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 Staff10/21/2014 • 0 Comments

Can a school that is affiliated with a church use a 401(k) plan, and be a non-electing church? Or is that option only available with a 403(b)? In this week’s Tech Talk, Ellie Lowder discusses whether it is possible and how ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code apply in such a circumstance. READ MORE

By NTSA Net Staff10/21/2014 • 0 Comments

Connecticut State Comptroller Kevin Lembo (D) and State Treasurer Denise Nappier (D), who co-chair the Connecticut Retirement Security Board (CSRB) created earlier this year to come up with a plan, are looking for public comment on a market feasibility study on the feasibility of a state-sponsored retirement plan for all private sector employees. It is due to the legislature by Jan. 1, 2016.


By John Iekel10/17/2014 • 0 Comments

Public pensions can be fair game when a city government declares bankruptcy under federal law, the federal judge overseeing Stockton, Calif.’s bankruptcy has ruled. READ MORE

By NTSA Net Staff10/17/2014 • 0 Comments

They say when you have your health, you have just about everything, and a new study seems to bear that out — and that includes being financially ready for retirement. READ MORE

By John Iekel10/17/2014 • 0 Comments

Retirement plans and health benefits are different things and serve different purposes. Nonetheless, they can intersect functionally — and retirement accounts and health savings accounts are a prime example, as a BenefitsPro report observed recently. READ MORE

By John Iekel10/14/2014 • 0 Comments

State pension plans, long beleaguered and adrift in a sea of red, may have turned a corner. A report by LifeHealthPRO says that data from Bloomberg show a slight increase in the states’ ability to meet their pension requirements. READ MORE

By John Iekel10/13/2014 • 0 Comments

A new white paper by the Conference of Consulting Actuaries’ Public Plans Community targeted to actuaries and retirement boards examines the development of actuarial funding policies and practices. READ MORE

By NTSA Net Staff10/13/2014 • 0 Comments

ERISA plans are using auto enrollment more frequently to increase participation. ERISA supersedes state statutes, but what about when ERISA does not apply? In this week’s MarketBeat, Ellie Lowder discusses whether auto enrollment is for non-ERISA plans too.


By NTSA Net Staff10/13/2014 • 0 Comments

A plan participant who works for a school district has been contributing to an annuity. He starts working for another, and would like to use the same annuity for that district’s contributions. In this week’s Tech Talk, Ellie Lowder tells us if this can be done. READ MORE

By John Iekel10/8/2014 • 0 Comments

The fiscal pressure that public pension plan obligations exerts on state governments is not going away, the Cato Institute cautions in a report it recently issued. Cato expects that the cost of those plans will be a major driver of state budgets.

By NTSA Net Staff10/7/2014 • 0 Comments

If a church that sponsors a 403(b)(1) annuity and 403(b)(7) custodial account has a minister who is self-employed, can he participate in the church’s 403(b) plan? In this week’s Tech Talk, Ellie Lowder tells us.  READ MORE

By Nevin Adams10/7/2014 • 0 Comments

Differences in workforce composition — not costs appear to be a primary cause for the lower rate at which small employers sponsor retirement plans, according to a new report. READ MORE

By John Iekel10/6/2014 • 0 Comments

The digital world offers public — not just private — plans revolutionary means to communicate, store and share data. But using it in a responsible and ethical manner is as important as it is challenging, as Lauren Bloom, an expert on professional ethics and risk management, pointed out in the recent webcast, “Ethics and Professionalism in the Digital Age.”

By NTSA Net Staff9/30/2014 • 0 Comments

Experience, it is said, is the most difficult teacher, because she always gives the test before she gives the lesson. Join us for a complimentary webcast on Friday, Oct. 10 from noon to 12:50 p.m. ET to hear NTSA Elite Advisor winners’ and nominees’ insights on how they overcame “shoulda, woulda, coulda...” to build successful practices. READ MORE

By Nevin Adams9/29/2014 • 0 Comments

If you work with a plan in, or with certain connections to, the state of Florida, you may have a compliance problem with your plan loans. READ MORE

By NTSA Net Staff9/29/2014 • 0 Comments

Once a participant has defaulted on a plan loan, can they qualify for an additional loan? What if the defaulted loan has been deemed a distribution and any applicable taxes and penalties have been paid? In this week’s Tech Talk, Ellie Lowder fills us in on whether this is possible. READ MORE

By NTSA Net Staff9/29/2014 • 0 Comments

While there is room for improvement in 403(b) participation rates, those rates are not as doom-and-gloom as those who market alternatives to 403(b) plan sponsors would like you to believe. In this week’s MarketBeat, Michael Webb explains why it’s a mistake to compare participation rates in 401(k)s to that of 403(b)s and jump to conclusions. READ MORE

By John Iekel9/29/2014 • 0 Comments

Pennsylvania and neighbor to the east New Jersey, no strangers to bracing news regarding the effect of their financially strapped public pension plans, have received yet more tough assessments. And the Keystone State’s neighbor to the west, Ohio, has as well. READ MORE

By Nevin Adams9/26/2014 • 0 Comments

Americans held $6.6 trillion in all employer-based DC retirement plans on June 30, 2014, of which $941 billion was held in 403(b) plans, and another $255 billion in 457 plans. READ MORE

By John Iekel9/26/2014 • 0 Comments

The Office of Personnel Management on Sept. 24 announced that surviving same-sex spouses of federal annuitants, employees or former employees who died before June 26, 2013 may apply for death benefits. READ MORE

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