Recent Articles From John Iekel

John Iekel

John Iekel

John Iekel

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. 

By John Iekel5/5/2014 • 0 Comments

The IRS has rolled out its next 403(b) Compliance Check questionnaire, focusing on whether an employer whose 501(c)(3) nonprofit status was revoked still offers a 403(b) tax-deferred annuity plan to its employees.

By John Iekel5/3/2014 • 0 Comments

There are things you should do — and not do — in using social media. And it’s especially complicated for those in the retirement plan industry, since social media communications must comply with the rules promulgated by regulatory bodies and others. Join us for an upcoming webcast, “Realities of Social Media in a Regulated Industry,” on Thursday, May 15 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. 

By John Iekel5/2/2014 • 0 Comments

If one of your 403(b) participants applies for a loan from her account, but the account was written when the company held a payroll slot with a non-ERISA employer, what do you do? And does it matter if you received contributions to the account after Jan. 1, 2005, but it was deselected by Jan. 1, 2009?

By John Iekel4/29/2014 • 0 Comments

TSA Consulting Group, Inc. announced April 29 that it has acquired the 403(b) Solutions Program from Security Financial Resources, Inc. The deal greatly expands the reach of TSA, a Fort Walton Beach, Fla.-based independent provider of retirement plan compliance and administration services whose clients primarily are public education employers. 

By John Iekel4/23/2014 • 0 Comments

A recent GAO report found that while 81,000 new employer-sponsored retirement plans were formed during the 3-year period between 2009 and 2011, the overall trend was negative due to plan terminations — even with increased tax incentives. In addition, new plan formation during that period was below 2003-2007 levels. But the news was not all bad: The number of participants grew.

By John Iekel4/22/2014 • 0 Comments

State pension plans face continuing and growing challenges in fulfilling the promises they have made to their employees — to the tune of a collective $915 billion. The Pew Charitable Trust has issued a new report that serves as a wake-up call to state governments, but it does contain a kernel of hope. 

By John Iekel4/22/2014 • 0 Comments

The Office of State and Local Finance, the Treasury Department’s newest, is charged with coordinating oversight of state and local financial bond markets, but that’s not all — it also will monitor public pension fund liabilities, Pensions & Investments reports.

By John Iekel4/14/2014 • 0 Comments

Have you ever encountered a Code Section 501(c)(18) pension trust? Did you wonder what it is? And what about the assets in such a trust — can they be rolled over?

By John Iekel4/14/2014 • 0 Comments

It’s now easier for plan sponsors and employers to participate in the 403(b) pre-approved plan program.  April 14 was the effective date of IRS Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc.) 2014-28. The new guidance modifies guidance the IRS issued last year, Rev. Proc. 2013-22, to make it easier for a person to qualify as a pre-approved 403(b) plan sponsor and as a mass submitter.

By John Iekel4/14/2014 • 0 Comments

New guidance from the IRS may make the plan-to-plan rollover process a little smoother. Revenue Ruling 2014-9, issued on April 3, is intended to make it easier for plan participants to consolidate their retirement savings accounts by making it easier for them to move assets from one employer plan to another. 

By John Iekel4/6/2014 • 0 Comments

The “Pension Pulse” blog reports that Berkshire Hathaway Chief ExecutivWarren Buffett has warned in a letter to Berkshire shareholders that promises local and state governments made to provide pensions to retirees will become even harder to fulfill and will tighten the financial vise squeezing those governments and those plans.

By John Iekel4/6/2014 • 0 Comments

For qualified plans, the plan termination regimen is well-established via an IRS determination letter process. But that cannot be said about terminations of 403(b) plans. Only recently have the final 403(b) regulations and IRS guidance clearly established that a 403(b) plan could be terminated at all.

By John Iekel4/4/2014 • 0 Comments

Some rays of sun appear to be dispelling the gloom that has long engulfed employees’ confidence in their ability to fund a comfortable retirement. The Employee Benefit Research Institute in its 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) reports that more than half of employees are at least somewhat confident of that.

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