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John Iekel

Concern about Social Security is as perennial as it is rife. A panel of experts in a recent seminar offered some suggestions for addressing the challenges facing the system.  Panelists in the recent National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) webinar “Social Security: What’s Next and New... READ MORE
April, it has been said, is the cruelest month. No offense to Chaucer, but CalSavers — the Golden State’s state-run retirement plan for private-sector employees whose employer do not offer one —  may beg to differ. In the fourth month of 2023 its total assets surpassed half a billion dollars. ... READ MORE
  CalSavers, the state-run retirement plan that covers private-sector employees whose employers don’t offer a plan, is growing — but so far this year, the expansion in assets is outstripping that of registrations.    Registrations    Month-to-month growth in employer registrations was still... READ MORE
The Land of 10,000 Lakes is poised to become the next to adopt a measure creating a state-run retirement program that provides coverage for private-sector employees whose employers do not. The state Senate approved the bill that would do so on May 11, and the House had done so 10 days earlier; the... READ MORE
Ah, Spring: one day cold, one day warm. Like Mother Nature, private-sector pension plans showed mixed results in April, according to multiple reports.  Funded Status    Reports about how the funded status of private-sector pension plans fared in April varied, but they were fairly consistent... READ MORE
The Vermont House of Representatives has passed legislation that would create VTSaves, bringing the state one step closer to becoming the latest to establish a state-run retirement program to provide coverage to private-sector employees whose employers do not. The state Senate had passed S.135 on... READ MORE
The IRS has issued an update to the 2022-2023 priority guidance plan.  The IRS had released the initial plan on Nov. 4, 2022, setting forth guidance priorities for the 12-month period from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023 (the plan year). It released an update to the plan in February.   The To... READ MORE
A bill that would establish a state-run retirement plan to provide coverage for employees whose private-sector employers do not is working its way through the Pennsylvania legislature.  The Commerce Committee of the House of Representatives on May 3 voted in favor of HB 577 in a 12-8, party-line... READ MORE
Now is the time to act in order to avoid “draconian” cuts to Social Security benefits, warns a recently released issue brief.  And doing so, continues the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College in “Social Security’s Financial Outlook: The 2023 Update in Perspective,” would be a more... READ MORE
The California Retirement Savings Board has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for consulting services for CalSavers, the state-run retirement plan that provides coverage for private-sector employees whose employers do not.  The Board seeks a contractor to provide technical and administrative... READ MORE
The IRS has issued a clarification it proposes be added to the 2023 Form 5500 instructions. Specifically, the clarification is proposed for Schedule SB, Line 26b - Schedule of Projection of Expected Benefit Payments.  What Line 26b does. Line 26b of Schedule SB requires plans covered by Title IV... READ MORE
The Minnesota House of Representatives on May 1 passed a bill that would create the Minnesota Secure Choice Retirement Program, a state-run retirement plan for private-sector employees whose employers do not provide one.  HF 782, introduced by Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL-Roseville) on Jan. 25,... READ MORE
The fiduciary standards in ERISA include an obligation to act prudently and solely for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and beneficiaries and for defraying reasonable expenses, and those standards apply to DB plans and DC plans. The Department of Labor (DOL) has not been... READ MORE
Automatic features served retirement plans — and participants — well in 2022, according to a recent report.  In its 2023 Reference Point Annual Benchmarking Report, which concerns developments related to 401(k) plan design and participant behavior in 2022, T. Rowe Price reports that plan features... READ MORE
A bill has been introduced in the Maine House of Representatives that would prohibit consideration of nonpecuniary factors such as environmental, social, corporate governance (ESG) factors in investment of Maine Public Employees Retirement System funds. Rep. Chad Perkins (R-Dover-Foxcroft)... READ MORE
The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) on April 25 issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the annual funding notice requirements for multiemployer pension plans that received special financial assistance (SFA) funds under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act... READ MORE
The IRS has updated the information on its website concerning plan restatement periods and pre-approved plans.  Plan Restatement Periods    Plan sponsors of defined benefit plans that use an IRS pre-approved document have until March 31, 2025, to restate their plans with a 3rd cycle document. ... READ MORE
A bill is before the Maine legislature that would amend the Maine Retirement Savings Program in a variety of ways.  Background. Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed the Act To Promote Individual Retirement Savings through a Public-Private Partnership (LD 1622) into law June 24, 2022. The legislation had... READ MORE
A measure that would create a state-run retirement plan to provide coverage for private-sector employees in Minnesota whose employers do not is under consideration in the state legislature.  Multiple committees in both the state Senate and House of Representatives looked at The Minnesota Secure... READ MORE
Warnings that Social Security’s long-term solvency is questionable are not new. But how about a little good news? A recent analysis suggests that maybe all is not lost.  The glass is half full, argue Kathleen Romig, Director of Social Security and Disability Policy at the Center on Budget and... READ MORE