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Retirement

ASPPA opposes Connecticut 401(k) legislation

The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) opposes legislation in Connecticut that would create a state 401(k) plan for small businesses. Michael E. Callahan, a past ASPPA president and founder of Pentec, one of the largest pension firms in the state, said legislators should not kill a robust 401(k) system in Connecticut by creating an expensive state bureaucracy. "A free and competitive market is the best system for 401(k) plans in Connecticut or any other state," Callahan said.

Court rules 401(k) participants may sue plan administrators

In a unanimous decision the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in February that individual participants of defined contribution pension plans such as 401(k) plans are protected under section 502(a)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and may sue for losses resulting from a breach of fiduciary duties.

Companies not prepared to meet health, wealth needs of Baby Boomers

Throw conventional wisdom and industry fault lines out the window. Financial services firms, insurers, and healthcare payers admit they will need to add new capabilities as they prepare to serve baby boomers, who will control some $40 trillion in retirement assets by 2020.Boomers, who make up the wealthiest generation in history, face tremendous uncertainties about how they will fund their retirement, and how wealthy they will be during those years.
Tax

State tax comparison seen as key factor in choosing a retirement destination

With tax season rapidly approaching, many people planning their retirement are wondering how their retirement income will be taxed if they move. Also, what other taxes will they have to confront in their new location.Depending on where you choose to live, your tax bill may affect your ability to enjoy the lifestyle you are seeking. Some states are more tax-friendly to retirees than others.Helping to sort all this out is a Web site run by the Retirement Living Information Center.

65 is no longer the traditional retirement age

Americans age 50 and over are increasingly disregarding age 65 as the time to stop working.
Tax

ERPA designation scheduled for early 2009 launch

In late September 2007, the IRS issued final Circular 230 rules introducing the Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent, the first IRS designation permitting such agents limited practice before the IRS. The ERPA program will mirror the Enrolled Agent program. To obtain the ERPA designation, individuals will be required to pass an examination covering retirement plan matters, apply for enrollment with the Service, and satisfy renewal and continuing education requirements. They will have to demonstrate competency and adhere to professional and ethical standards of conduct.
Workplace Fitness

Retirement fitness subject of Hollywood personality Ben Stein's 8-point plan

Most retirement-minded Americans might not see the connection between physical fitness and retirement planning - except for the fact that both can make them sweat! Ben Stein, spokesperson for National Retirement Planning Week 2007, November 12-17, believes that an approach similar to physical fitness can also be applied to financial fitness.
Tax

Retirement group testifies on automatic IRA legislation

On Thursday, November 8, 2007, Mark Iwry and David C. John, representing The Retirement Security Project (RSP), testified before the House Education and Labor Committee's Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor & Pensions, in support of the Automatic IRA proposal to dramatically expand retirement saving. The Automatic IRA Act of 2007 (H.R. 2167), introduced in the House by Reps. Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Phil English (R-PA), makes it easy for employees not covered by a 401(k) or other employer plan to save in IRAs through automatic payroll deposit.

Regulators grant reprieve on 409A deadline

Bowing to requests from law firms and others, the Treasury has announced that the deadline for implementing the new 409A regulations for nonqualified deferred compensation plans has been extended for a year, until December 31, 2008. Section 409A provides certain requirements applicable to nonqualified deferred compensation plans.

Law firms petition IRS for extra time for 409A regs

A coalition of more than 90 law firms has petitioned the Internal Revenue Service to extend by one year a deadline for imposing new regulations on nonqualified deferred compensation under section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code.The effort, led by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and involving a group of law firms described as heavyweights by the Financial Times, culminated in a brief letter that was sent to the IRS.

