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Robert Toth

A title like this one was bound to happen; and I was tempted to publish it on April Fool’s Day—except that it’s really not a joke. Where it comes from is the simple fact that any DC lifetime income program (ok, why not, let’s use the acronym DCLIP while we’re at it) that guarantees lifetime income... READ MORE
There are only 10 (or so) different provisions under SECURE 2.0 which seem to have any sort of direct relation to the provision of Lifetime Income (LI) through defined contribution plans, and none of them seem to have the bold, systemic effects that we saw under the some of the terms under SECURE 1... READ MORE
Actuaries and mathematicians will tell us that the “actuarial cost” of any annuity you may purchase is effectively the same, no matter what sort of annuity you purchase. After all, your life expectancy is what it is; the interest rates are what they are; and the insurance companies investments... READ MORE
It sometimes helps to go back to the basics when assessing the impact of changes to the law, including some of the most seemingly obscure of them. One of the most obscure of 403(b) rules lies in the structural difference between 403(b) and 401(a) plans. This has really only arisen in the past in... READ MORE
I had just completed a fiduciary training session for a client’s board in South Bend, IN, when one of the more senior board members pulled me aside to tell me a story. His father had been employed by Studebaker when it went under in 1963 — and took its pension plan with it. As the story goes, and... READ MORE
“Retirement plan leakage” has been a pressing issue for policymakers and practitioners for a number of years. A report issued to the Senate Special Committee on Aging by the GAO in 2021 showed plan participants ages 25 to 55 withdrew $9.8 billion from retirement plans without rolling the account... READ MORE
My wife Conni and I have lurked in the netherworld of retirement plan administration for decades now, working on those things nobody ever sees. One of the ways we explain what we do to friends and family is with a story about their own 401(k) and 403(b) plans. What we tell them is that when they go... READ MORE
One of the most significant challenge facing Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs) and Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs) is probably having to deal with “bad acting employers,” that is, those who won’t provide sufficient information to auditors to complete the audit for the whole plan, those regularly do not... READ MORE
This is a pretty exciting time in the defined contribution plan marketplace. Years of work from a number of different quarters seem to be finally beginning to coalesce around the notion of sanely “decumulating” assets from DC plans. I wonder if a measure of all this may be the growing catalog of... READ MORE
A surprising number of employers have opted NOT to offer the COVID-related distribution (CRD) relief under the CARES Act. But the employer’s decision is not the final word on this matter, because the statute grants participants specific tax benefits regardless of the sponsor’s choice. So what does... READ MORE
We know that all parties involved in plan administration are struggling with the question of whether the employer or the participant have the right under the CARES Act to:   an extension of loan amounts (I think it’s the employer’s choice); the right to suspend loan repayments (I think it’s... READ MORE
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s participant loan changes (which delay the account offset on loan defaults related to unemployment or plan termination) trigger something we would all rather not look at: the “uncomfortable” manner in which ERISA’s fiduciary rules apply to loans and their administration.... READ MORE
Prudence. We often seem so focused on this one particular ERISA standard at times that it seems we do it to the exclusion of what is really ERISA’s own “prime directive”: “A fiduciary shall discharge his duties with respect to a plan solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries and... READ MORE
An IRS examination of an employer’s plan has always been a bit unnerving for the plan sponsor-so much so, it seems, that many of them put off dealing with their initial notification letter. I think it’s a common experience of many professionals that they often aren’t brought in until the plan... READ MORE