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John Iekel

Making it possible for participants to take a loan from their retirement accounts is a common plan feature. But it also is not unusual for mistakes to be made concerning those loans. A recent article, as well as the IRS, offer some suggestions regarding how to identify and fix them, as well as... READ MORE
July 1 is the registration deadline for the next wave of employers for the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program, a retirement savings vehicle for private sector employees in Illinois who do not have access to an employer-sponsored plan. Employers with 100-499 employees must register with the... READ MORE
The IRS on June 17 issued a third quarter update of its 2018-2019 Priority Guidance Plan. As in such previous such plans, retirement benefits are among the many areas in which the IRS plans to take action. In the update, the IRS also reports on progress in projects it has listed in the plan.The ‘To... READ MORE
The American Retirement Association, as well as a broad coalition of groups and associations, on June 18 sent a letter to the Senate expressing their support for the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (SECURE) Act.The House passed the measure on May 23 by an overwheming margin of 417-3. The... READ MORE
The official hurricane season has just begun (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it starts June 1). But we’ve already had a tropical system in the Atlantic (Andrea) — and that serves as a reminder that it can be helpful to a service provider and plan administrator to prepare…... READ MORE
As summer draws to a close and a new school year starts, the authority of the Texas Teachers Retirement System (TRS) over 403(b) will end. HB 2820, which Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has signed into law, will change regulatory authority over the 403(b)s offered to public school teachers in Texas,... READ MORE
A law requiring school districts in Pennsylvania to have multiple financial institutions or pension management organizations for each 403(b) plan they sponsor, as well as investment option providers, will go into effect July 1. Act No. 5, enacted June 12, 2017, provides new state employees hired... READ MORE
Oregon employers that do not comply with the rules of OregonSaves — the Beaver State’s state-sponsored retirement program — will face penalties starting next year. Gov. Kate Brown (D) has signed into law SB 164, a measure which provides that an employer found not to be in compliance will face... READ MORE
The Department of Labor (DOL) is preparing to act on a variety of issues relevant to retirement plans and participants, according to a department official who offered an outline at a June 5 session of the SPARK national conference held in Falls Church, VA. Jeanne Klinefelter Wilson, Deputy... READ MORE
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 3 announced an enforcement and education initiative intended to help protect teachers and their assets, including retirement funds. The initiative augments the agency’s previous efforts in that vein with additional enforcement and investor... READ MORE
Absolute security is never assured. But one can take steps to increase the odds in one’s favor, and that includes retirement plans and preparing for a financially secure retirement. Jack VanDerhei, Research Director at the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRA), speaking at the recent Plan... READ MORE
So is there a retirement crisis or not? House Budget Committee members and experts who testified before the committee on May 15 did not agree. But at least they did concur on one thing: the need to take action to bolster the retirement readiness of those who are not well-prepared. Testifying... READ MORE
  The 2019 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, a body that provides support and advice to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), has said that it will be reviewing transfers of uncashed checks from ERISA plans to state... READ MORE
Fiduciary duty, who is responsible for fulfilling it, and the rules that will — or won’t — guide and regulate it have been generating great attention for years. And for good reason. In “A Cascading Behavioral Roadmap for Fulfilling Fiduciary Duties” a recent blog entry by Neal Shikes, Managing... READ MORE
A measure that would create a board to study appropriate approaches to increase retirement savings by private-sector workers in Colorado reached the desk of Gov. Jared Polis (D) on May 13 and awaits his signature.Senate Bill 19-173 calls for the creation of a Colorado Secure Savings Plan Board that... READ MORE
The IRS and Treasury are seeking comments concerning the way the Form 5500-EZ is filed. The IRS says that it plans to make the Form 5500-EZ available on the EFAST2 for direct electronic filing instead of using Form 5500-SF. The Forms 5500 and 5500-SF are filed electronically through the web-based... READ MORE
Charter schools were introduced as a concept in the 1970s. They expanded with the success of a charter school program in Philadelphia in the 1980s, and now are in nearly 90% of the states. And they affect more than students and teachers — they also have implications for the retirement savings of... READ MORE
The Treasury Department and the IRS welcome comments about what should be included in their 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan. The plan will identify guidance projects that the Treasury and the IRS intend to work on during the 12-month period from July 2019 to July 2020. They made the announcement... READ MORE
The Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans has recommended that the Department of Labor (DOL) issue new guidance on ERISA bonding, as well as a summary of the requirements for securing a fidelity bond that complies with DOL guidance. The recommendations are contained in “... READ MORE
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

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