Recent pension legislative proposals

Last month, we saw the introduction of two pieces of pension legislation, Senator Harkin’s (D-IA) long-awaited USA Retirement Funds Act (USARF) and Senator Collins’s (R-ME) Retirement Security Act of 2014 (RSA 2014). The Administration also unveiled a new auto-IRA initiative, the ‘myRA’ (which got a mention in the President’s State of the Union Address). In… Read More

Retirement policy issues for 2014

In this article we review key retirement benefits issues that policymakers will focus on in 2014. Legislation — budget and tax battles 2013 began with the “fiscal cliff” legislation (the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012), generally raising tax rates for higher paid individuals. As we discussed in our article on this legislation, increases in… Read More

Retirement income: the value of deferring Social Security

In this article we are going to focus on one specific issue under current Social Security rules: the relative utility of deferring the commencement of a participant’s Social Security benefit to age 70. (To be clear: we are talking about the deferral of the commencement of Social Security, not the deferral of retirement.) We discuss… Read More

Is age 70 the ‘new normal’ for retirement?

If you think about a retirement benefit as an in-kind benefit – e.g., every employee needs enough money to replace 70-80% of her preretirement income – then the cost of providing that benefit has doubled in the last 13 years. Why? Because interest rates have declined by more than 400 basis points since 2000. The… Read More

Preliminary IRS guidance on same-sex marriage

This summer, IRS released Revenue Ruling 2013-17, providing guidance on the treatment of same-sex marriages under the Tax Code after the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor. Windsor held that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) (which defined ‘marriage’ as “a legal union between one man and one woman as… Read More

Court rules on same-sex spouse’s rights under DC plan

In our August 2013 regulatory update we noted that the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor will present a number of challenges for plan sponsors and administrators. In Windsor the Court held that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – which defined ‘marriage’ as “a legal union between one man… Read More

Pension regulatory update

In this article we briefly cover three items: (1) the effect of the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling on retirement plans; (2) DOL’s field assistance bulletin allowing a delay in delivery of the 2013 fee/performance ‘comparative chart;’ and (3) IRS’s release of new mortality tables for 2014 and 2015 and possible changes to future tables that… Read More

Krueger v. Ameriprise Financial: DC fiduciary litigation

Krueger v. Ameriprise Financial (November 2012) involves a decision by the United States District Court District of Minnesota in a suit by three current and four former Ameriprise employees. Plaintiffs claimed (among other things) that Ameriprise and plan fiduciaries breached their fiduciary duty under ERISA with respect to the Ameriprise 401(k) plan by using Ameriprise-affiliated… Read More

Senators target ‘stretch’ payouts of retirement benefits for elimination

Senators Reed (D-RI) and Harkin (D-IA) have proposed legislation (the Student Loan Affordability Act of 2013 (S. 953)) that would extend the current low (3.4%) interest rate on student loans (which expired on July 1, 2013) for another two years. To pay for that extension, the proposal (among other things) modifies Tax Code minimum distribution… Read More

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