In a July blog entry, I explained the attempt by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., to delay, or potentially kill, the Department of Labor (DOL) regulation designed to strengthen investment advice standards governing retirement plans. Her bill — the Retail Investor Protection Act (HR 2374) — requires the DOL to defer proposing its fiduciary regulation until 60 days after finalization of a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule aimed at boosting standards for brokers who provide retail investment advice.Read More
Regular visitors to this space may be surprised to find that I’m writing about health insurance instead of retirement. But the two issues intersect in the recent trend to move retirees off of employer-sponsored health plans and instead give them a payment to buy coverage on a health insurance exchange. While the move to private exchanges isn’t directly linked to the Affordable Care Act’s public exchanges, the debate over the law spurred another look at ways to cut costs by businesses, municipalities and consumers.Read More
The intention of the Department of Labor (DOL) proposal to illustrate lifetime income streams on 401(k) statements is to clarify retirement income status for participants. But according to industry and trade groups, the requirement may have the opposite effect — creating more confusion than clarity.Read More
Just after I completed the summer edition of Legislative Insights, I learned that Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., had introduced a bill that would delay the rule-making process currently underway at the Department of Labor (DOL) to amend the definition of a fiduciary. On June 19, her Retail Investor Protection Act (HR 2374) was passed by the House Financial Services Committee by a vote of 44 to 13 —with 13 Democrats supporting it. The bill still needs approval from the full House and Senate, as well as from President Barack Obama.Read More
Part 2: Proposals to Limit, Expand and Simplify
This is the second of a two-part series based on a presentation titled “Subtle Offense, Aggressive Defense: A Retirement Policy Update from Washington,” which was given by attorney Derek Dorn of Davis & Harman at the recent SPARK National Conference in Washington, D.C. The first part looked at possible reforms, while this blog entry outlines proposals likely to affect tax reform and retirement plans.
In addition to offering his take on the partisan environment in Congress and possible tax and Social Security reforms, Derek Dorn also outlined proposals that are likely to be part of future tax reform debates and to have a direct effect on retirement plans.Read More
Part 1: Reform-Minded Congress Presages Change
This is the first of a two-part series based on a presentation titled “Subtle Offense, Aggressive Defense: A Retirement Policy Update from Washington,” which was given by attorney Derek Dorn of Davis & Harman at the recent SPARK National Conference in Washington, D.C. This post looks at possible reforms, while the second will outline proposals likely to affect tax reform and retirement plans.
Citing continued partisanship, Derek Dorn noted that Republicans and Democrats often have competing priorities amid the political pressures they routinely face. There is deepening polarization and a shrinking overlap between the two parties. The cuts made under the sequestration process have delayed the battle over the debt ceiling until October or November. But, Mr. Dorn noted, there is strong interest in Washington in corporate and individual tax reform, which is in turn linked to entitlement reform.Read More