Happy Friday, readers! We learned this week that the retirement plan advisory industry will have to wait even longer to see a Department of Labor Secretary first questioned and then either confirmed or denied by the U.S. Senate. You’ll likely have heard by now that President Trump’s first pick couldn’t get enough support to actually win the job—even from a Senate controlled by Republican allies—leading to a last-minute withdrawal for the nominee just before his confirmation hearings were set to start. Find below our initial coverage of the new nominee, Alex Acosta, along with the week’s other top news.
Days after the surprise withdrawal of Andrew Puzder as President Trump’s Labor Secretary nominee, the White House is now confirming their new pick for the job, former member of the National Labor Relations Board R. Alexander Acosta.
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Their concerns are that small businesses will be discouraged from offering retirement plans to employees, and that employees put into state-run plans will not have the protections of ERISA and will have limited control over their retirement savings.
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It appears some last-minute amendments have largely removed controversial provisions from the Senate’s version of tax reform legislation that would have had a big impact on governmental 457 and nonprofit 403(b) plan sponsors.
The American Retirement Association says that tax reform could be a disincentive for small businesses to offer retirement plans; however, as one reader shares, there are counter considerations having to do with Roth 401(k) options that could mitigate some of the concern.
The richly detailed text of the complaint shows multiple individuals are accused of defrauding Great-West and depositing ill-gotten assets in a variety of U.S. banks, resulting in fraud and money laundering charges.