Tussey appeal decided by eighth circuit

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided the appeal in Tussey v. ABB. Summarizing its conclusions with respect to the ABB defendant fiduciaries, the court stated: “We affirm the district court’s judgment and award against the ABB fiduciaries with respect to recordkeeping, but vacate the judgment and award on the participants’ investment selection and… Read More

New mortality table recommended by Society of Actuaries

In February the Retirement Plans Experience Committee (RPEC) of the Society of Actuaries released its Exposure Draft RP-2014 Mortality Tables, recommending new mortality tables for the valuation of defined benefit plan liabilities. The new tables significantly increase life expectancy assumptions and, if adopted by regulators and DB plan actuaries, will increase DB plan liabilities for… Read More

The Cash Balance capital preservation guarantee: quantitative analysis

This is the second article on the capital preservation guarantee (hereafter referred to as the ‘floor’) applicable to cash balance plans that use a ‘market-based’ interest crediting rate (we call such a plan a ReDefined Benefit (ReDB®) plan®). In our first article we discussed how the ‘floor’ works, the challenges it presents, and different design… Read More

The President’s 2015 budget and retirement benefits

On March 4, 2014 the Obama Administration released its 2015 fiscal year budget. The retirement benefits-related provisions of the 2015 budget are generally similar to those in the 2014 budget. In this article we briefly review them. Increase PBGC premiums Even after two rounds of premium increases since 2012, the Administration continues to propose that… Read More

Congressman Camp’s comprehensive tax reform proposal

On February 26, 2014, Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, released a ‘discussion draft’ of the Tax Reform Act of 2014 (TRA 2014), a comprehensive revision of the Tax Code. In this article we review TRA 2014 proposals that would change the tax treatment of retirement savings, discuss how… Read More

Expanding Retirement savings opportunities

January saw three different initiatives aimed at expanding the retirement savings of US workers. Senator Collins’s (R-ME) Retirement Security Act of 2014 (RSA 2014) and the Administration’s myRA proposal were relatively modest (both were reviewed in this article). RSA 2014 would ease regulatory burdens on multiple employer plans (MEPs — pooled retirement plans generally for… Read More

Senator Harkin’s USA Retirement Funds proposal

On January 30, 2014 Senator Harkin (D-IA) introduced the USA Retirement Funds Act. The bill includes Senator Harkin’s USA Retirement Funds proposal and a variety of other proposals. To avoid confusion, in this article we are going to call the entire bill the “Act” and the USA Retirement Funds proposal the USARF. In this article… Read More

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

Market-based cash balance plans and the capital preservation rule

We begin a series of three articles on the ‘capital preservation rule’ applicable to cash balance plans that use a ‘market-based’ interest crediting rate – most commonly, a rate based on the performance of trust assets. (We refer to this sort of plan as a ReDefined Benefit (ReDB) plan®.) ReDB™ plans present an interesting design… 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

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