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ASEA Monthly

Plan sponsors sometimes wonder what expenses can be paid from retirement plan assets and what expenses must be paid from business assets. (Here, we will consider the plan sponsor and plan administrator to be identical.) The Department of Labor has provided some guidance to answer this question.... READ MORE
I have been blessed to be part of a quickly growing TPA and actuarial firm. I love the energy and opportunities. However, growth does come with its own set of challenges. One of our biggest challenges has been hiring experienced administrators. So, 5 years ago, we embraced hiring remote employees.... READ MORE
Remember the ASB’s request in July of 2014 for comments on the topic of ASOPs and Public Pension Plan Funding and Accounting? If you are like me and do not focus on public plans, you probably did not pay any attention to the Pension Task Force that was established in December 2014 to develop... READ MORE
ACOPA leadership was very active in Washington, DC from May 18 to May 22. Leadership met with our new Executive Director, attended American Retirement Association (ARA) Government Affairs Executive Committee meetings, visited the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and met with Senate and... READ MORE
PBGC has completely overhauled their missing participant program. The new rules are effective for plans that terminate on or after Jan. 1, 2018. Unfortunately, if you are dealing with a missing participant in a plan that terminated before that date, you will have to comply with the old rules.... READ MORE
ACOPA actuaries benefit from being a part of ASPPA and ARA. In May, ACOPA actuaries Tom Finnegan and Bill Karbon, our new Executive Director Marty Pippins and I participated in the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) weekend meetings in Washington. On Monday, May 21, we met with the PBGC and the IRS... READ MORE
The ACOPA Actuarial Symposium is coming up! It is an honor to serve on the symposium conference committee with such dedicated volunteers, who want to bring the best educational experience to all who attend the symposium. If comments from attendees at prior conferences are any guide, the reasons... READ MORE
Recently I spoke with Martella A. Turner-Joseph, a partner at Joseph & Turner Consulting Actuaries, LLC in New York City. Martella chairs the Legislative Relations Committee (LRC), a subcommittee within the American Retirement Association’s Government Affairs Committee. I asked her about the... READ MORE
This morning, as the thunderstorm approached, I was taking down hammocks from the metal swing set and reminded myself (yet again) that I do not have much common sense. Thank goodness I have math sense. Or do I? So then I started thinking about why I excelled at math. I had parents who placed a high... READ MORE
At this year’s Enrolled Actuaries meeting, we presented a session on “DC Plan Issues When Combined with DB Plans.” This session focused on what we considered to be issues that should be thought about when designing and operating DB/DC combos. Following are a few of our suggestions. Plan Aggregation... READ MORE
In the small plan market, we often do not need to provide financial statement accounting for our clients’ pension plans. Plan sponsors that are publicly held require financial statement accounting. In addition, private plans that require Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) accounting,... READ MORE
The Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans was formed with the aim to improve the solvency of multiemployer pension plans and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. As part of the process, the Committee would like input from all stakeholders. ACOPA is going to... READ MORE
How is Vermont? Love Vermont. Proud to be a Vermonter even though I am away now during a lot of the year. Too dang cold! I spend a good part of the year in Las Vegas, where I am now.  I have not seen you too often recently on the listserv – what have you been doing? Well just back from 9 weeks in... READ MORE
This inaugural “View from the Top” article features Jeff Wadle, an actuary at Greenspan & Associates, Inc. in California. Jeff is arguably the biggest contributor to the ACOPA listserv. Recently he was kind enough to answer some questions regarding his vast knowledge and how he goes about... READ MORE
Want to have a positive impact on the actuarial profession by helping the ACOPA Retirement Plan Academy staff plan ACOPA webcasts? And earn CE to boot? The ACOPA Retirement Plan Academy is looking for ARA credentialed members to join a team to help pick the topics and speakers for our ACOPA... READ MORE
We all know (or should know) that defined benefit plans that are qualified (or were ever qualified) are subject to the minimum funding standards of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).[1] Also, title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as amended, contains minimum funding... READ MORE
It was a quiet Tuesday afternoon. The first State of the Union address from President Trump was to take place that evening. No one expected any interesting government releases before the speech. At 3:30 p.m., I made my routine check of the Tax Court website for opinions that were issued.[1] There... READ MORE
Matt Rustige For the longest time, it seemed an unwritten rule that the safe and wise path of a defined benefit plan termination should include an IRS Determination Letter request. However, this approach seems to have come under much more scrutiny in recent years by sponsors and advisors of plans... READ MORE
The ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA) has named longtime IRS executive Martin Pippins as its new Executive Director and Director of Regulatory Policy, effective May 1.  Pippins, a 30-year veteran of the IRS, served most recently as Director, Customer Service & Stakeholder Relations for... READ MORE
EDITOR'S NOTE: Roman Androsov, Director of Actuarial Services at PenSys, Inc., has written an article explaining how the new 20% qualified business income deduction under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act works and how it may affect incentives to set up plans. Click here to view the 16-page article in pdf... READ MORE