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John Iekel

A bill is before the Georgia Senate that would extend Social Security coverage to teachers in public school systems in the Peach State.  Sen. Larry Walker (R-Perry) introduced SB 206 on Feb. 16. The legislation would amend Georgia law regarding Social Security coverage for employees of the state... READ MORE
A bill before the Illinois Senate would give participants in the state retirement system the opportunity to choose an additional option for their retirement plan coverage.  Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Lake Zurich) introduced SB 1516, which would require plans by July 1, 2025 to prepare and implement a... READ MORE
February may be the depths of winter, but the fortunes of pension plans were warm this year, say a variety of reports. “Pension finances enjoyed another month of positive experience in February,” said one report, summing up the month’s results. Pension Plan Funding    October Three, which tracks... READ MORE
Legislation is pending in two states to adjust the definition of “covered employer” and “covered employee” for purposes of state-sponsored retirement plans that cover private-sector employees whose employers do not offer a plan.  Hawaii. Bills are before both the Hawaii House of Representatives... READ MORE
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) on March 14 issued the interest assumptions under the asset allocation regulation for plans with valuation dates in the second quarter of 2023. The assumptions are contained in a final rule that amends the PBGC’s regulation on Allocation of Assets in... READ MORE
The Alaska Senate is considering a measure that would give certain employees who participate in the Public Employees' Retirement System of Alaska and the teachers' retirement system an opportunity to choose between the defined benefit and defined contribution plans those systems offer.  Senate... READ MORE
April 1, 2023, is the last day, in most cases, for retirees who turned 72 during 2022 to begin taking distributions from IRAs, 401(k)s and similar workplace retirement plans. The IRS issued a reminder about the impending deadline on March 9.   RMDs, the IRS reminds, generally are made by the end... READ MORE
The American Retirement Association (ARA) has signed on to a joint letter supporting the IRS’ new permanent rules to allow remote notarization of spousal consent forms.  Background   During the pandemic, the IRS received requests from stakeholders to permit remote witnessing of spousal consents... READ MORE
The IRS has issued guidance to financial institutions for reporting required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2023. The guidance, contained in Notice 2023-23, implements a change to the RMD rules made by the SECURE 2.0 Act, which delayed the required beginning date for RMDs. Under this change, IRA... READ MORE
The IRS has released private letter ruling (PLR) 202305001, which concerns whether amending a pension plan to expand employee eligibility for health benefits to include certain employees eligible to begin receiving retirement benefits when reaching age 59½ will affect the plan’s qualified status... READ MORE
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has updated its Pension Insurance Data Tables by adding the 2020 data concerning its Single-Employer and Multiemployer Programs and the private pension system. It also provides information on 2021. The upshot is that there is good news.  The tables... READ MORE
Are retirement plans SECURE? American Retirement Association CEO Brian Graff, NTSA Executive Director Nathan Glassey, and ARA Director of Federal and State Legislative Affairs Andrew Remo at the Feb. 26 opening session of the 2023 NTSA Summit in Tampa, FL discussed Washington’s take on that. And,... READ MORE
The IRS has updated the information it provides concerning plan loan offsets. Specifically, it has added issue indicators and audit tips.  The IRS on its website provides basic and background information concerning plan loan offsets.  Plan loan offset defined. A plan loan offset, the IRS says,... READ MORE
Editor’s note: This the fourth in a four-part series. The original appears in its entirety as the cover story of the Winter 2023 edition of Plan Consultant magazine. The digital edition of the Winter issue is available here. However, access to Plan Consultant is restricted to ASPPA members, so you’... READ MORE
The U.S. Department of Labor, the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation on Feb. 23 released changes to the 2023 Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF. These are the third — and final — revisions that implement a Sept. 2021 regulatory proposal, which included changes related to provisions in the... 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).    To Be Done   The IRS says in the updated list... READ MORE
The latest deadline for registering with the Connecticut Retirement Security Program — also known as MyCTSavings — looms. And the program itself could be fine-tuned if legislation now before the state House of Representatives is enacted.  The Connecticut Retirement Security Program is a state-... READ MORE
Smoky Mountains, ocean shore. Disparate settings, but a common legislative thread — legislation is before the legislatures of Tennessee and Rhode Island that would add those states to those that provide a state-sponsored retirement plan for those whose employers do not.  The Volunteer State The ... READ MORE
In observance of Presidents Day on Monday, Feb. 20, the ASPPA offices will be closed. Accordingly, ASPPA Connect will not be published on that day. ASPPA Connect will reappear on Wednesday, Feb. 22.  The occupants of the White House are no secret. Some — but not all — of the First Ladies are... READ MORE
The West Virginia Senate has passed a measure that would include certain public charter schools under state public retirement system coverage. Sen. Eric Nelson (R-Kanawah) introduced the bill, SB 449, on Jan. 24. It passed in that chamber on Feb. 9 in a 33-0 vote. What the Bill Would Do The bill... READ MORE