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Craig Hoffman

After many years of advocacy by the American Retirement Association’s Government Affairs Committee, the IRS has released final regulations allowing for the use of forfeitures to fund QNECs and QMACs.  In doing so, the IRS has corrected what the Government Affairs Committee believed to be an... READ MORE
An outline of the Republican tax reform plan was released today — a plan that includes a proposal to cap the tax rate on small business “pass-through” income at 25%. More than 90% of businesses are organized as “pass-through” entities (i.e., partnerships, S corps, and small business limited... READ MORE
The Labor Department has issued a new set of FAQs on the fiduciary regulation that embraces the recommendations made by the ARA/NAPA Government Affairs Committee (GAC) in a recent comment letter.To recap, the 408(b)(2) regulation requires certain service providers to ERISA-governed retirement plans... READ MORE
The Form 5500 is near and dear to the many ASPPA members who prepare these forms each year. A recent concern in this area has been the new IRS “compliance” or “5500-SUP” questions that were originally to be required for the 2015 form but have been delayed ever since. Those delays have come... READ MORE
Although hardship distributions have been a popular feature in 401(k) plans for more than 30 years, they remain a continuing source of aggravation for plan administrators. One thorny problem is what documentation that must be received and maintained to justify making a hardship distribution. This... READ MORE
Although hardship distributions have been a popular feature in 401(k) plans for more than 30 years, they remain a continuing source of aggravation for plan administrators. One thorny problem is what documentation must be received and maintained to justify making a hardship distribution. This topic... READ MORE
Those who have been concerned about the Labor Department’s recent extension of authority to state governments to run so-called “open” MEPs may now have an opportunity to compete more effectively with that alternative.In November, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued Interpretive Bulletin (IB) 2015-... READ MORE
Congress has passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015, which is expected to be signed into law Dec. 4 by President Obama — and which, thanks to ASPPA GAC input, includes a vital change for Form 5500 filers.The bill sets policy and funding levels for transportation... READ MORE
The final version of the 2015 Form 5500 was released on Dec. 3 and, in a victory for ASPPA GAC, the new IRS compliance questions were made optional (at least for the 2015 plan year). As has been reported in prior ASPPA Connect articles as well as ASPPA asaps, the IRS had proposed a number of new... READ MORE
Looking to gain insights, tips and tricks on issues commonly faced by the owners and senior managers of pension administration and actuarial services firms? Look no further than the 2016 BMOC Conference (formally known as the BEAM Conference), to be held March 20-22, 2016, at the Rosemont Hilton... READ MORE
ASPPA’s Chicago Regional Conference, to be held June 4 and 5, is not to be missed by practitioners who need to get up to date on the most important developments affecting plan sponsors and the professionals who advise them.The Department of Labor has released the long awaited “conflicted advice”... READ MORE
For several weeks, there have been rumors floating throughout the employee benefits community that the IRS will be curtailing the determination letter program for individually designed plans (IDPs). It now appears there is substance to these reports.ASPPA Connect has learned that Sunita Lough, IRS... READ MORE
On March 19, 2015, the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) filed a comment letter with the IRS regarding suggested changes to the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). The letter provided specific recommendations... READ MORE
ASPPA’s Government Affairs Committee (GAC) filed a comment letter with the IRS on March 3, 2015, requesting an extension of the June 30 deadline for submitting the master language for pre-approved defined benefit plans. The reason for the request is the IRS’ continuing delay in releasing specimen... READ MORE
On Jan. 1, 2015, the IRS transferred responsibility for certain technical work from its Employee Plans Division to the IRS Chief Counsel’s office. This transfer was known to be coming based on previous statements made by various IRS officials. Two recent IRS issuances, IRS Announcement 2014-34 and... READ MORE
ASPPA’s Government Affairs Committee (GAC) recently filed comments with the IRS regarding proposed changes to IRS Form 5500. The comment letter was in response to a proposal published in the Dec. 23, 2014 Federal Register. Under the proposal, new questions will be added to the form and/or its... READ MORE
A regulation that would allow for a “window” period for giving out the annual notice required in most 401(k) plans appears to be heading for a spring 2015 publication date — and that could be good news for your plan sponsor clients.A new addition to the November 2014 DOL guidance plan was a project... READ MORE
While it is not unusual for federal agencies to update their planned agenda for new regulations and other guidance periodically, some recent updates the Department of Labor (DOL) announced to its Fall 2014 Regulatory Agenda have drawn heightened interest.Conflicted AdviceOne specific regulatory... READ MORE
Just when plan administrators were beginning to feel comfortable with their procedures for participant benefit statements, changes are in the offing. The Department of Labor’s most recent guidance plan includes a listing for a proposed regulation due out in January 2015. This proposal is expected... READ MORE
The IRS announced this week, to the surprise of many, that the IRS electronic filing system known as FIRE (Filing Information Returns Electronically) will be shut down from approximately 3:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, until approximately 6:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. The reason... READ MORE