401khelpcenter.com Logo

COLLECTED WISDOM™ on Legislative and Washington DC Actions Impacting Retirement Plans

A directory and index of articles that review what is happening in Congress and Washington DC.

RSS feed of this page is available:

To subscribe to our free weekly newsletter, enter your email address below then click the "Join" button.

Email Address:



DOL Finalizes Amendment to QPAM Exemption

The DOL has completed a final amendment that would allow parties related to employee benefit plans and individual retirement accounts to engage in transactions involving plan and IRA assets. The final amendment on the Class Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-14, otherwise known as the Qualified Professional Asset Manager Exemption (QPAM), responds to changes in the financial services industry since the exemption's 1984 establishment.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, April 2024

Legislation Calls for Retirement Plan Marketplace in Wisconsin

If bills before both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature are enacted, America's Dairyland will have a retirement plan marketplace to connect individuals and small employers with retirement plans offered by private financial services firms.

Source: Napa-net.org, March 2024

DOL Releases Proposed Regulations for Automatic Portability Transactions

The DOL has released proposed regulations related to the implementation of section 120 of the SECURE 2.0 Act. Section 120 of SECURE 2.0 amended the Internal Revenue Code to add a prohibited transaction exemption to permit the receipt of fees and compensation by an automatic portability provider for services provided in connection with an automatic portability transaction. This exemption applies to qualified 401a plans (other than defined benefit plans), 403a plans, 403b plans, governmental 457b plans, and traditional and Roth IRAs.

Source: Ascensus.com, March 2024

Bill to Ban ESG Consideration in Retirement Plans Floated by House Republicans

Another attempt at legislation to restrict the use of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors in retirement plans was introduced in the House last week, this time by Congressman Greg Murphy, M.D. The "Safeguarding Investment Options for Retirement Act" seeks to prohibit tax-advantaged retirement plan trustees from considering factors other than financial risk and return when making investment decisions on behalf of workers, retirees, and their beneficiaries.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, March 2024

CITs in 403bs Bill Headed to Senate

A bill that would authorize the use of collective investment trusts in 403bs is headed to the Senate after the House of Representatives passed it. The Expanding Access to Capital Act (HR 2799), sponsored by House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry, includes three measures that were approved as amendments, including the 403b plan measure.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, March 2024

Retirement Savings System Under Fire at Senate Hearing

A hearing that was billed as "taking a serious look at the retirement crisis in America" with a focus on improving the defined benefit system ended with witnesses agreeing that some reforms are needed, but calling for drastically different measures.

Source: Asppa.org, February 2024

Senate HELP to Hold Hearing on Confronting the "Retirement Crisis"

Amid the recent attacks on the 401k savings system, the key Senate committee with jurisdiction over ERISA plans to hold a hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28 to examine what it describes as "confronting the retirement crisis facing working class Americans."

Source: Ntsa-net.org, February 2024

Federal Auto-IRA Bill for Uncovered Workers Introduced in the House

House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal introduced a bill to establish a federal auto-IRA for employers with more than 10 employees who do not currently sponsor a retirement plan. The Automatic IRA Act of 2024 (H.R.7293) would require employees to be automatically enrolled in either an IRA or some other "automatic contribution plan or arrangement," like a 401k. It would apply to plan years beginning after 2026.

Source: Napa-net.org, February 2024

Can 403bs and CITs Some Day Be Friends?

403b plans still may not use collective investment trusts, an investment similar to a mutual fund that is subject to fewer regulations and requirements and often carries lower fees for defined contribution retirement plans. But, legislation to permit the pooled investment into 403b plans continues to inchworm its way through Congress.

Source: Planadviser.com, February 2024

Lawmakers Propose to Give Kids a Head Start in Saving for Retirement

A powerful group of Democratic lawmakers has introduced legislation to help children start saving early for retirement by establishing a savings account for every child in America. The bicameral 401Kids Savings Act was introduced Jan. 31 in the Senate (S. 3716).

Source: Napa-net.org, February 2024

DOL Proposes SECURE 2.0 Auto-Portability Regulation

The Employee Benefit Security Administration has released a proposed regulation on automatic portability transactions under the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022, the DOL announced. According to an announcement from the federal agency, the regulation seeks to help workers keep track of their retirement savings accounts by reducing cash-outs when employees switch jobs.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, January 2024

1st House Hearing on Fiduciary Proposal Falls Along Partisan Lines

The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets hosted a hearing on Wednesday about the DOL's retirement security proposal, sometimes called the fiduciary proposal. The hearing proceeded largely along partisan lines, with Republicans pointing out flaws and Democrats noting merits.

Source: Planadviser.com, January 2024

Congress Voicing Concerns With DOL Fiduciary Rule Proposal

Many in Congress are joining thousands of the more than 19,000 commenters in voicing concerns with the DOL's controversial proposed "Retirement Security Rule: Definition of an Investment Advice Fiduciary." Fifty bipartisan reps sent a letter urging that the controversial rule be withdrawn, and the House Capital Markets Subcommittee will hold a hearing Wednesday to explore its necessity.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, January 2024

Bipartisan Bill Would Lower DC Plan Eligibility Age to 18

The Helping Young Americans Save for Retirement Act (S 3305) seeks to spur more savings by younger workers in DC plans. The bill would require sponsors of 401k and ERISA-covered 403b plans to let employees aged 18 through 20 contribute after they complete one year of service. However, employers could exclude these younger workers from receiving any employer-matching or nonelective contributions.

