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Legislation

Multiple employer plans (MEPs) figure prominently in many discussions about workplace retirement plans today. And with those discussions including changes that would expand their availability and use, an Aug. 6 webinar provided a useful refresher on the federal rules governing MEPs. In the... READ MORE
As Congress headed out of town for the August recess, retirement’s “Dynamic Duo” have teamed up on legislation designed to help stave off nondiscrimination testing issues for frozen defined benefit plans. U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), both members of the Senate Finance... READ MORE
Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives to prohibit the use of premiums paid to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation from being used to pay for federal spending initiatives.  Introduced July 25 by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and cosponsored by Reps. George... READ MORE
Another presidential candidate has proposed to pay for a campaign promise with a tax on retirement savings.    U.S. senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D-CA) announced July 29 that she would propose a financial transactions tax to pay for her “Medicare-for-all” proposal –... READ MORE
The Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee in July 24 remarks argued that it is time to get the SECURE Act over the goal line.  “There are not many examples of the sort of bipartisanship [we saw] on the SECURE Act that you can look to,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) explained to delegates at... READ MORE
A bill to provide some relief for the struggling multiemployer pension system has been reintroduced in the U.S. Senate – even as the House of Representatives passed comparable legislation. Last night the House passed the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act (H.R. 397) in a 264-169 vote (... READ MORE
At the opening session of the 2019 NAPA D.C. Fly-in Forum on July 23, ASPPA Executive Director (and American Retirement Association CEO) Brian Graff noted that it’s a “hot mess” in Washington – both literally and figuratively.  Expressing his frustration that the bipartisan Setting Every Community... READ MORE
Legislation the House of Representatives passed on July 24 is intended to assist financially troubled multiemployer DB plans that meet specified criteria, but that help would come with a hefty price tag, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS). In a two-page report updated July 19,... READ MORE
According to a new state-by-state analysis1 published by the American Retirement Association, more than 5 million employers in the United States still don’t offer a workplace retirement savings benefit, a generation after the 401(k) plan design was first introduced.  When a 401(k) is available, 78... READ MORE
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board has challenged a specific “pay for” provision in the SECURE Act. But they’re missing the big(ger) picture. One of the main reasons the SECURE Act passed the House of Representatives by the large margin of 417-3 was that, as the WSJ acknowledges, it was “... READ MORE
The so-called Butch Lewis Act to address funding problems facing multiemployer pension plans continues to work its way through the legislative labyrinth, with a second House committee approving the legislation in recent weeks.    In what at times was a hotly debated markup session, on July 10 the... READ MORE
Pension plans managed by religious organizations in Rhode Island now must provide regular updates to participants on the financial health of the plans. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) signed a measure on July 2 setting that requirement into law. House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Warwick)... READ MORE
The Treasury and IRS have proposed regulations designed to encourage adoption of multiple employer plans (MEPs)  – though they’re not final yet. Specifically, the proposed regulations would provide an exception to the “one bad apple” rule for certain MEPs. A MEP is a plan adopted by two or more... READ MORE
More than 20 years after the last such overhaul, on July 1 President Trump signed into law bipartisan legislation to revamp the Internal Revenue Service. The newly enacted Taxpayer First Act of 2019 (H.R. 3151) overhauls the IRS’ operations and tax administration systems and implements new taxpayer... READ MORE
While it’s not precisely robbing Peter to pay Paul, a new legislative proposal purports to pay off all student loan debt – with proceeds from a tax that will hit retirement savings. First touted as an effort to limit speculative trading, the so-called financial transaction tax is now being... READ MORE
The House Ways & Means Committee has voted to extend a vast array of individual and corporate tax provisions, including special disaster-related rules for use of retirement funds. Disaster Relief Assistance The Committee late June 20 approved the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act... READ MORE
The American Retirement Association, as well as a broad coalition of groups and associations, on June 18 sent a letter to the Senate expressing their support for the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (SECURE) Act.The House passed the measure on May 23 by an overwhelming margin of 417-3. The... READ MORE
Following a contentious markup session, a key House Committee approved legislation on June 11 that would address the funding problems facing multiemployer pension plans.  The House Education & Labor Committee’s approval of an amended version of the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act... READ MORE
The headline in a recent New York Times piece cautions that “Confusing Options May Be Coming to Your 401(k). It Could Cost You.”   Those “confusing options”? Retirement income. And, ironically, they might undermine support for the most significant piece of pro-retirement legislation in a decade... READ MORE
Following House passage of the bipartisan SECURE Act last month, it looked like the legislation was headed for quick enactment. Since then, however, the realities of the Senate’s legislative process appear to have taken over.    A quick recap from where we last left off: On May 23, the House... READ MORE

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