Business of Benefits

Business of Benefits

Category Archives: General Comment

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ERISA and Mom

Posted in General Comment
I have tried to publish this as my “Annual Mother’s Day” posting. It puts a very personal twist to the things we do, and hopefully puts a larger and hopeful light on many of the mundane tasks that make up much of our business:  ERISA wonks such as ourselves tend to get lost in the press … Continue Reading

The Wharton Loan Default Study: Documenting Unemployment’s Unrecognized Penalties

Posted in General Comment
The Wharton School Pension Research Council’s new Working Paper on” Borrowing from the Future 401k Plan Loans and Loan Defaults”  finally validated what some of us knew to be true for quite awhile. Using actual participant and plan data from a very large database (not just a statistical sampling), the study found that 90% of 401(k) … Continue Reading

Affordable Care Act – So Much Information, So Little Understanding and Action

Posted in General Comment
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the "Act" or "Affordable Care Act") was signed into law early in 2010 and was the subject of much controversy and media attention for much of the two years before it was enacted. Yet today there remains an amazing lack of understanding about even the basic requirements and concepts found in this seminal legislation… Continue Reading

ERISA and Mom

Posted in General Comment
This has become my "annual Mother’s Day" posting, which hopefully helps describe some of the importance of what we do:       ERISA wonks such as ourselves tend to get lost in the press of details which seem to flow non-stop from our regulators and legislators in D.C.  It is sometimes helpful to step … Continue Reading

The Making of the 403(b) Model Disclosure Form

Posted in General Comment
The successful chair of a committee serves the committee, the committee does not serve the chair. And so it was with the creation of the just-released "best practices" 403(b) Model Disclosure, which was developed jointly by NEA, ASBO, NTSAA and ASPPA. I was fortunate enough, and honored, to serve as the chair of that group. … Continue Reading

Representing The Financial Service Company’s Retirement Business and SEC’s “Reporting Up” Requirement Under SOX Section 307/SEC Part 205: The Lesson of BNYMellon

Posted in General Comment
Retirement plan lawyers, both in house and outside counsel, may well want to take note of Bank of New York Mellon’s recently reported troubles related to potentially widespread  and fraudulent use of unfair currency exchange rates in their dealings with unsuspecting state and local pension plans.  If there is a basis for these charges, and … Continue Reading

DC Plans and the Recession Inequities

Posted in General Comment
Many in the industry saw early on, and tried to address, the terrible disruption caused by the change in 403(b) regulations during the recession. In many circumstances, the transition to the new rules made amounts in many 403(b) contracts unavailable at a time when many teachers and employees of not-for-profit organizations (who were among the … Continue Reading

ERISA and Mom

Posted in General Comment
T his has become my "annual Mother’s Day" posting, which hopefully helps describe the importance of what we do:   ERISA wonks such as ourselves tend to get lost in the press of details which seem to flow non-stop from our regulators and legislators in D.C.  It is sometimes helpful to step back and see the personal … Continue Reading

The REAL Problem With the New 12b-1 Rule: SEC’s Treatment of 401(k) Participants as 403(b) Participants

Posted in General Comment
Much has been written about the SEC’s proposed changes to the mutual fund 12b-1 rules. The proposed rules have caused quite a stir in the retirement plan world, as so much of the costs of plan administration and distribution are funded by these arrangements.    What is being overlooked, however, is a much more disturbing … Continue Reading

SEC Chair Warns of Increased Focus On Retirement Market

Posted in General Comment
The SEC's rules have always had particular applicability to the 403(b) marketplace. But the SEC also has leverage into the 401(k) market, a market which often pays scant attention to the agency. in addition to the SEC's authority to regulate registered investment products, a participant's interest in a 401(k) plan is still, legally, a "security" under its jurisdiction. 401(k) plan interests may be exempted from the registration and filing requirements of the '33 and '34 Acts, but they ARE NOT exempted from those laws' anti-fraud provisions. So, the agency has every right to investigate fraudulent activities related to the provision of 401(k) plans to plan participants… Continue Reading

ERISA and Mom

Posted in General Comment
ERISA really did create some fundamental changes that has broad personal affect. This reposting of a blog I wrote last year provides a good Mother’s Day reminder of the importance of the work we do:   ERISA wonks such as ourselves tend to get lost in the press of details which seem to flow non-stop … Continue Reading

In Defense of Our Colleagues

Posted in General Comment
In our anger at AIG, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and the other holding companies which have sorely abused the public and marketplace trust, we need to recognize  the many good men and women in those organizations who will and do put their shoulders to the wheel without demanding ransom; those who believe in their organizations, … Continue Reading
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