Current Events

Retirement savings tax incentives – the current system

April 02, 2017

After the failure of the House to vote on repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, it appears that Congress will now turn to consideration of tax reform. In any case, both Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) have stated that they intend to move on tax reform before August of this year. As we have discussed in prior articles, reform of the Tax Code is likely to have a significant effect on retirement savings policy. Read More

DOL issues FAB on fiduciary rule enforcement

March 22, 2017

As we have discussed in previous articles, on February 3, 2017, President Trump signed a memorandum instructing the Department of Labor to reconsider its new Conflict of Interest regulation (aka “fiduciary rule), and related prohibited transaction exemptions (PTEs). On March 1, 2017, DOL released a proposal to delay the “applicability date” of the regulation by 60 days, from April 10, 2017 to June 9, 2017. Following on those actions, on March 10, 2017, DOL issued a Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB 2017-01) addressing concerns about how the new Conflict of Interest rule (and related prohibited transaction exemptions (PTEs)) will be enforced while DOL considering the applicability date delay. Read More

Litigation with respect to in-house funds

March 15, 2017

There have been a number of recent lawsuits brought against financial services companies alleging prohibited ERISA “self-dealing” with respect to the use of proprietary funds and services for plans they maintain for their own employees. In this article we review the issues presented by these cases for plan fiduciaries – both fiduciaries of financial services company in-house plans and “regular” plan fiduciaries. Read More

Repeal of Affordable Care Act: effect on retirement savings

March 12, 2017

One of the more controversial elements of the proposal to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA), introduced by House Republicans March 6, 2017, is the repeal of the ACA 3.8% Medicare Net Investment Income (NII) tax. In this article we briefly discuss how that change, if enacted, would, for certain high-earners, reduce the relative value of saving in a 401(k) plan vs. saving outside the plan. Read More

Lump sum de-risking in 2017

March 13, 2017

In this article we discuss how changes in interest rates, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation premiums and mortality tables may affect sponsor decisions to de-risk (or not de-risk) defined benefit plan liabilities in 2017. For purposes of this article, by de-risking we mean paying out a participant’s benefit as a lump sum and thereby eliminating the related liability – the ‘low-hanging fruit’ for pension de-risking efforts. Read More

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