National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors

Congress Funds the Government until December 9; Punts on Policy Issues

October 14, 2016

Late on September 28, Congress—in order to keep the government operating after the September 30 end of this fiscal year—enacted a short-term spending bill that contains no policy provisions. President Obama signed it into law on September 29. Decisions on what to do about policy changes were deferred until lawmakers return to the Capitol after the November 8 elections. At that time, Congress plans to craft and enact legislation to keep the government running for all of fiscal year (FY) 2017 (...

Senate Finance Committee Approves Open MEPs/Stretch IRA Pension Bill

October 14, 2016

On September 21, the Senate Finance Committee approved a pension bill that, among other things, expands employer eligibility to participate in multiple employer pension plans (MEPs). The bill also accelerates tax liability on inherited IRA and 401(k) amounts. Below is a summary of the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA).   RESA as approved by the Senate Finance Committee includes the following provisions:   Open MEPs : The open MEP provisions in RESA would expand eligibi...

Merrill Lynch Announces Response to New Fiduciary Rule

October 14, 2016

Among the first of the financial institutions to announce plans in response to the new Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule, Merrill Lynch said that as of next year the company will no longer offer new, advised commission-based IRAs. Merrill Lynch’s 14,000 advisors may work with new retail retirement accounts only in a fee-based environment as of April 10, 2017, the company said.   “We have determined that for most of our Merrill Lynch clients, the best way for us to deliver retiremen...

California Authorizes Its State-Run Retirement Program

October 14, 2016

Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a measure that creates a state-run retirement program in the Golden State. The new law will require the state’s employers to automatically enroll their workers in the state plan unless they offer their own retirement savings plan to their workers.   The new law, SB 1234, applies to employers with at least five employees. It requires them to either offer a retirement savings plan to their workers, or enroll them in a new state-based retirement savin...

Congress Pushes Back on New Overtime Rules Set to Kick in on December 1

October 14, 2016

The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new overtime (OT) rules, scheduled to take effect on December 1, are very controversial. There are bills pending in both the House and Senate that would kill, delay or phase-in the rule.   The rules come under the auspices of the “white collar” exception to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA’s) minimum wage and overtime rules. Generally, the FLSA requires time-and-a-half pay for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. The white collar exception—applicabl...