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John Iekel

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series about establishing and managing retirement plan committees. The last 10-plus years have brought into sharp relief the importance of fiduciary duties and fulfilling them as ERISA requires. Offering a retirement plan has many moving parts, and... READ MORE
The average funded status of the 100 largest corporate pension plans in the United States dropped slightly from April to May, while volatility of both assets and liabilities rose slightly, according to recently released data. According to NISA Investment Advisors, average funded status dropped by... READ MORE
The official hurricane season has just begun (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it starts June 1). But we’ve already had a tropical system in the Atlantic (Andrea) — and that serves as a reminder that it can be helpful to a service provider and plan administrator to prepare…... READ MORE
The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is responsible for overseeing millions of employee benefit plans, including investigating retirement plans when necessary. A recent blog entry examines what an employer should know about that. In Thompson Coburn LLP’s blog... READ MORE
Words matter. Don’t think so? The publisher of a King James Bible in the 17th century who left out the word “not” in the commandment “thou shalt not commit adultery” and who suffered the consequences would beg to differ. And words matter in retirement plan communications as well, as recent analyses... READ MORE
Cyber threats morph and evolve as quickly as the technology and data they compromise. Speakers at SPARK’s national conference in Falls Church, VA suggested ways to protect against them. Evolving Challenges Wendy Young Carter, a VP and Defined Contribution Director, Public Sector at Segal Group,... READ MORE
Oregon employers that do not comply with the rules of OregonSaves — the Beaver State’s state-sponsored retirement program — will face penalties starting next year. Gov. Kate Brown (D) has signed into law SB 164, a measure which provides that an employer found not to be in compliance will face... READ MORE
The workforce, like the economy, is changing rapidly. That has implications in many areas, including retirement savings and retirement plan coverage. A June 4 session at the SPARK National Conference held in Falls Church, VA discussed some of those circumstances and how they may be addressed. John... READ MORE
The Department of Labor (DOL) is preparing to act on a variety of issues relevant to retirement plans and participants, according to a department official who offered an outline at a June 5 session of the SPARK national conference held in Falls Church, VA. Jeanne Klinefelter Wilson, Deputy... READ MORE
There are many moving pieces and factors to keep track of regarding retirement plans and individual accounts. But two recent blog entries remind that despite the multiplicity of concerns and duties, it’s also important to keep one’s eyes on the ultimate prize and not forget the ultimate reason for... READ MORE
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the Social Security Trust Fund is in danger of running dry. That is, unless something is done to forestall that – and the CBO has come up with some ideas to do that. In “How Changing Social Security Could Affect Beneficiaries and the System's Finances,”... READ MORE
Absolute security is never assured. But one can take steps to increase the odds in one’s favor, and that includes retirement plans and preparing for a financially secure retirement. Jack VanDerhei, Research Director at the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRA), speaking at the recent Plan... READ MORE
We won’t be bringing you an ASPPA Connect newsletter on Monday due to the observance of Memorial Day, but we would like to share some little-known facts related to the holiday. Arlington National Cemetery is located in Arlington, VA on the estate that had belonged to Robert E. Lee and his wife,... READ MORE
The fire and ice of dragons in winter – the stuff of mythology. But even the seemingly commonplace can incorporate a dash of mythology as well, as a speaker at the recent Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) annual conference outlined – concerning, of all things, DC plans. In “Defined... READ MORE
Perhaps consensus is a part of who we are as a people. But voices offering new ideas that challenge accepted mindsets are also part of who we are. And that applies to the discussion concerning retirement savings and preparedness as much as it does for anything else. There was lively debate in the... READ MORE
Accumulation of retirement savings seems pretty cut-and-dried, although it certainly can be complicated. And then there’s decumulation, which a recent blog entry argues is equally important yet is largely under the radar screen. In “A Closer Look: Decumulation Confusion” Cammack Retirement’s... READ MORE
So is there a retirement crisis or not? House Budget Committee members and experts who testified before the committee on May 15 did not agree. But at least they did concur on one thing: the need to take action to bolster the retirement readiness of those who are not well-prepared. Testifying... READ MORE
Gordon Hartogensis was sworn in as Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation on May 15. The U.S. Senate had confirmed him as director on May 1. Hartogensis, who has worked on Wall Street and also has been an entrepreneur and investor, as well as leader in the technology sector, succeeds... READ MORE
The 2019 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, a body that provides support and advice to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), has said that it will be reviewing transfers of uncashed checks from ERISA plans to state unclaimed... READ MORE
A measure that would create a board to study appropriate approaches to increase retirement savings by private-sector workers in Colorado reached the desk of Gov. Jared Polis (D) on May 13 and awaits his signature.Senate Bill 19-173 calls for the creation of a Colorado Secure Savings Plan Board that... READ MORE

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