Blog

Saving the 401(k)

Congress continues to actively debate a variety of tax reform proposals, all adversely impacting our existing retirement system. The American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) is leading the way in providing counter arguments to these proposals.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have proposed a “blank slate” approach to tax reform, meaning the tax deferral incentive for retirement plans would be discontinued along with every other tax incentive in the IRS code that represents “permanent” lost revenue. On June 27, ASPPA responded to Chairman Baucus and Senator Hatch, reminding them that the tax incentives of retirement plans are deferrals of tax liability, not permanent exclusions or exemptions. The existing budget rules score tax deferrals in retirement plans as current tax expenditures without proper recognition of the present value of the future tax revenue. This fundamental flaw in the budget scoring system is the reason that retirement plans are in the crosshairs of the tax reform movement.

On the House side of the debate, there is interest in tying tax reform to the looming debt ceiling deadline. ASPPA has released an excellent video summary of the debt ceiling impact here:

http://www.asppanews.org/2013/05/02/washington-update-tax-reform-rearing-its-head-again/

ASPPA has also sent a comment letter to the Pensions and Retirement Tax Reform Working Group of the House Ways and Means Committee. In the letter, they argue for the maintenance of the current tax incentives, reminding House members that the current budget scoring rules skew the actual impact to the budget by understating future tax revenue.

http://www.asppa.org/Document-Vault/PDFs/GAC/2013/04152013.aspx

In addition to the Congressional debate, President Obama has submitted a proposed 2014 budget provision limiting how much money an individual can invest in retirement accounts on an annual basis. The limit would be linked to the cost to purchase an annuity that would generate a $250,000 annual income payment (which is the defined benefit plan limit). The limit would be aggregated across all tax deferred accounts held by that individual. While the number of individuals impacted by this limit might be small today, the increase in administrative burden to comply with the requirement would be significant. Young workers enrolling (and auto-enrolling) into plans will also be more likely to hit the limit as their benefits are projected out 45 or more years under this new compliance test. A great analysis of this proposal was published in the NY Times on May 15, 2013.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/business/retirementspecial/a-proposal-to-cap-tax-deferred-savings-stirs-opposition.html?smid=pl-share

Last year, ASPPA launched “Save My 401k”, a grassroots campaign aimed at protecting the private retirement system. The campaign’s message is being deployed through social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and You Tube. ASPPA has also established a website with content to educate lawmakers and the general public about the utilization rates of 401(k) and other employer sponsored savings plans.

The SaveMy401k.com site provides links to allow you to directly email your elected representatives to urge continued support of the existing regulations. It takes only 20 seconds to process your request. Every email and letter counts as Congress gauges public interest in the debate. Over 150,000 letters have been generated from the savemy401.com site to date.

ASPPA has also created a LinkedIn group and Facebook page of the same name (see below) with daily posts and links to news articles, proposed legislation, statistics, and other important information.

ASPPA has made various marketing materials available with the Save My 401k campaign branding including email signature graphics and other templates at www.asppa.org.

Save My 401k website: http://savemy401k.com/

Save My 401k on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/SaveMy401k?fref=ts

Save My 401k on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SaveMy401k?feature=watch

 

 

Coming soon…Mid Atlantic “Rep Roundtable” webinars

At Mid Atlantic, we’re here to help provide you with the infrastructure and tools you need to run your business more effectively and make your job as an independent advisor easier. In doing that, your feedback is very important to us as we strive to implement as many of your suggestions as possible. It’s all part of our commitment to providing you with a concierge level of service!

We frequently receive suggestions to create a forum or network where Mid Atlantic reps can interact, exchange ideas, and share success stories with one another. So in response, Mid Atlantic is pleased to announce that we will soon be launching quarterly webinar conferences where reps can participate in, and even host, roundtable-style discussions with fellow Mid Atlantic registered representatives! We believe this is a terrific opportunity for you to collaborate with other reps to discuss key aspects of your practice, including:

• Practice Management
• Business Development
• Technology
• Regulation
• Succession Planning

Our goal is to have these webinar roundtables be presented by reps for reps. Mid Atlantic will simply provide the forum to facilitate these discussions. If you have ideas for topics you’d specifically like to see featured, or are interested in being a presenter or host, please contact Paul Edwards (pedwards@macg.com). Paul will be sending updates regarding webinar dates and times once the remaining details are finalized.

 

MA National Conference 2013

Our 2013 National Conference was held May 19-21 at the fabulous Tamaya Resort in New Mexico. Keynote speakers were renowned investment strategist Bruce Johnstone and motivational speaker Andy Hill. They informed, inspired, and entertained! We thank our 250+ attendees, presenters and sponsors for making it an educational and enjoyable experience for all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotlight on Bill McMorran – Green Oak Consulting Group

Bill McMorran, together with his business partner, Bill Altavilla, formed Green Oak Consulting Group (Green Oak) in 1986. Green Oak works with charitable organizations, individual donors and professional advisors on a consulting basis in order to promote, plan, establish and administer planned gifts i.e. charitable remainder trusts and charitable gift annuity contracts.

