Business of Benefits

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A 403(b) Collective Trust? A Note of Caution…..

Posted in 403(b), B/D-IA Issues

Two issues need to be addressed with a 403(b) plan’s purchase of the collective trust interests of the sort that are typically sold to 401(k) plans: Code Section 403(b) only permits investments in mutual funds and annuity contracts. The CIT interests purchased by 401(a) plans, however, are typically “unitized” non-mutual fund interests. Even if one could overcome the legal and logistical challenges to making them work for the IRS 403(b) rules, there is a serious securities law problem. … Continue Reading

State Auto-IRAs and Federal Law: “We’ve already stepped on that rake…..”

Posted in 403(b), Auto-IRA, Automatic Workplace Pension, B/D-IA Issues, Lifetime Income, Retirement Plan Securities Issues, Uncategorized

Chuck Thulin, a fine ERISA attorney from Seattle, WA, chaired the DOL practitioner panel at the latest (and very successful) annual meeting of the 5 regional TE/GE Councils, in Baltimore.  When I commented that we’d  “been there, done that” when discussing some obscure rule,  he told me of reading of the Russian language version of that… Continue Reading

408(b)(2)/ERISA Compliance and the Security Compliance Professional

Posted in B/D-IA Issues

 I have had the pleasure recently of making a presentation to the National Society of Compliance Professionals Midwest Compliance Meeting with Chris Guanciale of PlanMember Services. The NSPC is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to serving and supporting compliance officials in the securities industry. What we had to say to them was not particularly good news… Continue Reading

Guidelines For Keeping It Simple Under 408(b)(2)

Posted in 408b2, B/D-IA Issues

Working through the technical terms of 408(b)(2) is not much different than putting together a picture puzzle. There are a lot of pieces which fit together in some very precise ways. But, in the end, the disclosures which are required are pretty straightforward and-even given the work needed to describe certain ”wrapped” services and estimating their… Continue Reading

ERISA Metaphysics, Mysticism and Alchemy: Sales Compensation

Posted in B/D-IA Issues, Complex Prohibited Transactions

 Generally unnoticed in the DOL’s proposed fiduciary reg was the implicit recognition that the commissioned based sales function is important to the operation of the market, and that you can “sell” until the cows come home (a good friend tells me, by the way, that the cows actually do eventually come home),  or until you… Continue Reading

Annuity Investment Accounts and 408(b)2

Posted in 408b2, B/D-IA Issues, Complex Prohibited Transactions

The DOL’s newly delayed 408(b)(2) regs are particularly striking in that they demonstrate a growing sophistication, and efficiency, on the part of the EBSA staff in its approach to retirement plan financial products and services. The regs are short, by almost any measure of federal regulations, yet they are packed with meaningful rules which will… Continue Reading