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John Iekel

Preparing and fling the Form 5500 Series is one of the more onerous tasks associated with administering retirement plans. But one should resist the impulse to just sign the thing and get it all over with, argues a recent blog entry. In “The IRS Form 5500 – Look Before you Sign!” an entry in... READ MORE
The times they are a-changin’. At an exciting — and, perhaps in some ways terrifying — pace. But in order to compete, one must embrace and employ the dazzling attributes and developments of our dizzying age. Joey Coleman, Chief Experience Composer of the Design Symphony recently shared his insights... READ MORE
The Oregon Retirement Savings Board (ORSB) on April 2 reviewed a proposal to change the rules and amend OregonSaves to allow a presumption of employer exemption. The Oregon Treasury filed the proposal on Feb. 16. It held a public hearing on the proposal on March 19 and accepted public comments... READ MORE
Sometimes whether news is good or bad depends on one’s perspective. Case in point: the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has updated its 2015 report on retirement security and savings in households headed by people approaching retirement age. The updated report contains fodder for optimists... READ MORE
The Pacific Rim, a place where it’s a bit less unusual than others for new land to explode into existence, is adding to the state-sponsored retirement plans earthquake. Add Hawaii and Washington to the states whose legislatures have or are considering legislation that would create state-sponsored... READ MORE
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is considering amendments to cybersecurity rules that could have an impact on retirement plan professionals. The FTC voted 3-2 to propose amendments to the Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information, which became effective on 2003 and requires that financial... READ MORE
If you send the IRS a Voluntary Compliance Program (VCP) submission on paper on April 1, it will be returned to you. But it won’t be an April Fools Day joke. Beginning April 1, 2019, the IRS will only accept VCP submissions that are made electronically through Pay.gov. It will return VCP... READ MORE
Baby boomers, a generation spanning the better part of two decades, has members who are retired, but plenty of members who are in the workforce and will be for years to come. And a recently released report on financial security and aging suggests that may be a good thing. In “Seeing Our Way to... READ MORE
The IRS has issued tables concerning covered compensation under Internal Revenue Code Section 401(l)(5)(E) and Treas. Reg. §1.401(l)-1. The data is contained in Revenue Ruling 2019-6. These tables provide information on covered compensation based on calendar year of birth and Social Security... READ MORE
The IRS announced on March 7 that victims of the severe storms, tornadoes and straight-line winds that took place on March 3, 2019 in Alabama may qualify for some forms of tax relief. Where and to Whom it Applies The relief applies to: individuals who reside or have a business in Lee County, and... READ MORE
Some plan sponsors and administrators “stretch the match” as a way to increase participants’ contributions to their retirement savings accounts. Does the strategy work? A recently released study seeks to find out. Stretching the match is a practice in which an employer sets a higher employee... READ MORE
Legislation introduced Feb. 28 by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) includes provisions that concern the use of funds from retirement plans to address losses and circumstances facing account holders after disasters take place. The use of retirement plan funds is really one area the bill, The Tax... READ MORE
There is less than a month to make required minimum distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs and employer-provided retirement plans to taxpayers who reached age 70½ in 2018. The IRS on March 5 in IR-2019-29 issued a reminder that the deadline is April 1. The April 1 deadline applies to owners of... READ MORE
The California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board has proposed regulations that would directly address questions of eligibility, processes and duties, as well as further define terms and clarify sections of the law that created the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program. The board... READ MORE
IRAs have existed for 45 years – middle-aged in human terms. But that doesn’t translate to understanding, according to recent research that says Americans’ confidence in their knowledge of IRAs is low. In fact, just over a third of those studied by the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute said they... READ MORE
The IRS is seeking comments on collection of information necessary for automatic enrollment in 403(b) plans under Revenue Ruling 2000-35. The IRS made the announcement on Feb. 26. Revenue Ruling 2000-35 describes certain criteria that must be met before an employee’s compensation can be reduced... READ MORE
The IRS has updated the information available on its website concerning automatic enrollment. The site provides basic information regarding an employer’s obligations if it decides to offer automatic enrollment and deferrals. It also discusses automatic contribution arrangements, eligible automatic... READ MORE
All that stands between a bill establishing the New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program and its becoming law is the signature of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D). The state Assembly passed the bill, which calls for the establishment of a state-run retirement savings plan for private-sector... READ MORE
The IRS has updated its frequently asked questions (FAQs) page for employers adopting pre-approved retirement plans. Among the recent additions to the FAQs is a reminder that April 30, 2020, is the deadline to adopt a pre-approved defined benefit plan restated for items on the 2012 Cumulative List... READ MORE
The seeds have been sown for a retirement income crisis, says a former U.S. Senator, and the time to act is now. “We face a looming retirement crisis that will impact millions of elderly and soon-to-be elderly Americans, as well as our children and grandchildren who will have to bail out those... READ MORE

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