Recent Articles From John Iekel

John Iekel

John Iekel

John Iekel

By John Iekel6/10/2014 • 0 Comments

How can a plan participant determine how much can safely be withdrawn from an account after retirement? What is your clients’ risk tolerance? Find out at the 2014 NTSA 403(b) Summit, to be held in Washington, D.C., June 22–24. 

By John Iekel6/10/2014 • 0 Comments

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in U.S. v. Windsor — in which it said that retirement plans must treat a same-sex spouse just they would any other spouse for purposes of benefits under the retirement plan — one year ago, on June 26, 2013. That makes this an opportune time for Ellie Lowder in MarketBeat to review some of the latest guidance that implements the Court’s ruling and with which you must comply. 

By John Iekel6/9/2014 • 0 Comments

The federal government and U.S. workers agree that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — a.k.a. Obamacare — will affect the timing of retirements. However, IFAwebnews reports that there’s a wide gap between what the government and many workers expect that effect to be, according to a survey conducted for MoneyRates.com.

By John Iekel6/3/2014 • 0 Comments

Simplified investment platforms are becoming more common for 403(b) plans, and target date funds are among the most widespread investment options, according to the Plan Sponsor Council of America’s sixth annual 403(b) plan survey. The Principal Financial Group sponsored the study.

By John Iekel6/2/2014 • 0 Comments

State pensions have been in the news a lot lately, and not always in a good way. The ways in which states meet the challenges of providing pensions for their employees are as numerous and varied as the states themselves. In the latest MarketBeat, Michael A. Webb takes a state-by-state look at what the states are doing and how they are changing the way they provide pensions — including turning to mechanisms other than traditional DB plans. 

By John Iekel6/2/2014 • 0 Comments

If a teacher remains employed within the state, but by a different school district, could the teacher be considered to be still employed by the same employer?  Ellie Lowder has the answer in this week’s Tech Talk.

By John Iekel5/28/2014 • 0 Comments

More often than not, employees who obtain investment advice do not follow it. And that’s among those who bother to seek it in the first place. The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey suggests that advisors have some work to do in boosting plan participants’ interest and confidence in professional advice. 

By John Iekel5/25/2014 • 0 Comments

In order to help your plan participants maximize their savings, you have to know how to best read and navigate the financial markets. The NTSA 403(b) Summit, to be held June 22 - 24 in Washington, D.C., will provide a unique opportunity to benefit from the insights of Peter Ricchiuti, a professor at Tulane University's A.B. Freeman School of Business, who has a wealth of knowledge and experience on the markets. Don't miss out; you can still register at the discounted rate through Friday, May 30!

By John Iekel5/24/2014 • 0 Comments

If a worker receives Social Security benefits before normal retirement age and earned more than $15,120 in 2013 through part-time employment, can he contribute the balance above that figure to his 403(b) so as to avoid the loss of Social Security benefits? Ellie Lowder has the answer in this week’s Tech Talk.

By John Iekel5/22/2014 • 0 Comments

Have you made a mistake in administering your 403(b) plan? Does this mistake put you at risk of IRS action? If so, you are not alone — not only in the sense that others have made mistakes, but also because the IRS has updated its 403(b) Plan Fix-It Guide, a resource that tells plan sponsors how to identify errors in 403(b) administration and correct them. Equally important: the IRS also says how to avoid the mistake in the first place. 

By John Iekel5/22/2014 • 0 Comments

The IRS took the industry by surprise with the definition of severance of employment (specifically for public school districts) contained in the Listing of Required Modifications (LRMs) posted in March 2013 to provide guidance on the preparation of plan documents for the IRS 403(b) pre-approval program. In this week’s MarketBeat, Ellie Lowder discusses the issues the IRS' new position raises. 

By John Iekel5/15/2014 • 0 Comments

Some states and cities have found that cutting cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to the pensions they provide their employees is a way to loosen the financial vise of pension liabilities. The Center for Retirement Research of Boston College in its recent study, “COLA Cuts in State and Local Pensions” discusses this child of the Great Recession and generous pension plans whose context has changed. 

By John Iekel5/14/2014 • 0 Comments

Change is coming to the “once each 12 months” rule for indirect IRA-to-IRA rollovers. The federal Tax Court, in Bobrow vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service, held that you can’t make a non-taxable rollover from one IRA to another if you have already made a rollover from any IRA that you own. In MarketBeat, Ellie Lowder discusses the ramifications of the ruling and what you need to do.

By John Iekel5/14/2014 • 0 Comments

Competition and the ability to make decisions and not have someone in power limit those choices is at the core of who we are — and that includes retirement planning. But that freedom is at risk at the hands of those who want to have states — not plans and participants — decide what’s best. That’s why Keep Choice Alive: The 2014 NTSA 403(b) Summit could not be better timed.

By John Iekel5/13/2014 • 0 Comments

Can a 55 year old who retired three years before and who believes that he will not incur an IRS penalty on withdrawals from his 403(b) make them? Ellie Lowder has the answer in this week’s Tech Talk.

By John Iekel5/12/2014 • 0 Comments

More than 1,000 school districts will be joining those whose 403(b) and 457(b) services are administered by The OMNI Group, an independent third-party administrator whose services include retirement plan administration.

By John Iekel5/11/2014 • 0 Comments

Can a retiree who has elected a partial lump sum and does not have a 403(b) account but has a 457(b) account establish a 403(b) to receive the rollover from her former employer? Or can she roll over the lump sum distribution to her 457(b)? Ellie Lowder has the answer in this week’s Tech Talk.

By John Iekel5/10/2014 • 0 Comments

The IRS is auditing 403(b) plans — especially in light of the changes made to the 403(b) regulations in the last few years. In the latest Market Beat, Kimberly A. Flett points out that with the right amount of planning and proper administration, plan sponsors can avoid audit pitfalls and provide for an employer-sponsored plan that effectively meets IRS guidance and regulations.

By John Iekel5/9/2014 • 0 Comments

What is the state of the 403(b) marketplace? Find out from Ellie A. Lowder, TGPC, TSA Consulting and Training Services, and M. Kristi Cook, JD, TGPC, Attorney, Law Offices of M. Kristi Cook, PC, at Keep Choice Alive: The 2014 NTSA 403(b) Summit in Washington, D.C., June 22-25.

By John Iekel5/6/2014 • 0 Comments

The funded status of public- and private-sector pension plans is a classic example of bad news/good news. To wit: Some states’ pensions are in bad shape, but funding of public-sector pension plans overall is improving; corporate pensions’ funded status fell in April, but only very slightly. 

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