Independent Actuaries Blog Author: Steve Diess

Big Changes Ahead for Governmental Employers

Earlier this summer the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) announced their approval of three new statements pertaining to the accounting for retirement benefits: Statements 73, 74 and 75. Statement 73 pertains to pension benefits, and is basically an enhancement of … Continue reading

Good News for Oregon Taxpayers from PERS

At its July 30th meeting, the Oregon PERS Board voted to lower the rate of return assumed to be earned on its investments in future years from 7.75% to 7.50%. Not long ago the assumed rate was 8.0%. Except for … Continue reading

Expanding Possibilities for Cash Balance Plans

On September 19th the IRS issued both new proposed regulations and final regulations that update regulations originally issued in proposed form in 2010 covering Cash Balance and other hybrid pension plans. While the IRS did not address all questions left … Continue reading

Building Highways through Pension Funding Relief

As of today, it looks like the much debated H.R. 5021 – Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 is finally on the brink of becoming law. What does this have to do with retirement plans? The expenditures in the … Continue reading

Nondiscrimination Relief – A Step in the Right Direction

The IRS recently released Notice 2014-5, Temporary Nondiscrimination Relief for Closed Defined Benefit Plans and Request for Comments. The temporary relief provided in the Notice is nice, but not applicable for most of our small or mid-sized business owner clients. … Continue reading

Good News for Small Employer Pension Plans?

Too often, pension plan legislation seems to be written with the large (several thousand participant) plan sponsor in mind, while paying little regard to the thousands of small plan sponsors.  This can result in ridiculous administrative burdens placed on small … Continue reading

Proposed Defined Benefit Plan Relief: Simple, Logical, Necessary

Steering the financial end of a business, whether it be a sole proprietorship, a small company, or a big corporation, can be challenging under the best of circumstances. Throw a defined benefit pension plan (DB plan) into the mix, and … Continue reading

A (Long) Fade into the Sunset

In our profession, we often talk about the ideal of “phased retirement”. From a lifestyle standpoint, it can be a challenge to work full time up to a certain age, abruptly retire, work zero time thereafter, and be happy and … Continue reading

Oregon HB 3605: Good Intentions, Bad Consequences

Generational inequity has been and will continue to be an issue tied to public retirement benefit plans (as it is with Social Security, Medicare, and other tax funded programs). It’s not fair for one generation of workers to promise themselves … Continue reading

Cash Balance Plans in a Healthcare Reform Environment

Cash balance plans can be a great fit for successful, small- to mid-sized businesses in which some or all of the owners/partners would like to tax defer a lot more of their income than they can with their 401(k) plan … Continue reading