Michael Kreps Discusses In-Plan Retirement Income Options with Pensions & Investments
January 13, 2020
In the Pensions & Investments article, “No one rushing to add annuity income option,” principal Michael Kreps weighed in on whether plan sponsors will now move to offer in-plan retirement income options given the safe harbor provisions provided in the recently passed SECURE Act.
Taking into account conversations with fiduciaries for large plans recently, Kreps commented that “[s]ome will dip their toes into this.” Even if plans decide to act, it can take a year or more to complete a plan-design change, suggesting that 2021 may be a target for some employers to incorporate the in-plan lifetime income options, he said. He added that despite the safe harbor, sponsors may continue to have general concerns about litigation. “Litigation risk makes everyone a little gun-shy,” he said. When contemplating adding an in-plan retirement income option, “sponsors have to be comfortable in justifying the product and the fees,” he said. “The benefits to participants must be justified by the costs.”
Groom principal Brigen Winters weighed in on the Setting Every Community up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019, referred to as the SECURE Act, and its impact on small employers in the Pensions & Investments article titled “SECURE Act moves to reality from long shot.”
Winters noted that “…the open MEP provision will provide more opportunities to small employers who do not have the bandwidth and benefits knowledge needed to offer a retirement plan of their own.”
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David Levine Speaks with CNBC About the SECURE Act and Related Distribution Rules
December 17, 2019
Groom principal David Levine was featured in the CNBC article “Lawmakers are killing this popular retirement tax break for the wealthy.” He commented on the recently passed SECURE Act provision that reduces the window for beneficiaries of individual retirement accounts and certain retirement plans to take distribution, particularly affecting individuals leaving large inheritances in these retirement accounts. Termed the “stretch IRA,” this prevalent tactic has traditionally allowed beneficiaries to take distributions from such retirement accounts over an undefined time period. After December 31, 2019, the SECURE Act provides specific time periods under which beneficiaries must have all money withdrawn from these accounts.
“In some cases it may be better to die on Dec. 31, 2019 than Jan. 1, 2020,” said Levine.