Pension & Benefits Daily™ covers all major legislative, regulatory, legal, and industry developments in the area of employee benefits every business day, focusing on actions by Congress,...
Nov. 19 — Companion bills that would clarify how to apply the tax code and retirement laws to church pension plans were introduced in the House and the Senate by a team of bipartisan lawmakers.
The bills, both called the Church Plan Clarification Act of 2015 (S. 2308, H.R. 4085), would correct several legal and regulatory issues that such pension plans face, lawmakers said in a news release Nov. 19.
Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), co-chairs of the Senate Retirement Security Caucus, introduced S. 2308 on Nov. 19, the same day that Reps. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) and Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) introduced H.R. 4085.
“Many church plans date back to the 18th century, and our complicated tax system hasn’t always kept up with the times. More than 1 million clergy, faith institution workers, and their dependents deserve the peace of mind that comes with the financial security during retirement that we wish for every American,” Cardin said in the release.
The legislation would tackle five distinct issues, including rules on controlled groups, grandfathered defined benefit plans, automatic enrollment, transfers between 403(b) and 401(a) plans, and 81-100 trusts, the release said.
Regarding the controlled group rules, the legislation would establish “rules for aggregation of church-related entities for benefits rules and testing purposes that reflect the unique structural characteristics of religious organizations,” the release said.
The twin bills also aim to allow for mergers and transfers between 403(b) church retirement plans and 401(a) qualified church retirement plans, something that isn't permitted under current regulations.
Additionally, the legislation would allow for automatic enrollment in church plans by preempting state laws that don't permit that, the release said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kristen Ricaurte Knebel in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el Meyer at email@example.com
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)