ASPPA 2021 Conference: Day 1

The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) is holding their annual conference in Maryland through Tuesday and I paid the $450 to see some of the sessions on this computer.

Here is what I got out of today by session:

WS01: Accessing Retirement Funds for Major Life Events- Hardships and QBADS Offer Newer Options

Can’t take a hardship distribution from Defined Benefit plan.

No loan requirement prior to hardship; no 6 month suspension of deferrals after hardship

WS07: Long-Term, Part-Time

Effective 2021, earliest entry could be 1/1/24 but SECURE 2.0 might make that 1/1/23

LTPT: 3 consecutive 12 month periods credited with 500 hours of service

May be excluded from employer contributions including TH minimum.

Amendment due by end of 2022 plan year unless SECURE 2.0 extends it to 2023.

DOL proposed not counting LTPT participants not deferring in count for audit exemption.

ARA which is in budget reconciliation may make this session moot. However, ARA costed at $44 billion so may be casualty.

WS13: True Case Studies in Ethics — Oh, the Horror!


WS19: Plan Terms/Plan Mergers/Partial Plan Term — Some Unfortunate Effects of Economic Downturn

Focus on DC plans.

50/50 going in for determination letter on termination for Craig Hoffman clients.

All account balances that are held in the plan as of the date of termination must fully vest regardless of when participant terminated employment.

However, if a partially vested participant was paid out his vested portion but his non-vested portion was not reallocated and remained in the plan’s suspense account, that participant would not be due that non-vested portion were the plan to terminate.

$2,700 user fee for determination letter request on plan termination.

General Session 1: Washington Update

per Brian Graff who has spent 25 years at ASPPA and got some recognition for it at the end of this session.

Rob Portman retiring and wants to go out with a pension bill. Not likely in 2021 but in 2020 may get spousal consent requirement for DC plans new safe-harbor 401(k) options.

Debt limit raised through early January but McConnell got mad and likely will not allow Republican support for next hike.

Hispanic and Black coverage in 401(k) plans is low and if this situation it does not improve private sector plans could be eliminated in favor of a government option as in Australia. States (first Oregon, then CA, and 8 others) are setting up their own plans and forcing companies to be in it if they don’t have their own plans. This is good for us in that companies do not want to give their money to states (especially in CA and NJ) so they set up their own plans that need to administered by us.

Proposal that may be effective in 2023 is requiring all companies with at least six employees in the last two years to set up a 401(k) plan with auto-enrollment at 6% going up to 10%. Pie would increase by 62 million participants (from 95 million now) and 600,000 plans (on top of 800,000 now).

Peter Thiel’s backdoor Roth IRA got Congress mad and, if a reconciliation bill goes through, they’re gone. Another result is $10 million cap on DC and IRA accounts (for those who make over $400,000) that would be coming in 2022 – 3,600 people to be impacted and DB plans not included.

Conflicted about how I feel about how this session ended; lot of words come to mind but can’t settle on one. (started recording towards the end after about 3 other song clips):

5 responses to this post.

  1. ….what are they celebrating? Being there in person?

    (and who? ASPPA staff?)


    • It was all in honor of Brian Graff’s 25th anniversary with (ASPA/ASPPA) and those were attendees. ASPPA staff would likely only be big enough for a one couple waltz.


  2. […] give their money to states to manage (especially in CA and NJ) to set up their own plans which, as mentioned at the last ASPPA conference, would be a boon for 401(k) […]


  3. […] Among the pieces of information doled out at the last ASPPA conference: […]


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