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Ultimately, a retirement plan exists to support the account holders and their dependents and beneficiaries. So distributions are of key importance — but that doesn’t mean that handling them is always smooth. A recent blog entry offers some ideas on how to handle difficult situations concerning that... READ MORE
A federal appeals court has affirmed summary judgment in a class action suit involving 270,000 plan participants across more than 13,000 plans. The suit was filed in 2015 by plaintiff John Teets, a participant in the Farmers’ Rice Cooperative 401(k) Savings Plan, which had contracted with Great-... READ MORE
New survey results show that workers are highly concerned about their financial security, particularly in retirement, and they are counting on both Congress and their employers to provide solutions. Conducted on behalf of Prudential by Morning Consult, the sixth “American Workers Survey” finds... READ MORE
Testifying at a March 27 Capitol Hill hearing on behalf of the American Retirement Association, ASPPA member Martella A. Turner-Joseph encouraged members of Congress to enact comprehensive legislation to expand American workers’ access to workplace retirement plans. Turner-Joseph, an enrolled... READ MORE
The IRS on March 26 updated its Operational Compliance List for compliance in 2019. The list is intended to help plan sponsors and practitioners achieve operational compliance by identifying changes in qualification requirements effective during a calendar year. The Operational Compliance List:... READ MORE
Why is it important to know if a controlled group or affiliated group exists? Why is it important to know when certain children celebrate their 21st birthday? Those questions and more will be covered in detail at the ASPPA Eastern Regional Conference to be held May 9-10 at the Doubletree Center... READ MORE
The IRS has updated the Mortality Improvement Rates and Static Mortality Tables for Defined Benefit Pension Plans for 2020. The updated rates and tables are contained in Notice 2019-26, released on March 22. Notice 2019-26 specifies updated mortality improvement rates and static mortality tables... READ MORE
The Pacific Rim, a place where it’s a bit less unusual than others for new land to explode into existence, is adding to the state-sponsored retirement plans earthquake. Add Hawaii and Washington to the states whose legislatures have or are considering legislation that would create state-sponsored... READ MORE
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has updated its report on the Social Security retirement age. The report provides a discussion of some current trends concerning and affecting that threshold and how the Social Security retirement age may relate to addressing the challenges facing the Social... READ MORE
Summary plan descriptions (SPDs) are not optional — at least not for plans to which ERISA applies. And that includes retirement plans. A recent blog entry discusses SPD requirements and how they relate to retirement plans, participants and beneficiaries. In “Summary Plan Descriptions: You Gotta... READ MORE
There are plenty of good reasons to save, but we all know that it can be tough to start. In that spirit, here are four things that those who aren’t (yet) saving for retirement should know. It’s never too late to start saving for retirement. Perhaps you think there’s no point at some point – maybe... READ MORE
Despite political affiliation, large majorities of Americans believe the nation faces a retirement crisis and are largely supportive of state efforts to expand coverage, recent survey results show.  Findings contained in the National Institute on Retirement Security’s “Retirement Insecurity 2019:... READ MORE
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is considering amendments to cybersecurity rules that could have an impact on retirement plan professionals. The FTC voted 3-2 to propose amendments to the Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information, which became effective on 2003 and requires that financial... READ MORE
Single premium pension buyouts grew sharply from the third quarter of last year to the fourth, and from 2017 to 2018, according to a new report. Buyouts grew by 68% from the third quarter to the fourth, rising from $6.2 billion to $10.4 billion, according to the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute.... READ MORE
The fourth quarter 2018 market correction weighed on plan participants’ investment activity within self-directed brokerage accounts (SDBAs).  According to Charles Schwab’s SDBA Indicators Report, the average balance of the firm’s SDBAs fell to $246,153, a decline of 10.6% from the third quarter of... READ MORE
A new survey of nearly 4,000 401(k) plans sheds some light on current plan design trends in the small-plan market. The survey of 3,975 small business 401(k) plans focused on common practices in two plan design areas: contributions and eligibility requirements. It was conducted by Employee... READ MORE
Pension funded status began and ended 2018 at roughly the same levels. That suggests stability, but analysts show that it was anything but in 2018. A recent J.P. Morgan Asset Management report, “Corporate Pension Peer Analysis,” shows that among the largest corporate pensions, funded status on Dec... READ MORE
Private sector pension plan contributions were exceptionally high in 2017 and 2018, but may not remain so this year, say recent analyses. The 20 largest corporate DB plans just had “two of the strongest years ever for pension contributions,” writes Russell Investments’ Director of Client Strategy... READ MORE
Following a slow start after 2018’s year-end market volatility, 401(k) investor trading activity again remained calm for February, reflecting a mostly positive performance for investors. According to the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index, February included only three trading days of above-normal... READ MORE
Employees’ financial literacy — and its relevance to financial preparedness for retirement — is generating increasing concern and attention. But if it’s good to start saving young, why not foster financial literacy at a young age as well? Some schools and programs are doing just that. And they’re... READ MORE

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