March 10 2016

European Central Bank introduces negative interest rates

This morning, the European Central Bank (ECB) introduced negative deposit rates and also cut its main refinancing rate to 0.00%.  What this means is that European banks will have to pay the ECB 0.4% of any deposits that they hold with the central ban...

March 04 2016

Treasury Department Releases Scary Proposed Regulations on Cross-Testing

UPDATE:  The Treasury and the IRS announced on April 14 that the proposed rules we wrote about below are being withdrawn at this time.  Yay!  We will post a separate article about the withdrawal of these proposed regulations in the coming weeks.

February 23 2016

Simplicity of a SEP Comes With a Price

When you first think about it, the idea of a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan seems appealing. Qualified retirement plans like 401(k)s can be complicated and confusing.  With a SEP, you don’t need to hire a Third Party Administrator, there are ...

February 08 2016

Protect Your Retirement Savings: How to Verify Your Financial Advisor can be Trusted

Last week I watched the two-part TV series, Madoff. The made-for-TV movie chronicles the exploits and downfall of notorious white collar criminal, Bernie Madoff, the manager of the multi-billion dollar hedge fund. Except that it wasn’t a hedge fund—i...

February 05 2016

A Gray Day: Goodbye to an Old Friend

I am registered to attend the national Enrolled Actuaries Meeting in April. I have missed this annual conference only once since 1997.  Unfortunately, a friend that has been there with me every time will not be joining me this year and may never agai...

January 28 2016

Recordkeeper & TPA…Just Like Peas & Carrots

ADP.  ACP.  402(g).  Safe harbor.  Cross-tested.  404(a)(5).  Top-heavy.  TPA.  410(b).  CPA.  415.  ERISA.  404.  IRS.  DOL.  Blackout notice.   Revenue sharing.  5500.  QDIA.

January 21 2016

What SUP with the 2015 Form 5500?

The IRS has introduced new compliance questions on the Form 5500 information returns filed annually for 401(k) and other qualified retirement plans. While these questions are optional for the 2015 Form 5500, plan sponsors and service providers should...

January 08 2016

Not so happy new year for the stock market

It seems as if the stock market ate at Chipotle and caught a norovirus to start 2016. December sales at Chipotle decreased around 30%, which is hopefully not what will happen to the stock market. But investors should be cautious and aware of the many...

December 08 2015

The COLA Is Flat in 2016; IRS Limits Explained

In the qualified retirement plan world, there are limits on how much money may be contributed to a plan by an individual or a company.  There is also a cap on the wages that may be taken into account for an employee in determining contributions and b...

November 13 2015

PBGC Premiums to Rise Again; The Reason Will Make You Cry

At an industry conference in Washington, DC several years ago, I was sitting at the breakfast table griping about a new pension law that had been passed for what seemed like dubious reasons.  I threw up my hands and said, “I guess I just don’t unders...