SEC files action to halt $25 million Ponzi scheme

Continuing its crackdown on financial fraud against senior citizens, the Securities and Exchange Commission has filed an emergency action to shut down a $25 million Ponzi scheme that victimized hundreds of senior and other investors nationwide who bought fractional ownership interests in life insurance policies.The SEC asked a federal district court in Sacramento, CA, to grant the SEC's request for an order temporarily prohibiting further sales of the products, freezing the assets, and appointing a receiver to take control of operations in order to manage and preserve remaining investor fun

Wealth trends highlight taxation and the 30-plus-year retirement

Planning for the 30-year retirement and keeping taxes at bay are two leading issues that will shape wealth management in the years ahead.These are two key results of the latest WealthTrends survey from the Dow Jones Wealth Management Advisory Council, a group of top wealth managers dedicated to promoting the practice of wealth management, facilitating industry discussion and representing the needs and concerns of the profession."Given the changes we will be seeing in areas such as taxation and longer retirements, wealth managers must take a more comprehensive approach to addressing their

Adding annuities may be next frontier in 401(k) plans

Faced with the possibility that a growing number of employees will outlive their income in retirement, companies will likely consider offering annuities as a new investment option in their 401(k) plans, say experts at Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a leading global consulting firm. "With the baby boomers beginning to retire, we will soon see how the first generation to be more reliant on 401(k) plans than traditional pensions makes do," said Robyn Credico, national director of Watson Wyatt's defined contribution practice.

Almost 70% of employed adults earn retirement benefits

A Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Personal Finance Poll revealed that 69 percent of employed U.S. adults receive some type of retirement or other savings benefit from their employer and that just under half of employed adults (49 percent) can participate in a 401(k) plan. Thirty-six percent say their employer matches their 401(k) contributions and 29 percent have a pension plan.

Survey: Immediate Cash Tops Need for Retirees

As the Boomer generation nears retirement, there is a growing sea change from the need to accumulate assets to having sufficient income to live an enjoyable post-working career life. This shift, Businesswire reports, underscored by a whopping 88% of those polled in a nationwide survey just completed, represents a doubling or tripling of a question posed less than five years ago. Moreover, the just-completed polling found if you want to live at least 30 years in retirement, all things considered, you cannot withdraw more than 4 to 6% of your savings.

Small-Business Employees Want Retirement Plans

Owners of small businesses should offer a retirement plan if they want to recruit and retain good employees, according to a new poll.Fidelity Investments polled 338 workers at businesses with between five and 100 employees.

Few Private CEOs Know About 2006 Pension Reform Act

Most CEOs of fast-growth private companies, ranging in size from $5 million to $150 million in revenue/sales, say they are not knowledgeable at all about the new Pension Reform Act, according to a recent Trendsetter Barometer survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
AccountingWEB Life

A Conversation With Barry Goldwater: Are You Recommending Long-Term Care Insurance?

Who is the largest payer of long-term care assistance? It’s the general public who fund long-term care from personal savings and through public assistance programs. But the numbers bear out that CPAs and advisors are doing a poor job of referring their clients to asset protection long-term care programs. Why is this?
Community News

BMC Creates Senior Living Consulting Group

Beard Miller Company LLP (bmc), a nationally ranked U.S. Top 40 regional accounting and consulting firm, has announced the creation of its new Senior Living Services Consulting Group. The group, based in our Harrisburg, Pa. office, was formerly a segment of KPMG LLP’s national Advisory practice.The Senior Living Services Consulting Group will perform operational assessments, clinical consulting, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, compliance, and revenue cycle services to senior living providers nationwide.
Tax

Avoiding a Tax Bite on Inherited IRAs and 401(k)s

Like life insurance, beneficiaries of individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and workplace accounts (401k, 403b and 457 plans) inherit the proceeds directly without having to go through probate court. And IRAs and 401(k)s have become popular in many estate plans in recent years because they are not subject to probate costs. But unlike life insurance, inherited tax-deferred accounts can trigger a big tax bill for beneficiaries if they transfer the funds to their banks before they talk to their accountants or financial advisers, SFGate.com reports.

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