income and enhancing retirement security. The most recent part of that effort is a final regulation the IRS released that permits longevity annuities in retirement plans and IRAs. But will this guidance actually change participant behaviors? Or is it much ado about nothing?

By John Iekel7/18/2014 • 0 Comments

Seventeen states have, or are, considering measures that would allow employers to automatically enroll employees in IRAs. While these measures concern private-sector employers, their consideration reflects state governments’ interest in measures that address retirement plan participation in some manner — an interest that in some states includes consideration of measures that would affect public-sector retirement plans.

By John Iekel7/18/2014 • 0 Comments

Detroit may well be the poster child for municipal pension irresponsibility (though if there were an award for that, it would be extremely competitive). But give credit where it’s due: the Motor City has also been a model for how to dig out of the public pension hole. 

By John Iekel7/15/2014 • 0 Comments

On July 9, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) signed into law a measure that makes it illegal to transfer or assign public pension benefits. The Show-Me State is the first to enact such legislation. 

By John Iekel7/14/2014 • 0 Comments

The IRS on July 11 announced that it is withdrawing a proposal it made in 1981 for an amendment to regulations governing IRA rollovers. The proposed amendment to Treas. Reg. § 1.408-4(b)(4)(ii) would have applied the rollover limitation on an IRA-by-IRA basis. This withdrawal affects individuals who maintain IRAs and financial institutions that are trustees, custodians, or issuers of IRAs.

By John Iekel7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

Is a longevity annuity an option at any age? What exactly makes an annuity a longevity annuity? And will longevity annuities be provided for inside the 401k platform, or are they an option outside the 401k? In Tech Talk, Mike Webb sheds light on details concerning longevity annuities and when they are an option. 

By John Iekel7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

When the IRS writes its essay about how it spent its summer vacation, it will report about how it rolled out a new compliance initiative project focusing on whether non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements are operating in accordance with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A. So says Linda Segal Blinn in MarketBeat.

By John Iekel7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

Defined benefit plans, DC plans and 403(b) annuity arrangements, take note: July 31 is right around the corner. That’s the day by which most plans must file the dreaded and onerous Form 5500. The clock is ticking on filing the form that reports on 2013. 

By John Iekel7/8/2014 • 0 Comments

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has announced that its ERISA Advisory Council will be examining issues and considerations related to facilitating lifetime retirement plan participation. In explaining its rationale for doing so, it cites the recent movement of participant assets out of defined contribution and defined benefit plans, and into retirement accounts not covered by ERISA — such as IRAs or other savings accounts — or as plan distributions. 

By John Iekel7/7/2014 • 0 Comments

An agent working with a public school superintendent to include retirement benefits in his individual contract reviews the wording the district plans to use. She sees that they have given the superintendent a choice of medical insurance OR an employer contribution to the 403(b) plan. In Tech Talk, Ellie Lowder tells us whether there is a problem with providing this choice. 

By John Iekel7/7/2014 • 0 Comments

Forty-two states and the District of Columbia allow charter schools. They tend to treat their benefits packages in the same way as a typical for-profit employer and not in the way a traditional K-12 school does. In MarketBeat, Diane D. Capone of Lincoln Investment writes that it is important to know who is working with charter schools in your area and to develop a relationship, including one with third party administrators, that will facilitate a 403(b) retirement plan and allow you to help in properly establishing and running a charter school’s retirement plan. 

By John Iekel7/2/2014 • 0 Comments

The Treasury Department issued a rule July 1 that essentially allows employees to convert part of their IRA or 401(k) balances into a longevity annuity. Under the rule, an IRA or 401(k) can allow participants to use $125,000 or up to 25 percent of their IRA or 401(k) — whichever is less — to buy a longevity annuity. The dollar limit will be adjusted for inflation in $10,000 increments. 

By John Iekel6/30/2014 • 0 Comments

Are you passionate about 403(b)s? We are, and if you were among the attendees at the 2014 403(b) Summit in Washington, D.C., you no doubt recall the video that outlined how and why. We’ve posted that video so attendees and those who couldn’t be there can see it. 

By John Iekel6/30/2014 • 0 Comments

An agent with a product provider insists that an employee can take distribution from his 457(b) plan and roll it over into the same employer’s 403(b) plan; he is under 70 ½ and actively employed with that employer. The agent says there is new guidance making this permissible. In Tech Talk, Ellie Lowder discusses whether the agent is correct. 

By John Iekel6/30/2014 • 0 Comments

Controversy persists in the Tar Heel State over the way information is disclosed — or not disclosed — about how state pension funds are invested and the deals behind those investments. 

By John Iekel6/30/2014 • 0 Comments

In nearly half of the states, state pension benefits have changed —  often in a way that reduces them. This not only hurts retirement accounts and income, it also heightens a sense of urgency in boosting participation in 403(b)s and 457(b)s in order to bolster employees’ savings. One of the ways to do that, writes Ellie Lowder in MarketBeat, is to focus on employees’ financial literacy. 

By John Iekel6/27/2014 • 0 Comments

Cash and securities holdings of the 100 largest public employee pension systems in the United States —   which account for 89.4 percent of domestic public pension financial activity — grew during the first quarter of 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions.

By John Iekel6/25/2014 • 0 Comments

The federal government, a purveyor of regulations and legislation, has set before the 403(b) community a veritable blue plate special — and one with a long shelf life to boot. NTSA President Susan Diehl of PenServ Services, Inc., outlined what’s on that plate at NTSA’s 403(b) Summit in Washington, D.C., on June 24.

By John Iekel6/25/2014 • 0 Comments

That’s the specific — and implied — message of three experts offering their take on how to increase plan participation. TSA Consulting VP Steve Banks, Hendershot Financial Group’s Tom Hendershot and Teresa Ward, Retirement Plans VP at OppenheimerFunds, made their remarks to attendees at a June 23 session of the NTSA 403(b) Summit in Washington, D.C.

By John Iekel6/24/2014 • 0 Comments

The watchword of the day is patience. And detailed preparation. Speaking to a packed room at a June 23 general session of the NTSA 403(b) Summit in Washington, D.C., Kristi Cook, head of an eponymous law firm, and Ellie Lowder, of TSA Consulting, outlined the challenges facing the 403(b) industry. 

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