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John Iekel

John is the Senior Writer at NAPA, as well as an editor of the NAPA Net portal. In that capacity, he provides a wide range of information through multiple platforms on topics important to retirement plan advisors, plan sponsors and plan administrators. His career has included serving as Senior Managing Editor at the Thompson Publishing Group, where he oversaw content and production of 12 business-to-business publications that treat employee benefits, retirement plans, human resources and financial regulation. This also entailed editing and providing written material for three publications with print and online components.

By John Iekel5/7/2015 • 0 Comments

Cyber attacks, and the threat they pose to financial advisory firms and their clients, prompted the recent release by the SEC’s Division of Investment Management of some steps that can protect against them.

By John Iekel4/14/2015 • 0 Comments

It’s been a long time coming, but after a nearly five-year odyssey the Department of Labor on April 14 unveiled a proposed regulation that redefines who a plan fiduciary is — and makes it clear that the Obama administration intends the rule to be a way to increase consumer protections for plan sponsors, fiduciaries, participants, beneficiaries and IRA owners.

By John Iekel4/6/2015 • 0 Comments

Gamification revolutionizes the process of informing and motivating participants about retirement readiness. (Spring 2015)

By John Iekel3/26/2015 • 0 Comments

Oregon has joined the growing number states weighing the establishment of a state-run retirement plan to cover private-sector employees.

By John Iekel3/24/2015 • 0 Comments

Are your clients having trouble building engagement with and participation in a retirement plan? Is your level of engagement with customers moribund? If so, have you considered what the processes you use are like? Are they…fun?

By John Iekel3/24/2015 • 0 Comments

What constitutes excellent service? It’s an important question for an advisor, since the ultimate goal is to well serve the plan and ultimately the participants and their dependents.

By John Iekel3/23/2015 • 0 Comments

Tips on how best to serve clients with target-date funds were the focus of a March 23 session at the 2015 NAPA 401(k) Summit.

By John Iekel3/23/2015 • 0 Comments

"Let's face it, the advisor community is changing." With that observation, David Levine, Principal, Groom Law Group, Chartered, captured the message and import of a March 23 workshop session at the 2015 NAPA 401(k) Summit on opportunities for growing 3(16), 3(21) and 3(38) practices.

By John Iekel3/23/2015 • 0 Comments

A discussion by NAPA executive director Brian Graff and Illinois State Sen. Daniel Biss (D) at the NAPA 401(k) Summit on March 22 centered on Illinois’ establishment of the first state-based IRA.

By John Iekel3/22/2015 • 0 Comments

"The reality is, retirement is the new health care. It’s a top-tier issue.” Starting with that observation by NAPA executive director Brian Graff, a spirited discussion of the proposed fiduciary   or “no advice”  rule highlighted the opening session of the NAPA 401(k) Summit March 22.

By John Iekel3/11/2015 • 0 Comments

Floridians who take loans against their retirement plans have to pay a state tax on those distributions. But the Florida House of Representatives is considering a bill that could affect that tax treatment.

By John Iekel3/9/2015 • 0 Comments

Identical bills before both chambers of the Iowa legislature would end state taxation of pensions and other forms of retirement income — but only through 2020.

By John Iekel2/27/2015 • 0 Comments

The White House's budget proposal sets aside $6.5 million in funding for the Department of Labor, along with waiver authority, to support state efforts to implement state-based automatic enrollment IRAs or 401(k)-type programs.

By John Iekel2/4/2015 • 0 Comments

The Kentucky House of Representatives currently has legislation before it that, if enacted, would make the Bluegrass State the second to have a state IRA program in place.

By John Iekel1/30/2015 • 0 Comments

The draft White House memo about the DOL's pending fiduciary definition proposal continues to engender negative reaction. Tim Pawlenty, CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, weighed in on Jan. 28.

By John Iekel1/21/2015 • 0 Comments

Employers are appreciating the value of automatic enrollment, and increasing numbers are implementing it into their retirement plans. Several recent studies have found that more employers are using it, although one points out that enthusiasm about auto features is not universal.

By John Iekel1/20/2015 • 0 Comments

Overall, 75% of the states have passing grades regarding their public pension plans. But that bit of fairly good news is not the whole story. The Urban Institute’s latest rating of public pension plans in all 50 states contains some good news, but also draws attention to plenty of red flags.

By John Iekel1/5/2015 • 0 Comments

Illinois has become the first state to put in place a state-run retirement plan in which private-sector employees can participate. On Jan. 4, Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed into law SB2758, the measure that creates the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program.

By John Iekel12/30/2014 • 0 Comments

All disbursements from a retirement plan scheduled to be made at the same time are treated as a single distribution even if they are sent to multiple destinations. That new rule becomes mandatory as 2015 dawns, the IRS has reminded taxpayers in the Dec. 23 issue of its Employee Plans News e-newsletter.

By John Iekel12/16/2014 • 0 Comments

It’s no secret that state pension plans are beset by obligations beyond their ability to fulfill them. A new study says that the states are nearly $5 trillion behind, a figure that’s $600 billion higher than in 2013, and the most troubled states are all over the country.

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