Category Archives: Pension

Pension Posts and Articles

Chapter 28: Why Cashing Out PTO Next Year Doesn’t Work

Our efforts to educate employers about the dangers and surprises associated with PTO cash‑outs (see, Chapter 13 and “When Having Your Cake and Eating It May Be a Bad Thing: Cautions About Cash-Outs of Unused Leave Or PTO”) are having … Continue reading

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Chapter 20: Opting Into A Pick-Up Plan

A recently issued IRS private letter ruling (PLR) puts the kibosh on the fairly common practice of allowing public agency employees to elect whether and at what level to participate in the agency’s mandatory contribution pension plan. This plan design … Continue reading

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Chapter 19: Get the IRS’ Blessing for Your 401(a) Plan – Before It’s Too Late

The IRS has just announced major changes to its program for reviewing and approving the qualified status of certain retirement plan documents (see, Announcement 2015-19).  Essentially, the Service is doing away with its program for issuing determination letters as to … Continue reading

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Chapter 18: It’s Supposed To Go To Whom? Beneficiary Designation In Governmental Defined Contribution Plans

Here’s an interesting difference between public and private industry plans that we were reminded of recently and that we’d like to share with our governmental clients and their advisors because it can be so problematic. In most private industry plans, … Continue reading

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Chapter 17: Bankruptcy Ruling Cuts CalPERS Down To Size

On February 4, 2015, the Judge overseeing the City of Stockton bankruptcy issued an opinion, overruling Franklin Templeton’s lone objections to the City’s plan of reorganization and, very pointedly, clarifying the true role of CalPERS – at least in a … Continue reading

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Chapter 16: Same-Gender Spouse Ruling Requires Review Of Public Retirement Plans

On June 26, 2013, in United States v. Windsor (Windsor), the Supreme Court decided that section 3 of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional.  DOMA had limited “marriage” to opposite-gender couples for purposes of federal law.  As result … Continue reading

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Chapter 9: Suffering A California Pension Reform Confusion Headache? This Might Help

A recent matter that came to our firm involving interpretation of the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA) brought to light yet another painfully confusing question. What exactly is a “new member?” During a recent phone call … Continue reading

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Chapter 4: A Lesson From The “Show Me” State

Although governmental plans are not subject to ERISA, all are subject to a combination of State and common law fiduciary rules – many of which (including California’s) contain language identical to the standards of ERISA. Most fiduciaries of public agency … Continue reading

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Chapter 3: The Trouble With Being “Governmental” – Falling On The Wrong Side Of This Definition Could Hurt

Last fall, the IRS announced that it would begin the process of issuing regulations to clarify what is a “governmental plan” under Internal Revenue Code section 414(d) and asked interested parties to comment on the general approach it was taking … Continue reading

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Chapter 2: Don’t Stand Around Asking If The Sky Is Falling – The Wrong Question Is More Dangerous Than The Wrong Answer

Since the Stanford Institute For Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) issued its latest report on California’s public pension spending, a fair amount has been written by those who are seriously concerned about the potentially enormous size of the unfunded liability of … Continue reading

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