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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.

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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

"Auto-Reenroll Act of 2023" Introduced in Senate

A new bill introduced in the Senate Wednesday would permit 401k plan sponsors to automatically reenroll non-participants at least once every three years unless the individual affirmatively opts out again.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, July 2023

Should Congress Micromanage 401k Investments?

In the last two weeks, two separate bills have been introduced in Congress attempting to micromanage private employer retirement plan investments. Although the major impact would be on 401k plans, defined benefit plans, and even IRAs could also be affected.

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, June 2023

Lawmakers to Introduce SECURE 2.0 Technical Corrections

Lawmakers clarify legislative intent relating to four provisions in SECURE 2.0 to fill the gap while waiting for corrective action from Congress.

Source: Wtwco.com, June 2023

Anti-ESG Bill Would Require Only Pecuniary Factors to Be Considered

Representative Andy Barr introduced legislation called the Ensuring Sound Guidance Act in the House on Wednesday, a bill which would require advisers, broker/dealers, and ERISA fiduciaries to act in a client's best interest solely on pecuniary factors.

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2023

Potential 403b/CIT "Fix" Could Come as Part of Banking Claw Back Bill

The Senate Banking Committee passed the Recovering Executive Compensation Obtained from Unaccountable Practices Act on Wednesday. It could also act as a vehicle for a "fix" that would allow 403bs to offer collective investment trusts in their investment menus, according to Andrew Remo, Director of Federal and State Legislative Affairs for the American Retirement Association.

Source: Napa-net.org, June 2023

Proposed Legislation Would Allow 403b Plans to Invest in Lower-Cost CITs

A new bill introduced in Congress would allow 403b plans maintained by tax-exempt organizations to make use of collective investment trust investments, an alternative to mutual funds that may provide significant cost savings for 403b plans and their participants.

Source: Mwe.com, June 2023

Top Retirement Plan Advisers Weigh In on Potential, Pitfalls of SECURE 2.0

PLANADVISER's top retirement adviser pulse survey finds optimism about the legislation, alongside a healthy dose of questions and advice for policymakers.

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2023

Lifetime Income for Employees Act Would Make It Easier to Use Annuities as QDIAs

Representatives Donald Norcross and Tim Walberg, re-introduced the Lifetime Income for Employees Act, a bill that would make it easier for annuities to be used as the default investment in 401k plans.

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2023

Reintroduced Bill Provides Relief for Annuities in QDIAs

The latest version of a bipartisan bill would permit annuities to be the default 401k investment option for workers enrolled in an employer-sponsored 401k plan.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, June 2023

ERIC Highlights Key Areas of Confusion on SECURE 2.0

The ERISA Industry Committee sent an open letter to the Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service asking for clarification on various provisions in the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022, including the student loan match, Roth catch-up contributions, and Roth matching contributions.

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2023

Senate Committee Urges DOL to Implement Six Specific SECURE Provisions

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions sent a letter to the Department of Labor on May 30 urging it to "effectively and expeditiously" implement SECURE 2.0. It also urged the DOL to prioritize six provisions related to the committee's mission.

Source: Asppa.org, June 2023

Congress Says It Will Fix at Least Four Errors in SECURE 2.0

Congressional leaders wrote an open letter to Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel clarifying what Congress intended with certain provisions of the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022. In the letter, a bipartisan group of Senate and House members said they intend to correct those technical errors, but they did not spell out a timetable. The errors include the startup credit, RMD, SIMPLE IRA plans, and Roth catch-ups.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2023

Key Congressional Committee Approves Bill Allowing CITs in 403bs

Legislation that would allow 403b plans to invest in collective investment trusts has taken a significant step forward in the House of Representatives.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, May 2023

Congress Tells Treasury SECURE 2.0 Corrections Are Coming

Congress sent a letter to the Treasury Department informing Secretary Janet Yellen and Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Daniel Werfel that it will introduce legislation to fix several technical errors contained in SECURE 2.0. Signed by four prominent SECURE 2.0 figures, according to the letter, the fixes will better reflect congressional intent.

Source: Napa-net.org, May 2023

House Officially Introduces Bill to Allow 403bs to Invest in CITs

The bill, titled "The Retirement Fairness for Charities and Educational Institutions Act of 2023" and backed by House Financial Services Committee Member Rep. Frank D. Lucas would amend federal securities laws to enhance 403b annuity plans in part by adding a CIT option.

Source: Napa-net.org, May 2023

A 403b CIT "Fix" Gets Closer to Happening

A bill that would allow 403bs to invest in collective investment trusts could be headed for Congressional markup in the next few weeks.

