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John Iekel

The Dog Days of August are here. But that does not necessarily mean doldrums — like the mercury, the heat is on. American Retirement Association Chief Government Affairs Officer Will Hansen in an Aug. 15 webinar provided a look at legislative and regulatory developments in Washington, DC and the... READ MORE
The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is responsible for overseeing millions of employee benefit plans, including investigating retirement plans when necessary. A recent blog entry examines what an employer should know about that. In Thompson Coburn LLP’s blog... READ MORE
A new Texas law will increase the role that school districts in the state play in the 403(b) plans they offer their employees. Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Canton) introduced the measure on March 1, 2019. The state House of Representatives passed it on April 10; the Texas Senate received the bill the next... READ MORE
A more personal approach is key to better engaging with individuals and building clientele and sales. That was the message of a recent NTSA webcast. In “Three Ways to Improve Client Engagement and Increase Sales,” Edward Dressel, President of RetireReady Solutions, offered his insights on better... READ MORE
American Retirement Association Chief Government Affairs Officer Will Hansen and past ASPPA President Stephen Dobrow offered testimony concerning benefit plan audits and how they may be improved at the June 25 meeting of the Department of Labor’s Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension... READ MORE
The IRS and the Department of Labor should establish a formal way of collaborating on oversight of prohibited IRA transaction exemptions, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended. The GAO undertook the study that led to its report, “Individual Retirement Accounts: Formalizing... READ MORE
Pension plans managed by religious organizations in Rhode Island now must provide regular updates to participants on the financial health of the plans. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) signed a measure on July 2 setting that requirement into law. House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Warwick)... READ MORE
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has issued an exposure draft of a statement intended to enhance reporting for Section 457 plans. Proposed Statement on 457 Plans that Meet the Definition of a Pension Plan and Supersession of GASB Statement 32 is intended to enhance the relevance... READ MORE
The Oregon Retirement Savings Board (ORSB) now may partner with other states in providing services similar to those offered by OregonSaves, the Beaver State’s the state-run auto-IRA program for private-sector employees whose employers do not offer a retirement plan. On June 27, Gov. Kate Brown (D)... READ MORE
CalSavers, the state-run retirement plan for private-sector employees in the Golden State whose employers do not offer a retirement plan, was formally launched on July 1. State Treasurer Fiona Ma and former Sen. Kevin de León (D) launched CalSavers at a ceremony at the State Treasurer’s Office. De... READ MORE
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

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