Source: Mercer.com, January 2024

Congress Proposes SECURE 2.0 Technical Corrections Bill

After a closer read, several inadvertent errors were identified in the text of SECURE 2.0. In an open letter to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Commissioner of the IRS, dated May 23, 2023, Congress identified those errors and explained their intention to propose a correction bill. On December 6, 2023, the House and Senate released a draft bipartisan SECURE 2.0 technical corrections bill. The proposed bill includes key corrections that are reviewed here, along with additional minor fixes.

Source: Erisapracticecenter.com, December 2023

A Benefits Wish List for 2024

The 50th anniversary of the passage of ERISA will occur in 2024, but there is still no definitive guidance on some of the provisions that were part of the original legislation. Guidance is needed on more recent legislation as well. Here is a list of steps that courts and Congress could take in the coming year to help stem meritless fiduciary breach litigation, better enable recordkeepers and plan sponsors to implement provisions of SECURE 2.0, and encourage the adoption of new plans.

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, December 2023

New Bill Seeks to Allow Roth IRA Rollovers into Roth 401ks

Legislation introduced in House would correct oversight of current law prohibiting workers from rolling Roth IRA savings into workplace-based Roth retirement plans offered by employers.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, December 2023

Three Key Fixes in New SECURE 2.0 Technical Corrections Bill

An identical discussion draft containing several technical corrections and other SECURE 2.0 clarifications was released late Wednesday by both the House and Senate. The bill would correct errors relating to the inadvertent annulment of pre-tax catch-up contributions in 2024, make the contribution limit for new Starter-K plans equal to the IRA contribution limit as lawmakers intended, and fix a drafting error regarding RMDs, among several others.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, December 2023

What's on Tap for the Next Retirement Plan Policy Bill?

A year later, while most practitioners and retirement plan sponsors are focused on the implementation of the new SECURE 2.0 rules, Congress has quietly been putting forward new bipartisan proposals for consideration in the next round of retirement plan policymaking. Here are short descriptions of some of the proposals already introduced, and two specific legislative projects that the ARA is working on that are expected to be formally introduced in Congress soon.

Source: Napa-net.org, December 2023

House Passes Amendments Blocking DOL Fiduciary Rule

The House of Representatives voted on November 15th to pass key amendments in H.R. 5894, or the Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, that would prevent the DOL from using any allocated funds for its fiduciary proposal.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, November 2023

Bipartisan Bill Backs 401k Plans for Teen Workers

The Helping Young Americans Save for Retirement Act, introduced by Senators Bill Cassidy and Tim Kaine, would lower the participation age of ERISA-covered defined contribution plans to 18-year-olds under certain circumstances, according to a statement released by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, November 2023

House to Vote on Bill Blocking Funding for DOL's Fiduciary Rule

The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a spending bill (H.R. 5894) that contains key amendments restricting funding for the DOL's recently proposed fiduciary rule.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, November 2023

Increased Retirement Plan Startup Credit Proposed for Micro Businesses

Representative Claudia Tenney has introduced the Retirement Investment in Small Employers (RISE) Act to encourage small businesses with no more than 10 employees who received at least $5,000 of compensation in the prior year to adopt retirement plans. The RISE Act would replace $500 with $2,500 for a "Qualified Microemployer."

Source: Ascensus.com, November 2023

Reps. Introduce RISE Act for Micro-Businesses to Offer Retirement Plans

A newly introduced bill would allow micro-sized businesses to enact full retirement plan startup tax credits and benefits originally offered in SECURE 2.0 legislation. The bill would incentivize businesses with under 10 employees to adopt retirement savings plans.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, October 2023

Controversial "Retirement Savings for Americans Act" Reintroduced in Congress

A bipartisan, bicameral bill that would make saving for retirement attainable for all American workers is once again on the Congress floor, and now backed by mega-corporations and industry leaders. If passed, the RSAA would allow the federal government to match contributions for low- and middle-income workers, with the match beginning to phase out at median income.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, October 2023

Legislation Opens Door for Cannabis Companies to Sponsor Retirement Plans

Legally operated cannabis companies could soon be allowed to sponsor retirement plans under legislation recently approved by the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. By a vote of 14-9 on Sept. 27, the committee approved the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation Banking Act (the SAFER Banking Act, S. 2860) to provide protections for federally regulated financial institutions that serve state-sanctioned marijuana businesses.

Source: Napa-net.org, October 2023

Several Bills Amending ERISA Advance out of House Committee

The House Education and Workforce Committee held a mark-up of several proposals, including four bills, which would amend ERISA related to proxy voting, fiduciary duties, and notice requirements for brokerage windows.

Source: Ascensus.com, September 2023

Republican Leaders Discourage 3(21) Fiduciary Rule Amendment

Updating the fiduciary rule remains a key area of focus for the DOL, despite missing a published August timeline. However, Representative Virginia Foxx, R-Virginia, and Senator Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, published on Thursday a public letter to Julie Su, the acting director of the DOL, discouraging the department from proposing a revised 3(21) fiduciary rule.

Source: Planadviser.com, September 2023

401k Spousal Consent Bills Quietly Reintroduced in House and Senate

House and Senate Democrats quietly reintroduced bills on Thursday to require spousal consent for 401k distributions. H.R.5060 and S.2627 would "amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to provide for greater spousal protection under defined contribution plans, and for other purposes," according to the bill's long title.

Source: Napa-net.org, August 2023

About | Glossary | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact Us

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.