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Governmental Plans Answer Book, Fourth Edition

Governmental Plans Answer Book, Fourth Edition



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Governmental Plans Answer Book, Fourth Edition, provides in-depth coverage of these complex plans, which must satisfy federal laws as well as pension, investment, and other laws of the applicable state or local governments. The authors analyze the most current developments in practice, as well as legislation, regulation, and law. Governmental Plans Answer Book, Fourth Edition, is the one resource that takes pension professionals step by step through all the aspects of plan administration and compliance in this demanding practice area.

The Fourth Edition of Governmental Plans Answer Book gives subscribers the most relevant, current, and practice-oriented answers to the issues faced daily by plan administrators, attorneys, actuaries, consultants, accountants, and other pension professionals as they navigate the requirements and procedures involved in administering their plans. The Fourth Edition of Governmental Plans Answer Book examines the following significant changes and case law in this area and includes:

  • Department of Labor regulations that define who is a fiduciary as a result of rendering investment advice to a plan, or to its participants, or beneficiaries (see Chapter 7).
  • Elimination of the ability to obtain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) determination letters on individually designed plans, except on their inception or
    termination (see Chapter 4).
  • Recent legislative developments affecting governmental plans (see Chapter 13).
  • Expanded coverage of cases in text cross-referenced to Appendix E, Recent Court Decisions of Interest Involving Governmental Plans (see Appendix E).
  • Updates on the size of the public pension community: its membership, assets, rate of participation in different types of retirement plans, and the number of participating public employers (see Chapter 2 and Appendix Table A–1).
  • New and updated information regarding public pension financial reporting and communications practices (see Chapter 5).
  • Expanded and updated descriptions of hybrid retirement plans provided for employees of state and local government (see Chapter 2 and Appendix
    Tables A–2 through A–5).
  • An examination of how the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, as further amended by the Bankruptcy Technical
    Corrections Act of 2010, impacted certain issues arising under the Bankruptcy Code (see Chapter 14).
  • Issues concerning proof of electronically signed or adopted beneficiary designation (see Q 12:5).
  • A review of a Supreme Court case that held a Chapter 7 trustee could not contest the validity of a claimed exemption after the objection deadline
    expired (see Q 14:32).
  • New case law discussing the use of the legal fiction of a nunc pro tunc order (see Q 13:33).
  • Expanded discussion of pre-approved plans (see Chapter 4).
  • Issuance of IRS opinion and advisory letters on pre-approved 403(b) plans (see Chapter 4).
  • Inception of annual Required Amendments Lists for individually designed plans (see Chapter 4).
  • Guidance on correction procedures if a 403(b) plan erroneously excludes participants from making contributions (see Chapter 4).
  • Modifications to the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (see Chapter 4).
  • Expanded discussion on community property (see Q 12:45).

Previous Edition: Governmental Plans Answer Book, Third Edition ISBN 9781454886082

Resources Highlight
Last Updated 12/05/2018
Product Line Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
ISBN 9781454886709
SKU 10045251-7777
Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Governmental Plans

  • What Is a Governmental Plan?
  • Importance of Differences Between Governmental Plans and Private Plans

2. Structure of State and Local Governmental Plans

  • General Information About State and Local Governmental Plans
  • Creating Entity, Governing Law, and Individuals Covered
  • Entity That Administers the Plans
  • Assets in State and Local Governmental Retirement Plans
  • Types of Plans
  • Contributions to Fund State and Local Governmental Plans and Employer Pickups
  • Protections for the Plans and Their Participants
  • Other Issues
  • Special Types of Plans

3. Identifying the Employer

  • Reasons for Identifying the Employer
  • Definitions of Employer
  • Controlled Group Rules
  • Independent Contractors
  • Leased Employees

