Disclaimer: The comments below represent my own opinion and do not necessarily represent those of my employer or any organization to which I may belong.
Administrators of defined benefit plans and other professionals dealing with them have had a real problem on their hands this year. 2008 is now half over and a significant amount of clear, final guidance on how the Pension Protection Act applies to plans has not been issued. We have a new law. Many provisions are effective for the 2008 plan year (some act provisions were effective even earlier). We really can’t blame the IRS for this because Congress passed the biggest overhaul of pension law since ERISA and then dumped the whole regulatory mess in the lap of the Service.
We have some proposed regulations. The effective date of the [yet to be issued] final regulations have been put off until 2009. What are we to do in the meantime? A “reasonable interpretation” will be acceptable. This seems to have replaced “good faith reliance”. At times, “reasonable’, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. We can also rely on the proposed regulations. In the preambles, we have been asked for comments on certain issues that the Service is considering. Can we rely on this request for comments? Are administrators, actuaries, and lawyers going to be left holding the bag when final regulations are issued? What worries me is that what many think is a reasonable interpretation of the language of the law may turn out to be not reasonable when the final rules are in.
My question to this forum is, what have you been doing in 2008 when dealing with your defined benefit plans, especially in two areas: where no proposed regulations have been issued and where musings in preambles and in open forums by government representatives are disagreed with by practitioners?
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)