Technical Competence

Technical Competence covers the nuts and bolts of the 403(b) plan market, focusing on regulations at both the state and federal level, along with developments in public-employee plan management.


 

Technical Competence

Technical Competence

By NTSA Net Staff9/23/2014 • 0 Comments

The DOL has issued numerous fee disclosure rules, including regs under ERISA Section 408(b)(2), to help fiduciaries determine what a “reasonable” fee is. In this week’s MarketBeat. Kimberley Flett and Jeannine Souders discuss what those regulations require of service providers. READ MORE

By Ray Harmon9/23/2014 • 0 Comments

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the Secure Annuities for Employee (SAFE) Retirement Act (S. 1270) last year to reform the public and private pension systems and, amid recent retirement reform hearings on Capitol Hill, his public pension reform idea is now getting noteworthy support from an otherwise unlikely place: the left-leaning Urban Institute. READ MORE

By John Iekel9/18/2014 • 0 Comments

In “Public Pensions in Flux? A Review of State Retirement System and Alternatives to Traditional Defined Benefit Plan,” Ellie Lowder of TSA Consulting and Mike Webb of Cammack Retirement shared their insights on state retirement systems, current cutbacks, and the opportunities and challenges that come with developments concerning these plans. 
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By John Iekel9/18/2014 • 0 Comments

Public pensions at all levels became healthier in 2013, according to recent studies. Wilshire Consulting’s examinations of state, county and city pension plan funding show that their funding ratio improved last year.
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By John Iekel9/16/2014 • 0 Comments

Washington has been training its eye on fees and transparency for years now. But so is the industry; the North American Securities Administrators Association is the latest organization to convene a group trying to make sure broker-dealers are giving investors fee disclosures they can understand. READ MORE

By NTSA Net Staff9/16/2014 • 0 Comments

What are the limits of an employer’s direct pre-tax contributions to an employee’s 403(b) contribution? Is that a limit on the match percentage? In this week’s Tech Talk, Ellie Lowder answers these questions, as well as whether an employer can exclude certain classes of employees from the match. READ MORE

By NTSA Net Staff9/12/2014 • 0 Comments

It’s only September, but the end of the 2014 plan year is fast approaching. That means more than compiling data for information reporting and preparing for the 2015 plan year — it also means providing notices to defined contribution plan participants before New Year’s Eve. READ MORE

By NTSA Net Staff9/12/2014 • 0 Comments

The Department of Labor recently issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2014-01 to help plan fiduciaries find missing participants and beneficiaries in terminated defined contribution plans. In this week’s MarketBeat, Linda Segal Blinn, J.D. discusses DOL Field Assistance Bulletin 2014-01, which applies to plans subject to ERISA and favors electronic over paper-based services.  READ MORE

By John Iekel9/11/2014 • 0 Comments

The Garden State is the latest state whose credit rating has suffered due to a pension funding shortfall. Credit agencies have downgraded their ratings of New Jersey debt due to the state’s worsening pension funding ratio.
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By John Iekel9/11/2014 • 0 Comments

The California Controller’s office soon will make information about the state’s approximately 130 public pension systems available on a new website. The site does not provide data on California public pension plans, but the controller’s office says that it will later the fall. READ MORE

By John Iekel9/9/2014 • 0 Comments

The Rhode Island Democratic primary is being touted as more than a way to decide who their 2014 gubernatorial candidate will be — in a sense the reform of the state pension system is on the ballot as well. Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor, implemented the reform in 2011. READ MORE

By NTSA Net Staff9/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Can a public safety officer who retired at age 50 take withdrawals from his individual retirement account without a 10% penalty tax? He has been told that the 10% penalty tax is waived for public safe officers at age 50 or over. In this week’s Tech Talk, Ellie Lowder tells us whether this is correct.

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By NTSA Net Staff9/8/2014 • 0 Comments

The degree of fiduciary responsibility for non-ERISA plans, such as those sponsored by public education and religious organizations, continue to generate many questions from plan sponsors and the advisors that serve them. In this week’s MarketBeat, Mike Webb argues that this is understandable, and attempts to assist plan sponsors and those who work with them in determining what fiduciary responsibility, if any, they have. READ MORE

By John Iekel9/8/2014 • 0 Comments

The Land of Lincoln has earned a dubious distinction, according to a new report by Moody’s: It is without peer in how its state pension liability compares to its revenue. Moody’s says that Illinois’ pension debt amounted to a whopping 318% of its revenue in 2012. Its three-year average for the period 2010-12 was almost as bad, at 258%. And that trend has continued.
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By Nevin Adams9/5/2014 • 0 Comments

The Federal Reserve’s 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) shows mixed results concerning 403(b) plans. The SCF finds that ownership of retirement accounts — including403(b)s — slipped below 50% in 2013; however, participation in retirement accounts — including 403(b)s — rebounded slightly for upper-middle income families since the 2010 SCF.
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By John Iekel9/2/2014 • 0 Comments

Prospects for state and local employees’ financial security in retirement are better than that of their private-sector counterparts, according to a new paper from the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA). Nonetheless, the paper argues, steps still should be taken to improve their readiness.

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By NTSA Net Staff8/29/2014 • 0 Comments

Suppose an employer provides 100% vesting in its 403(b) plan. There is a 60-day wait for the employer match (100%, up to 4%), and an employee needs to work 20 hours per week to qualify for the match. The employer has no highly compensated employees. What type of plan setup could the employer pursue, and what are the possible ramifications at Form 5500 filing time?

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By NTSA Net Staff8/29/2014 • 0 Comments

Public school employees can contribute to a 403(b) plan, or to a 457(b) plan. Sounds great, but doing so can have negative ramifications. In this week’s MarketBeat, David Blask notes that these plans differ in several important ways and observes that the determination regarding which plan is best yields different answers depending upon an employee’s particular situation.

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By Nevin Adams8/28/2014 • 0 Comments

The U.S. District Court of the District of Minnesota in its ruling in The City of Farmington Hills Employees Retirement System v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Civil No. 10-4372 DWF/JJG (U.S. District Court of the District of Minnesota) has granted final approval of a $62.5 million settlement in a class action against Wells Fargo Bank on behalf of participants in the bank’s securities lending program. 
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By NTSA Net Staff8/28/2014 • 0 Comments

There is great variation among the states regarding their ability to meet their obligations to current and future retirees from their state and local workforces. The U.S. Census Bureau in its recently released 2013 Survey of Public Pensions: State-Administered Defined Benefit Data highlights those differences in stark relief in the information it provides on revenues, expenditures, financial assets, membership and liabilities of 227 state-administered DB systems.
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