4. Obtaining Favorable Tax Status

  • Effect of Favorable Tax Status
  • Types of Favorable Tax Status
  • Requirements for Qualified Plan (Section 401(a)) Status
  • Requirements for Qualified Plan (Section 403(a)) Status
  • Requirements for Tax-Deferred Annuity or Custodial Account (Section 403(b)) Status
  • Requirements for Section 457(b) Status
  • Requirements for Excess Benefit Plan (Section 415(m)) Status
  • Requirements for Deemed IRA (Section 408(q)) Status
  • Pretax Employee Contributions
  • IRS Audit Activity
  • Correction Procedures

5. Reporting

  • Purpose of Reporting by State and Local Governmental Plans
  • Annual Statement of Member's Account
  • Other Ways in Which Retirement Systems Communicate with Plan Participants
  • Summary Plan Description
  • Annual Reports
  • Open Meetings Laws
  • Open Records Laws

6. Governmental Plan Funding

  • Federal Rules
  • Qualified (401(a)) Defined Benefit Plans
  • Typical State Rules

7. Investment of Plan Assets

  • Federal Fiduciary Requirements
  • State Fiduciary Requirements
  • Federal Prohibited Transaction Rules
  • Uniform Management of Public Employee Retirement Systems Act and Uniform Prudent Investor Act
  • Legal List Statutes
  • Social Investing
  • Other State Provisions: Exclusive Purpose Rule, No Diversion of Assets Rule, Anti-Conflict of Interest Statutes, and Codes of Ethics
  • Wholly Owned Investments and Investments in Non-Publicly Traded Equity Securities
  • Unrelated Business Income Tax Issues

8. Selecting a Service Provider

  • State Law Issues
  • ERISA Analogies
  • Practical Steps for Meeting Fiduciary Duties in Choosing a Service Provider
  • Breaches of Fiduciary Duty in Selecting a Service Provider
  • Modification of Procedures for Selecting a Service Provider
  • Fiduciary Duties After a Service Provider Is Selected

9. Remedies for Fiduciary Breach

  • Criminal Penalties
  • Civil Remedies
  • Avoiding Fiduciary Liability

10. Participation

  • Federal Participation Rules
  • State Participation Rules

11. Distributions

  • Common Forms of Distribution
  • FederalRestrictions on Distributions
  • Definition of Retirement
  • Taxation of Distributions
  • Rollovers and Plan-to-Plan Transfers

12. Beneficiary Designations

  • Making a Beneficiary Designation
  • Who May Make a Beneficiary Designation?
  • Charitable Gifts
  • Family Rights That Restrain a Beneficiary Designation
  • How Divorce Might Affect a Beneficiary Designation
  • Other Events That Might Affect a Beneficiary Designation
  • Disclaimers
  • Giving Advice About Making a Beneficiary Designation
  • Common Mistakes

13. Domestic Relations Orders

  • Reason for Retirement Plan Domestic Relations Order Provisions
  • Elements of a Domestic Relations Order
  • Elements of a Plan-Approved Domestic Relations Order
  • PADRO Distribution Before a Participant’s Severance
  • Survivor Benefits, Beneficiaries, and Loans
  • State Variations
  • Deciding Whether an Order Is a PADRO
  • Plan Administration Procedures
  • Tax Treatment of a Distribution Under a Deemed QDRO
  • Tax Treatment of an Ineligible Plan’s PADRO Distribution
  • Bankruptcy
  • Divorce Negotiation
  • Lawyer's Professional Conduct

14. Impact of Bankruptcy Law on Participant Interests in Governmental Plans

  • Bankruptcy Overview
  • Governmental Plan Concerns
  • Chapter 7 Considerations
  • Chapter 13 Considerations


  • Selected Characteristics of Public Retirement Systems
  • Public Fund Survey Summary
  • Retirement Eligibility Provisions
  • Retirement Factors
  • Composition of Public Retirement System Boards
  • Uniform Management of Public Employee Retirement Systems Act (1997)
  • Uniform Prudent Investor Act
  • Federal-State Reference Guide
  • Recent Court Decisions of Interest Involving Governmental Plans
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