Business of Benefits

Business of Benefits

Tag Archives: DC Annuitization

The Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (the “QLAC”) Rules Form Foundation for Understanding of How 401(k) and IRA-Based Lifetime Income Works

Posted in Lifetime Income
The recent uptick in publications from the private sector focusing on lifetime income is now a welcome surprise, complete with studies showing that participants are now wanting elements of guaranteed income ad part of their retirement arrangements. But lifetime income can be a daunting concept for the non-actuarial/non-insurance professional whose practice is focused on defined contribution arrangements. Where does one even start in trying to figure this out, and whether or not to include it your clients DC plans or IRAs?… Continue Reading

Auditing Distributed 403(b) (and 401(a)) Contracts

Posted in 403(b), Lifetime Income, Plan Administration
How do you audit a 403(b) in-kind distribution? There is no financial transaction, no cash changes hands, there is no change in investments. It really is only a nominal change in the records of the insurer. Yet, somehow, GAAP requires that the "transaction" be verified. There is no answer, yet, to this question, which means the industries (that is, auditors, insurers, and lawyers) will be pressed for finding a standardized approach for bringing audit certainty to this process. It even becomes a bigger issue than 403(b)s: QLACs and other distributed annuity contracts are all able to be distributed as "in-kind" distributions from 401(a) plans as well, and there is no acceptable "recordkeeping" method to audit.… Continue Reading

DOL and Lifetime Income

Posted in Lifetime Income
Even with all of the interest in the Fiduciary Rule, the DOL is still paying attention to lifetime income-so much so that the Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (the “QLAC”, established by the IRS) was granted broad relief under the Rule. This relief is so favorable that one of the claims being brought in the 5… Continue Reading

DOL Provides Key ERISA Guidance on QLAC/DC Lifetime Income

Posted in Fiduciary Issues, Lifetime Income
The DOL just published its first serious guidance on supporting lifetime income with the publication of FAB 2015-2, guidance which is very necessary for the success of the Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts, as well as DC lifetime income income. The FAB is an initial, but substantial, step in addressing one of the most pressing of the ERISA issues related to providing lifetime income from defined contribution plans.… Continue Reading

DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rules May Unexpectedly Open Lifetime Income Door, If…….

Posted in DOL Proposed Fiduciary Regs, Fiduciary Issues, Lifetime Income
With regard to the DOL's fiduciary proposed regulations, There is much to like in the new rules; some troubling things; and, perhaps, a mistake or two which will be all flushed out in the coming months. There are a couple of technical points which are worthwhile sharing because they represent what we can expect of the "unexpected" as we work through the changes' impact. These include the impact on lifetime income , and the application of the PT rules on the purchase of annuities-including QLACs.… Continue Reading

A Useful Compendium of Lifetime Income Guidance for Defined Contribution Plans

Posted in Fiduciary Issues, Lifetime Income
We have been extensively researching, writing on and developing the concept of providing lifetime income from defined contribution plans for some 15 years. The work has resulted in a patent; several major independantly published research papers; the  outlining of some of the important concepts which underline the proposed QLAC regs and its key revenue ruling; and… Continue Reading

A Regulatory and Fiduciary Framework for Providing Lifetime Income from Defined Contribution Plans

Posted in Lifetime Income, Lifetime Income Published Papers
A more complete and up to date description of how lifetime income can work in a DC plan is in order. Evan Giller (newly Of Counsel with Boutwell and Faye) and I put together the attached piece entitled "Regulatory and Fiduciary Framework for Providing Lifetime Income from Defined Contribution Plans." It is originally appearing in the New York University Review of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation - 2013. Published by LexisNexis Matthew Bender. Copyright 2013 New York University." In the paper, we've drawn upon our long experience with retirement plan annuities, mixing it well with all of these new developments.… Continue Reading

Opportunity Missed: Obscure IRS Shift Provides Contradiction Instead of Clarity for DC Annuities

Posted in Lifetime Income
The seemingly obscure issue of when a payment from an annuity contract purchased under a Defined Contribution plan is considered to be a "payment from an annuity" is actually one of the most pressing tax issues that needs to be resolved in the area of DC annuitization.  Resolution of this issue determines when spousal consent… Continue Reading

The Annuity RFI: A Rare, Inter-Agency Treat

Posted in Lifetime Income
 EBSA and the IRS issued their long promised Request For Information on annuities-or, should I say, as promised by the EBSA. We had not expected this particular piece to be a joint effort. It shows that Phyllis’s and Mark’s agenda is getting policy effectively done, not engaging in damning bureaucratic turf warfare. Hmm. With this… Continue Reading

IRS PLR Helps Pave the Way for DC Annuities

Posted in Lifetime Income
Annuitization from DC plans suffers from the lack of clarity on a number of key technical rules, which need to be resolved before such annuities can be widely implemented. The IRS has taken a major step in its issuance of PLR200951039, a complex PLR which- for the first time-defines what an annuity really is for… Continue Reading
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