Category Archives: Governmental Retirement

Why Hire A “3(38)” Adviser For A Public Agency 457(b) Or 401(a) Plan?

Most public sector retirement plan sponsors understand that even though their plans may not be subject to the fiduciary duties and responsibilities of ERISA, they are still subject to fiduciary duties under applicable State law.  Moreover, certain States like California … Continue reading

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Chapter 32: How “Not” To Transition To A New Record-Keeper

Time and time again plan sponsors seriously disadvantage themselves and their plan participants by announcing the migration of their plan from one record-keeper to a new record-keeper before all the conditions for a smooth transition have been fulfilled.  Record-keepers know … Continue reading

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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 24: 457(b) Plan Fees And Revenue Sharing

Many public agencies pay little attention to their 457(b) plans because the agencies are not “paying” for them out of their own budgets. See Have You Checked Your Retirement Plan Fees Lately? Plan fiduciaries are legally required, at least in … Continue reading

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Chapter 23: Have You Checked Your Retirement Plan Fees Lately?

Many public agencies’ 457(b) plans, where all fees are paid by the plans, may be neglected for years or even decades.  And while this neglect may not cost the district or the city any more money, it is definitely costing … 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 15: Giving Employees Choices Can Sometimes Lead To Problems

Because many of our public agency clients have collectively-bargained employees, we continue to see a variety of efforts by employers and their bargaining partners to make the most of limited compensation and benefits dollars.  Sometimes, the parties believe that they … Continue reading

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Chapter 14: Not Everyone Wants To Share – How Many OPEB Trusts Do You Need?

Now that the general economic situation and public agency finances appear to be improving, a number of municipalities and special districts are once again looking at their unfunded OPEB (other post-employment benefits) liabilities with an eye to getting these liabilities … Continue reading

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