2017 Supplement to the Governmental Plans Answer Book Published (Posted on October 3, 2016 by )

The 2017 supplement to the Governmental Plans Answer Book has now been published. It reflects substantial new developments in the area over the past year.

New materials include the following:

  • The IRS’s proposals to eliminate or substantially modify the determination letter process (see Q 4:135).
  • Proposed Department of Labor regulations concerning the definition of a fiduciary (see Qs 7:1 through 7:4) and fee disclosure requirements for service providers (see Q 8:22).
  • Revenue Ruling 2014-9, which provided guidance to plans concerning the circumstances under which they could accept rollovers (see Qs 4:22 through 4:27).
  • Notice 2015-07, discussing the extent to which a governmental plan can cover employees of charter schools (see Q 1:17).
  • Update on state funding issues, including the role of state policies requiring payment of the annual required contribution in increasing the chance that employers would make their required contributions (see Qs 6:63 through 6:66).
  • Recent developments concerning same-sex marriage and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance treating discrimination based on sexual orientation as sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (see Qs 1:38 and 1:45).
  • New explanations in the Beneficiary Designations and the Domestic Relations Orders chapters to follow the Supreme Court’s decision concerning same-sex marriage (see Qs 12:32, 12:39, 12:45, 12:46, 13:31, 13:37, and 13:62).
  • Recent major state legislative changes affecting state and local governmental plans (see Q 2:122).
  • The Supreme Court’s ruling that inherited IRAs are not “retirement funds” and are no longer exempt from the property of the estate under federal law (see Q 14:38).
  • Analysis of why proceedings about child support result in difficult orders (see Q 13:22).
  • Review of the effect of a recent court decision about whether a beneficiary designation must be in its maker’s handwriting (see Q 12:5).
  • Discussion of whether exemptions are a potential concern to debtor participants’ interests in governmental plans (see Q 14:31).
  • Controversy regarding public plan divestment in fossil fuel stocks (see Qs 7:84, 7:85, and 7:100).
  • Impact of a participant’s plan loan on the Chapter (7 or 13) under which the participant can obtain relief (see Q 14:12).
  • Revisions to discussions explaining a plan’s administrator discretionary power to decide whether a participant had made a beneficiary designation (see Chapter 12).
  • Expanded explanation of whether a domestic relations order (DRO) directed to a retirement plan can be used to pay child support (see Q 13:21).
  • Updated explanations about the effect of premarital agreements and marital agreements to follow the recent Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act (see Qs 12:49 through 12:53).
  • A 2014 court decision as an example of domestic relations courts’ orders that treat a person who never was the participant’s spouse and was never even a putative spouse as though the nonspouse is the participant’s nonchild dependent, even if the facts known to the court make clear that the ostensible dependent is no longer in the participant’s household (see Q 13:19).
  • Recent developments in case law affecting governmental plans, including numerous new decisions in constitutional disputes, and new sections labeled “Fiduciary Duty” and “Correction of Errors” with relevant cases (see Appendix E).

For more information on this book, written by Carol V. Calhoun, Cynthia L. Moore, and Keith Brainard, you can use the following links: