Archives: US retirement plans

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U.S. Budget Act and Retirement Plans

When Congress passed and President Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 earlier this month, the folks monitoring developments in Washington, D.C. knew, among other things, that it ended a very brief government shutdown, dramatically increased government spending, and raised the debt ceiling.  But few knew that the Budget Act will affect tax-qualified retirement … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court grants writ of certiorari on Railroad Retirement Tax Act issue

  The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to resolve a split between the Seventh and Eighth Circuits related to a federal program that is a well-kept secret. Nothing as intriguing as Russian spies or hacked emails… but, I think, interesting nonetheless. Of course, you have heard about the Social Security system. And you probably know … Continue Reading

U.S. tax reform – retirement plan provisions finalized

The tax reform bill is done.  President Trump signed the bill on December 22, meeting his deadline for completion by Christmas. While there is much to be said about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”), the update on the retirement plan provisions is relatively unexciting.  Recall that when the tax reform process started, … Continue Reading

Tax reform progress – retirement plans still safe?

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” (H.R. 1) last Thursday without, unsurprisingly, any Democratic support.  The retirement plan provisions in the bill haven’t changed. No eleventh-hour revenue-grabbing effort to convert all 401(k) plan contributions to Roth contributions or to place substantial limits on pre-tax plan contributions.  But there are … Continue Reading

Senate proposes changes to retirement savings programs

Just as they appeared to survive round one of the House tax reform bill released last week, retirement savings programs, such as 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts, seem to emerge relatively unscathed from the Senate’s tax reform deliberations.  Nonetheless, the Senate Finance Committee’s proposal does include a few changes to these programs.… Continue Reading

U.S. tax reform – 401(k) plans saved from the chopping block?

For the last few weeks, U.S. tax reform deliberations put 401(k) retirement plans on a roller coaster ride. Rumors abounded, including, for example, whether legislators would impose new contribution caps, or eliminate pre-tax contributions altogether.  Legislators often have targeted the tax-advantaged status of retirement savings plans as a revenue raiser to pay for federal programs … Continue Reading

“Show Time!” for the US Labor Department’s Fiduciary Rule

It may be show time for the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Fiduciary Rule (the “Rule”), but don’t expect an elaborate production.  Think frustrated, reluctant actors on a bare stage with no lights or scenery implementing the previous Administration’s regulatory approach to protecting retirees and retirement savings from conflicted investment advice. After a long and … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of ERISA exemption for church affiliated organizations

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in three cases that pension plans established by church affiliated organizations are “church plans” that are exempt from ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974).  The cases are Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, U.S., 6/5/17; Saint Peter’s Healthcare Sys. v. Kaplan, U.S., No. 16-86, 6/5/17; and … Continue Reading

Retirement Issues and the 2014 Congressional Election: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

While the scope of the Republican Party’s victories in the U.S. mid-term elections may have been surprising (at least to some), a leadership shake-up in the congressional committees with jurisdiction over the country’s public and private, employer-based retirement system was a foregone conclusion.  As further described in our 2014-mid-term Congressional elections analysis a number of key Congressional … Continue Reading

Major US pension buyouts announced

It looks like both Motorola and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) will be transferring significant portions of their defined benefit pension plans liability to Prudential Insurance. Both buyouts were announced this week – and are expected to be completed in December. The Motorola plan buyout will be the third largest in the United States (following the 2012 … Continue Reading

401(k) plans – new rule on fiduciaries delayed (again)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s revised proposed rule for defining a fiduciary has been delayed … again. Most recently expected in August, the Labor Department is now predicting January 2015. And, the rule has a new name: The Conflict of Interest Rule for Investment Advice. As a refresher, the proposed rule would broaden the definition … Continue Reading
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