Current legislation: Neal Simplification Proposal

We begin a brief series on current retirement saving legislation. This is an election year, and it’s unclear that any retirement policy legislation will move in this Congress. But there are a number retirement policy issues on which there is bipartisan consensus (at a minimum) that something should be done – including, e.g., improving 401(k)… Read More

Budget deal retirement savings provisions

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA 2018), the budget deal recently negotiated by Congressional leadership and signed into law by President Trump on February 9, 2018, includes provisions easing 401(k) hardship withdrawal rules and creating a bipartisan committee to address the multiemployer plan crisis. Elimination of the 6-month contribution holdout rule for hardship withdrawals… Read More

Court dismisses 401(k) fee claim based on a cheaper available share class

In a recent decision in Patterson v. The Capital Group, on a motion to dismiss a 401(k) plan fee complaint, the United States District Court Central District of California sided with defendant plan fiduciaries. The court found, among other things, that a claim based only on an allegation that the fiduciaries included more expensive share… Read More

IRS updates mortality improvement rates and static mortality tables for 2019

On December 15, 2017, IRS issued Notice 2018-02, updating mortality improvement rates and static mortality tables to be used for funding, the determination of Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation variable-rate premiums and lump sum valuations in 2019. The new rates/tables reflect the Society of Actuaries’ October 20, 2017, MP-2017 mortality improvement scale (based on historical U.S…. Read More

Current outlook – 2017 year in review

In this article we briefly review some of the retirement savings policy issues we covered in 2017 and provide links to previously published articles providing more detail. We begin with tax reform legislation and developments with respect to DOL’s fiduciary rule. Tax reform We recently posted an article on final tax reform legislation passed by… Read More

Current pension outlook – October 2017

In this current outlook we discuss (1) reports that House Republicans are considering “Rothification” of 401(k) contributions over $2,400, (2) the possibility of a solution to regulatory obstacles to Open MEPs based on President Trump’s Healthcare Executive Order, (3) legislation approved by the House Financial Services Committee repealing the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, (4)… Read More

2018 Increases for Retirement Plans, Social Security

The Social Security Administration just announced benefit increases effective in 2018. Current retirees will receive a cost-of-living increase, beginning in January 2018, of 2.0%, reflecting the increase in CPI-W between the 3rd quarter of 2016 and the 3rd quarter of 2017. In addition, the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax will increase… Read More

Favorable ruling for Fidelity in self-directed brokerage, Financial Engines case

On September 22, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts found for defendant in Fleming v. Fidelity. The case involves two emerging issues in 401(k) plan litigation – the status under ERISA of self-directed brokerage (SDB) arrangements and of Financial Engines fee-sharing arrangements. In this article we briefly review the court’s… Read More

September 2017 fiduciary rule update

In this update on the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, we discuss in detail DOL’s proposed 18-month extension of the “full applicability date” for exemptions that were part of the fiduciary rule package and briefly review the substance of oral argument in the Fifth Circuit in litigation challenging the rule. Extension of PTE full applicability… Read More

Republican Tax Reform proposal – effect on retirement savings policy

In this article we review the “framework” for tax reform released September 27, 2017, by Republican Congressional leadership and how it may affect retirement savings policy. Process Quoting the document released by Republican leadership: This unified framework serves as a template for the tax-writing committees that will develop legislation through a transparent and inclusive committee… Read More

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