Source: Napa-net.org, April 2023

Where SECURE 2.0 Comes Up Short

Three months after the passage of the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022, some observers are looking at the law and considering what SECURE 2.0 left out. Some items have been widely covered, such as the failure to include a provision permitting collective investment trusts in 403b plans. Some technical errors, such as accidentally banning catch-up contributions starting in 2024 have also been widely noted. But observers say some other major omissions from SECURE 2.0 have flown under the radar.

Source: Plansponsor.com, April 2023

Congressional Rejection of DOL ESG Rule Casts Pall Over Measure

The regulation is safe thanks to a pending veto of the resolution approved by the House and Senate, but the vote adds some political uncertainty for plan advisors.

Source: Investmentnews.com, March 2023

Senator Pushes for Crypto Option in 401k Plans

Senator Tommy Tuberville has returned with a bill pushing back on DOL guidance warning off the inclusion of cryptocurrency in defined contribution retirement plans.

Source: Planadviser.com, February 2023

Efforts to Keep Workers From Cashing Out Their 401ks Gain Steam

A provision in President Biden's new legislation aims to keep workers from cashing out their 401k when they move from one job to another, building on a similar effort launched last year by the private sector.

Source: Yahoo.com, February 2023

Unfinished Business for SECURE 2.0: Podcast

The SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 was signed into law in the waning days of 2022. But some things need fixing and some things you may have overlooked. Nevin Adams and Fred Reish highlight five key areas calling for attention.

Source: Napa-net.org, February 2023

Automatic Enrollment is Coming for Your Retirement Plan...Sorta

This new SECURE 2.0 contains many new provisions, including changes, again, to RMDS, but also includes changes that had long been discussed but never occurred. One such change is the requirement that 401k and 403b plans feature automatic enrollment for employees of companies that sponsor such plans. While this new requirement may scare plan sponsors, there are quite a few exceptions that effectively make the automatic enrollment feature only apply to new plans of larger entities.

Source: Graydon.law, January 2023

Major SECURE 2.0 Error Puts Catch-Ups in Jeopardy

The American Retirement Association recently identified what it calls a "significant technical error" in the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 regarding catch-up contributions. Specifically, according to wording in the current legislation, beginning in 2024, no participants will be able to make catch-up contributions (pre-tax or Roth). That's the result of the elimination of a subparagraph in the body of the legislation to allow for a conforming amendment, but in the process inadvertently eliminated the ability to make any pre-tax catch-up contributions.

Source: Asppa.org, January 2023

SECURE 2.0 Legislation: Impact on Qualified Plans

The chart here briefly summarizes elements of SECURE 2.0 that are most likely to impact employers' tax-qualified plans and provides some observations about the changes for those affected by the new law to consider.

Source: Lowenstein.com, January 2023

How SECURE 2.0 Looks to Increase Plan Participation

The SECURE 2.0 has the potential to affect workplace retirement savings in a big way. This article addresses how the new law can increase workplace retirement plan participation and savings rates. Plan sponsors and administrators should take note to keep up with this evolving area.

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, January 2023

SECURE 2.0 Retirement Reform Becomes Law

The SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 was enacted as part of the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was signed into law on December 29, 2022. It is the culmination of a multi-year, bicameral, bipartisan effort to follow up on the SECURE Act that was enacted on December 20, 2019. SECURE 2.0 contains roughly 90 separate provisions each with its own effective date. This article focuses on the provisions of SECURE 2.0 that are of interest to large and medium-sized employers and plans.

Source: Segalco.com, January 2023

The SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 Passes

This article summarizes the key provisions of interest to plan sponsors, including which changes are required, which are optional (and will require decisions by sponsors as to whether to adopt or not), and the respective effective dates.

Source: Fidelity.com, January 2023

SECURE 2.0 Introduces Sweeping Changes to Retirement Rules

Federal lawmakers recently passed the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022, a retirement security package that will introduce some of the most comprehensive changes to retirement policy in recent years. Tucked in the omnibus appropriations package, SECURE 2.0 will expand access to and provide incentives for employer-sponsored retirement plans. This article covers some of the key provisions in SECURE 2.0.

Source: Bsk.com, January 2023

Secure 2.0: Congress Enacts Wide-Ranging Changes to 401k and 403b Plans

As part of its mammoth 2022 year-end spending bill, Congress passed Secure 2.0, which makes dozens of modifications to the laws governing retirement savings. These revisions, almost all of which were driven by concerns that Americans are failing to accumulate sufficient resources to fund their retirement, build on changes Congress made in 2019 in the SECURE Act. This is a list of key provisions in Secure 2.0 that employers with existing 401k and 403b plans need to pay attention to.

Source: Blankrome.com, January 2023

Secure Act 2.0 Brings a Litany of Retirement Changes

While plan amendments generally need not be made until the end of the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2025, plans must be operated under the effective date of each new provision. Here are highlights of key provisions, organized by the same headings used in the Act.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, January 2023

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