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Brian Graff, Esq.

Brian Graff, Esq.

Brian is the Executive Director of NAPA. In this capacity he oversees NAPA’s operations. As a member of the Leadership Council, he charts the strategic direction for the organization. Brian also serves as ASPPA’s Executive Director/CEO — a post he has held since 1996.

He has been named one of 401kWire’s “50 Most Influential Persons in the 401(k) Industry” every year since 2007.

An attorney and certified public accountant, Brian was formerly Legislation Counsel to the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation. Prior to working on Capitol Hill, he was associated with The Groom Law Group, in Washington, DC, which specializes in employee benefits. He received his doctoral degree in law, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia. He holds a bachelor of science in accounting with distinction from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

By Brian Graff, Esq.5/8/2015 • 0 Comments

Registered investment advisors may be thinking that the Department of Labor’s proposed “conflict of interest” regulation doesn’t have an impact on them. After all, they are already fiduciaries acting in the best interest of their client. READ MORE

By Brian Graff, Esq.3/12/2015 • 0 Comments

Several months ago, ASPPA members overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new name and structure for the umbrella organization of our four sister associations — the American Retirement Association. Today, we’re announcing our new name and structure to the media, policy makers and the industry at large. READ MORE

By Brian Graff, Esq.1/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Here we go again. Yesterday, the Indiana Senate Labor and Pensions Committee unanimously approved legislation that would create a state-run multiple employer plan for private sector businesses in the state. The proposal is being pushed by AARP, which is arguing that there are no cost-effective retirement plan products available to small businesses in the state. READ MORE

By Brian Graff, Esq.12/2/2013 • 3 Comments

It’s now less than a year until the next mid-term congressional elections, and the protracted talk about the critical need to reform our nation's tax laws has yet to result in an actual piece of legislation. So is it time to send the issue of tax reform into hibernation — until 2015 at the very least, after next year's elections? Recent indicators suggest that it very well might be. READ MORE

By Brian Graff, Esq.8/12/2013 • 0 Comments

Responding to the recent effort by Prof. Ian Ayres of the Yale Law School to threaten plan sponsors with negative publicity for voluntarily offering their employees “high cost” 401(k) plans, ASPPA sent a letter Aug. 9 — co-signed by plan sponsors who personally received the professor’s letter — to the dean of Yale Law School, Robert C. Post. The letter addresses the flaws of the professor’s research and requests a meeting regarding steps the school should take to address the damage that the professor has done by irresponsibly contacting more than 6,000 plan sponsors based on a faulty premise. READ MORE

By Brian Graff, Esq.7/25/2013 • 5 Comments

As we reported last week, a Yale University Law School professor sent letters to over 6,000 plan sponsors suggesting their 401(k) plans were “high cost” and, among other things, implying that they may be violating their fiduciary obligations. We pointed out the serious flaws in the data being used by the professor as well as the general inappropriateness of the tone of the letters. READ MORE

By Brian Graff, Esq.7/15/2013 • 14 Comments

We have recently learned that a Yale Law School professor has sent a letter to thousands of 401(k) plan sponsors. The professor is doing a “study” on the financial impact of plan fees and has identified the employers receiving the letter as sponsoring a “potential high-cost plan.” READ MORE

By Brian Graff, Esq.7/8/2013 • 4 Comments

The uniform fiduciary standard has become a holy grail of sorts for the financial advisor industry. Legends such as John Bogle tout how it is the only way to ensure that the interests of average investors will be protected. Proponents of the single standard stress that the current dichotomy between the fiduciary standard applicable to registered investment advisors and the suitability standard utilized by registered representatives is confusing to investors who fail to appreciate that certain advisors are not "acting in their interest." Only with a uniform fiduciary standard, they say, will investors be safe from the current, misleading bifurcated regime. READ MORE

By Brian Graff, Esq.5/9/2013 • 4 Comments

As you may be aware, the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 passed the U.S. Senate on May 6. What you may not know is that ASPPA and NAPA are opposing the legislation in its current form. (In fact, a letter we wrote to members of Congress explaining our opposition was read in its entirety by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on the floor of the U.S. Senate.) READ MORE

By Brian Graff, Esq.4/24/2013 • 11 Comments

On April 23rd, PBS ran an episode of its “Frontline” program entitled “The Retirement Gamble,” which it touted as an “eye opening investigation of a financial services industry that may be draining your retirement savings with every passing year.” The core thesis of this documentary — or perhaps more accurately, docu-drama — is that for retirement savers, fees are by far the most important factor to be considered when choosing an investment. READ MORE

By Brian Graff, Esq.2/19/2013 • 4 Comments

The Washington Post on Feb. 17 published yet another article attacking the 401(k) system. Fueled by academic studies with a clear anti-401(k) agenda, these articles seem to revel in the entirely unsubstantiated failure of current workplace retirement plans. Not sure who is more to blame: the academics who reach the outrageous conclusions based on either irrelevant or incomplete data, or the media who perpetuate them. Either way, the anti-401(k) agenda is founded on a series of persistent myths, continued in this most recent article, that simply do not reflect the reality of America's retirement plan: the 401(k). READ MORE

By Brian Graff, Esq.1/14/2013 • 0 Comments

Hardliners in the House of Representatives argue that America has maxed out on its credit card. But defaulting on a credit card payment only makes a bad situation worse. The idea of defaulting on our debt can only be described as epically stupid — it would have potentially catastrophic economic consequences. READ MORE

By Brian Graff, Esq.1/2/2013 • 0 Comments

As you have probably heard, late last night the House of Representatives approved the legislation passed by the Senate on New Year’s Eve encompassing a deal to avoid the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for 98% of American taxpayers. That's the good news. But this show in DC is far from over. They will be back at it in February, with the accompanying volatility in the market returning. For 401(k) advisors, here are four important points you need to know about. READ MORE