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John Iekel

Brace yourself for shocking news: Summer is hot. But this year, at least, that’s not limited to thermometers—pension risk transfers (PRTs) have heated up, according to recent reports.  Highest Ever for Q2 PRTs in the United States in the second quarter of 2023 were the highest for any second... READ MORE
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has been operating appropriately and within the law in actions under the American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARPA) regarding special financial assistance (SFA) payments, says the GAO in a recent analysis. The GAO performed the analysis in response to a... READ MORE
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has proposed amendments to its regulation on allocation of assets in single-employer plans. The PBGC seeks to make the changes in order to update the actuarial assumptions—the interest, mortality, and expense assumptions—used to determine: the... READ MORE
The EFAST2 website authentication process is being modernized in 2023. Some changes have already taken place; some deadlines are still ahead—including a grace period that ends Sept. 1. The Department of Labor (DOL) is changing the method of logging in to the EFAST2 website with an EFAST2-issued... READ MORE
The first half of 2023 brought slow—but relentless—growth in assets and registrants for CalSavers, the state-run program that provides retirement plan coverage for private-sector employees whose employers do not. So reports the CalSavers Retirement Savings Board, which administers the program.... READ MORE
They may be on almost completely opposite ends of the country, but Colorado and Maine are cooperating in offering retirement plan coverage to their citizens.  Colorado Secure Savings program and the Maine Retirement Investment Trust (MERIT) on Aug. 11 established a partnership to provide... READ MORE
Participants’ understanding of their retirement plans and individual prospects can be more well-rounded and complete if they are educated on risk literacy, argues an industry expert.  Risk literacy is a “crucial aspect of participant education” that is often neglected, posits PlanPILOT Managing... READ MORE
Many members of the Baby Boom generation have retired, and many of those who remain in the workforce are not far off from following suit. But many of those individuals are less financially prepared for retirement than one may expect, says a recent study.  In “What Happened to Late Boomers’... READ MORE
The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued a request for information (RFI) on SECURE 2.0 mandates related to ERISA’s reporting and disclosure provisions. Several sections of SECURE 2.0 establish new, or revise existing, ERISA reporting and disclosure... READ MORE
Coverage by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) ultimately is intended to make it possible for individuals to be able to obtain distributions from the plan in which they have been participating. A recent study looks at what kinds of distributions individuals covered by the PBGC choose... READ MORE
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) on Aug. 7 announced that it is granting a one-time waiver of filing requirements under ERISA Section 4010 for certain filers.  The PBGC issued the relief in PBGC Technical Update 23-1. It provides a one-time waiver of the reporting requirement in... READ MORE
The club of states adopting retirement plans that provide coverage for private-sector employees whose employers do not is becoming increasingly less exclusive. A recent study takes a look at how employers are responding.  In the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) paper “How Do Firms... READ MORE
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) expects that both of its pension insurance programs—for single employers and for multiemployer plans—will remain not only solvent but robust for years to come.  The good news is contained in its FY 2022 Projections Report, which it released on Aug.... READ MORE
Most of us in the northern hemisphere experienced plenty of heat in July 2023. And private-sector pension plan funding was no exception, according to analysts.  Funded Status  The funded ratio of private-sector pension plans that Aon,  Insight Investment, October Three and Wilshire monitor... READ MORE
Witnesses at a recent hearing called on the Massachusetts legislature to investigate the effects of the federal Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset.  The Joint Committee on Public Service held a hearing on July 25 concerning Resolve S. 1656, which calls for an... READ MORE
Should you de-risk your pension plan? A recent analysis takes on the matter in light of plan finances and factors present this year.    In “Management of DB Finance 2023—a Framework,” October Three looks at de-risking in the context of defined benefit plan finance, as well as factors relevant in... READ MORE
Health issues can arise at any time. And during retirement, many may turn to their 401(k) for the funds to address them—but health savings accounts (HSAs) are another option, and a July 27 webinar took a look.  Sara Caddy, Benefits Manager and Vice President at Dimensional Fund Advisors, and Tara... READ MORE
Following an audit by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has updated documentation required in order to apply for Special Financial Assistance (SFA).  The OIG recently issued “Audit of PBGC’s Review of Initial Special Financial Assistance... READ MORE
The IRS will accept certain requests that an application for a private letter ruling (PLR) be put on the fast track. The announcement came in Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc.) 2023-26, issued on July 26.  The acceptance of requests for accelerated processing is a departure from usual procedure: the... READ MORE
Washington is discussing a bill that would provide retirement plan coverage for private-sector employees whose employers do not. No, not Washington state. And not Washington, as in the federal government. This measure is before the City Council of Washington, DC—the District of Columbia.  At-Large... READ MORE

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