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Recent Articles From John Iekel

John Iekel

John Iekel

John Iekel

By John Iekel8/19/2014 • 0 Comments

Gov. Chris Christie (R) seems to have read the tea leaves correctly in setting up a commission to make recommendations on how to reform New Jersey’s public pension system. And that’s not just regarding the needs of the system — it also appears to be prescient regarding the views of his constituents, according to a study Quinnipiac University released on Aug. 11.

By John Iekel8/19/2014 • 0 Comments

It’s hurricane season, which brings handling emergencies into sharper relief. Under a 457(b) plan, a hardship distribution can only occur when the participant is faced with an unforeseeable emergency.

By John Iekel8/19/2014 • 0 Comments

You provided an employee with a 15-year catch-up last year, but you find out that the employee was not eligible for it. Do you just distribute it as 1099 2014 income? Is it considered an excess deferral under Code Section 402(g)? In this week's Tech Talk, Ellie Lowder provides the answers and addresses the consequences. 

By John Iekel8/19/2014 • 0 Comments

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled recently that an inherited IRA is part of a bankruptcy estate and subject to creditors’ claims. This raises questions: if that is the case with IRAs, does that then have implications for retirement plan assets belonging to those who declare bankruptcy? In this week's MarketBeat, Michael Webb discusses what the Court’s ruling means for those who are in just such a place. 

By John Iekel8/12/2014 • 0 Comments

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Aug. 8 appointed nine members to a non-partisan commission to make recommendations regarding how to reform New Jersey’s public pension and health benefit systems.

By John Iekel8/12/2014 • 0 Comments

Distinguishing who the fiduciary is within a 403(b) plan or other qualified plan is an important determination, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s an easy or clear determination. Quite the contrary: it is a highly confused, misinterpreted and somewhat gray area that many plan sponsors wish to forgo and would gladly delegate the role to another third-party. In MarketBeat, Kimberly Flett, CPA, QKA, QPA, discusses whether and how that can be done, and provides some common applications of the role of the fiduciary. 

 

By John Iekel8/12/2014 • 0 Comments

A school district decides to eliminate vendors and go to a single 403(b) plan provider. Can employees move the funds they have in the de-selected 403(b) plans to IRAs? Do the IRS regulations regarding this take into account that when an employer changes its pension plan, many times clients have the option to roll their funds into the new plan or to roll over to an IRA? In Tech Talk, Ellie Lowder explores the answers to these questions. 

By John Iekel8/12/2014 • 0 Comments

State and local pension plans’ investments showed robust growth for the 12-month period that ended June 30, Wilshire Associates reports. These plans’ investments showed median growth of almost 17%, the strongest growth since fiscal year 2011.

By John Iekel8/4/2014 • 0 Comments

If you receive a request for a loan from a participant who finished paying off a previous loan from his 403(b) four months ago, can you permit a $50,000 loan from the account since he has no outstanding loans in any plans of the employer? In Tech Talk, Ellie Lowder addresses what can be done in such a circumstance. 

By John Iekel8/4/2014 • 0 Comments

NTSA has established the Task Force on Retirement Savings Plans, a new committee designed to help lead and guide the discussion and development of policy regarding the automatic enrollment of employees in non-ERISA retirement savings plans. 

By John Iekel8/4/2014 • 0 Comments

Citing a need to ensure sustainability of public pensions, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Aug. 1 announced the formation of a commission that will include study of the state pension system and how to reform it. This is necessary, Christie said, to ensure that the system is sustainable. 

By John Iekel8/4/2014 • 0 Comments

The SEC adopted new rules affecting the $2.6 trillion money market industry late in July. The purpose of the rules is to alert investors about the risk of investments that were thought to be guaranteed, and they impose floating net asset value like other mutual funds rather than a fixed $1 value. In MarketBeat, Fred Barstein notes that the rules will apply only to funds institutions hold, and also discusses more about what the rules mean. 

By John Iekel7/29/2014 • 0 Comments

A plan sponsor has many investment options it can make available to plan participants. Should the plan offer funds that are invested in stable value or mid cap growth funds? Emerging markets? Real estate investment funds? Target date funds? But there is something else a plan sponsor can keep in mind. In MarketBeat, Earle Allen posits the notion that a plan sponsor also should consider whether it will offer funds that are invested in companies that act with a social conscience.   

By John Iekel7/28/2014 • 0 Comments

Defined benefit plans’ decline and a proportional rise of future retirees’ need for expert help in establishing and managing retirement accounts spelled growth for the financial services industry. But the market may be saturated — there are many advisors, but the universe of clients is flat or shrinking. 

By John Iekel7/28/2014 • 0 Comments

Is the Form 5500 worth filling out and filing in the first place? Not everyone is convinced, reports Benefitspro. But file they must, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has come to the rescue, offering suggestions in its recent report, “Private Pensions:Targeted Revisions Could Improve Usefulness of Form 5500 Information” regarding how the form could be made more useful.

By John Iekel7/25/2014 • 0 Comments

Suppose you have a client who is a pastor and receives total income of $87,000, $42,000 of which has been designated as housing allowance. Can the church contribute $52,000 for him in 2014? 

By John Iekel7/24/2014 • 0 Comments

Is Washington obsessed with rollovers? ASPPA Executive Director and CEO Brian Graff thinks so. “There’s no one who doesn’t care about this issue. There is an obsession with the rollover issue in DC,” said Graff in the July 22 webinar, “Washington Update: Rollovers, Rollovers, Rollovers — it’s All About Rollovers.” He and NTSA Director of Government Affairs and Associate General Counsel Ron Triche discussed the ways in which rollovers are front-and-center on the federal radar screen. 

By John Iekel7/22/2014 • 0 Comments

California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) Board members are required to receive 24 hours of financial training every two years under a law just enacted. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on July 18 signed into law AB1163, a measure Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) introduced to enhance CalPERS members’ financial expertise. Levine introduced the bill on Feb. 22, 2013. 

By John Iekel7/22/2014 • 0 Comments

Suppose a 62 year-old who is drawing a reduced Social Security benefit understands that he can earn up to $15,480 before beginning to lose Social Security benefits. He calculates that he will be about $3,000 above the $15,480 from substitute teaching income; can he contribute the $3,000 to his 403(b) so as to not lose any Social Security benefits? Ellie Lowder has the answer in Tech Talk. 

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?

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