Dear NAGDCA Members,
What a joy it was to see you all again in Baltimore last week. I think I saw more smiles and handshakes and hugs than I have in the past three years combined. It was obvious you were back in the company of friends, and that the absence of an in-person event left a void that needed to be filled. I hope you got as much out of it as I did.
While we were so glad to be in a room together again, we know that some of you were unable to join us this year due to circumstances beyond your control. To accommodate those members and include some who are not able to get permission to travel to the live event, we offered a hybrid/virtual option for the first time. I have been pleased to see some positive feedback from the over 120 attendees of the virtual event, and we will continue to develop this option in the future to expand our reach to those of you unable to travel.
As you can imagine, running our first live conference in three years while running our first simulcast virtual conference was no small feat. I cannot give enough credit to our team from AMR Management Services for their nearly flawless execution of both events. Many of you know (and of course, love) Carly Miller from her years of service with NAGDCA, but you may not know that Carly was the only member of the AMR staff who had previously worked on the NAGDCA Annual Conference. Josh, Molly, Alexa, Leighann, and Christina were all new to the organization this year, and they pulled everything off without a hitch. Quite an accomplishment!
While their performance represents them well as individuals, it also speaks to the legacy of NAGDCA’s long-time AMR liaison – Tracy Tucker. This marked the first time in twenty years that Tracy was not heading AMR’s efforts at the Annual Conference. She was missed, but her professionalism continues to shine through in the work of those she brought in to carry her torch. She is still involved with NAGDCA, but with less daily contact than in her previous role. If you know Tracy, you know she doesn’t want any thanks, but she deserves immense credit for her work. Thanks, Tracy!
Finally, I want to mention that our year is far from done. The Annual Conference is our keystone event, but we have plenty more we want to do this year. Be on the look out for invitations to more NAGDCA Connect Conversations and Exchanges, and for those of you on one of our committees – we will be in touch soon to get your work started for the coming year.
Thank you, again, for everything you do.
All the Best,
By Groom Law Group
On September 8, the Senate Finance Committee released the text of its SECURE 2.0 bill, the Enhancing American Retirement Now (EARN) Act (S. 4808). The Committee unanimously approved the conceptual version of the bill on June 22.¹ The text follows the contours agreed upon by the committee in June, so, as expected, NAGDCA’s priorities were included in the bill:
- Modifying the Internal Revenue Code to allow 403(b)s to invest in collective investment trusts (with a recognition of the need to expand the provision to address the securities laws);
- Eliminating the “first day of the month” rule for 457 plans; and
- Exempting designated Roth contributions from the lifetime required minimum distribution rules.
In addition to the above, the EARN Act includes many other provisions, such as allowing matching contributions on employee student loan payments, increasing the required minimum distribution age from 72 to 75, and creating a federal “Lost and Found” to help people find inactive retirement accounts. The EARN Act also allows 403(b) plans to participate in pooled employer plans (“PEPs”) and modifies the Saver’s Credit to make it refundable and pay it as a direct contribution to the individual’s retirement savings account rather than as a tax refund.
The next step for the legislation is for staff to harmonize the EARN Act, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s version of SECURE 2.0 (the Retirement Improvement and Savings Enhancement to Supplement Healthy Investments for the Nest Egg (RISE and SHINE) Act (S. 4353)), and the House-passed Securing a Strong Retirement Act (H.R. 2954).
Staff negotiations over the larger package have reportedly been positive, though staff has deferred discussion of several difficult topics until later this fall. The open issues include:
- Whether to require automatic enrollment for new defined contribution plans, which is a high priority for Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) but has faced opposition from some in the Senate;
- Mandatory annual paper statements, which is a priority for certain consumer groups but is widely opposed by the retirement industry;
- How to reform the Saver’s Credit, including whether to make it refundable or, if not, how to expand it to cover more people;
- Whether to permit 403(b) plans to invest in collective investment trusts, which requires additional securities law amendments not included in the versions of the bill approved by the House and the Senate Finance Committee;
- Where to house a federal “Lost and Found” aimed at helping participants find their retirement savings, as well as the creation of a federal escheatment program for certain small accounts; and
- The effective dates of various provisions (e.g., increasing the age of the requirement minimum distributions), as many of those provisions materially impact the cost of the bill.
It is not clear whether Congress will be able to pass SECURE 2.0 this year. The fate of the legislation is likely tied to whether leadership of both parties can agree to include the provisions in a year-end legislative package.
¹The Finance Committee operates differently than most committees in Congress, in that it holds “conceptual markups” during which lawmakers review and approve legislative concepts rather than bill text. Bill text is then drafted after the Committee has approved the conceptual mark.
SHIFTING DC TIMES | Behind the scenes in LA
How America’s largest municipal county revitalized its DC plan communications to reach participants during uncertain times
Shifting DC Times caught up with Keith Knox, Treasurer, Tax Collector and Public administrator for the County of Los Angeles. Mr. Knox is responsible for overseeing the investments within the County of Los Angeles 457(b) Horizons and 401(k) Savings Plans. He talks with Invesco about how Los Angeles County quickly adapted to virtual communications at the start of the pandemic, the approach they take to encourage employees to stay in-plan(s) post retirement, and the plan committee’s point of view on including alternatives and ESG investments in the defined contribution (DC) plans.
NAGDCA accepts article submissions from all members to include in the quarterly newsletter. To submit an article, please click here. All articles subject to approval.
NATIONAL RETIREMENT SECURITY MONTH
National Retirement Security Month (NRSM) begins on October 1! Click below for planning tips and campaign materials and be sure to let us know how you’re celebrating and promoting the month by using #NRSM22 in all your social media posts.
2023 DUES RENEWALS LAUNCHING SOON
Keep an eye out in November for your 2023 membership dues invoice! Renew early to ensure you continue receiving membership benefits through 2023.
Thank you to everyone who attended the 2022 Annual Conference either in-person or virtually! If you haven’t already, please complete the conference evaluation by October 5 to let us know what you thought about the event.
Mark your calendar today for the 2023 Annual Conference, scheduled for October 8-11 at the Hyatt Regency Seattle.