Prior to forming Green Oak, Bill was the National Coordinator for AARP’s Tax Aide and Health Advocacy programs in Washington, D.C. where he wrote several tax and financial guides for older people. He is actively involved in various associations and memberships dedicated to improving the quality of life for aging adults. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, Bill lives with his family in Hollywood, California.

Q. What is it about you that people would be surprised to know?

A. I am an ordained Presbyterian minister who still performs weddings.

Q. How did you get to where you are today?

A. Circumstances in our lives can take us down unexpected paths. Growing up in Pittsburgh, I had a paper route which, looking back, wasn’t much different than what we do today. I was really drawn to older adult customers. I enjoyed interacting with them. Later on, as part of my seminary training, we were required to work at a church on the weekend. I didn’t have a car so I wasn’t able to get involved in local suburban church youth groups. Instead, I took the train to Philadelphia to serve an urban church. There were no kids, only angry older people who were forming the Gray Panthers, a grass roots group working on improving the lives of the elderly. Hello Gray Panthers, good-bye youth program! That led to my internship and then full time job with AARP. There I became the older adult tax and health policy expert that led eventually to my work with hospitals and retirement organizations in building planned giving programs.

Q. What do you like most about being an advisor?

A. I love interacting with my client organizations, their leadership, donors and staff in fulfilling their mission through planned gifts.

Q. How has Mid Atlantic helped you with your business?

A. You “get us”. You understand our business model/plan and your boutique operating style provides us with a variety of products and necessary support.

Q. What do you do in your downtime?

A. You can find me at the gym or music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza.

Now Available – new eDelivery demo

Spread the word about how eDelivery helps maximize efficiency. With eDelivery, your National Financial Services (“NFS”) customers are not only helping the environment with less paper clutter and use – they’re maximizing how efficiently they receive and access their account information and documents. To help you showcase the benefits of eDelivery, NFS has prepared a new video highlighting key advantages.

InfoxChange webinar: Building an Effective Retirement Plan Sales Presentation

A key part of the retirement plan sales process is developing an effective sales pitch that displays your capabilities, demonstrates your client focus and differentiates your services from the competition. Mid Atlantic Trust Company is proud to present Franklin Templeton Investments to help you assess the services you bring to the equation, and understand some key points plan sponsors are looking for.

Title: Mid Atlantic InfoxChange: Building an Effective Retirement Plan Sales Presentation

Date: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Time: 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM EST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

Space is limited: Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/433541610

Turbo Tax link for myStreetscape users

Users of myStreetscape will be able to access National Financial produced tax forms for import into TurboTax beginning on or about February 4, 2013.

The following forms will be eligible for import:

  • 1099-B
  • 1099-DIV
  • 1099-INT
  • 1099-OID
  • 1099-R

More information, including instructions for importing into TurboTax, will be sent to our registered representatives via email before year-end.

ModelxChange expansion

Mid Atlantic would like to share with you the latest news regarding ModelxChange®. ModelxChange® is ideal for those Professional Money Managers, Investment Advisors, and Plan Record Keepers who want to stay on the forefront of the 401(k) marketplace, and are interested in maintaining a larger share of the generated revenues. It is also a great platform for high net worth accounts.

LEARN MORE >>

If you would like more information on ModelxChange®, please contact Brian Lenz or John Hufnagel at MATC by calling 1-800-693-7800.

July Business Services receives CEFEX certification

Congratulations are in order to one of Mid Atlantic Trust Company’s Third Party Administration and Record Keeping partners, July Business Services, Inc.  for receiving certification from the Center for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX) for both plan administration and record keeping. The receipt of these two certifications is surely an accomplishment and well deserved. Congratulations July Business Services, keep up the great work!

http://www.cefex.org/registrationDetails.aspx?reg=10181

http://www.cefex.org/registrationDetails.aspx?reg=10177

InfoXchange webinar: 401(k): The Plan of Opportunity

Mid Atlantic Trust Company is proud to present Managing Director of Retirement Plan Services at Brinker Capital, Bill Simon, to discuss the opportunities present in the retirement plan marketplace.

Bill will show you how to better communicate with plans sponsors regarding their fiduciary responsibility and the merits of outsourcing that liability to a 3(38) advisor. He will also provide a long term secular market outlook and highlight how managed accounts fit into that context.

Lastly, Bill will present a cutting edge benchmarking and diagnostic tool which can help you uncover retirement plan opportunities.

Title: Mid Atlantic InfoXchange: 401(k): The Plan of Opportunity
Date: Monday, September 24, 2012
Time: 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM EDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/991487306