Governmental Plans Answer Book

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With 2,300 plans… $3.12 trillion in assets… and 15 million participants…

You have questions about governmental plans. Panel's Governmental Plans Answer Book has the answers you need:

  • More than 1,500 questions on governmental plans asked and answered
  • Advice from top experts on the federal and state laws of governmental plans
  • Strategies to obtain favorable tax status
  • And more!
From Alabama to Wisconsin, find out how to deal with any governmental plan issue.

It’s no secret—when it comes to governmental plans, even the most seasoned pension professionals often find themselves on shaky ground. For good reason. With more than 2,300 state and local government retirement systems in the U.S.—each subject to federal, state and local laws—confusion about the rules and risk of compliance errors abound. But now there’s a resource that puts you on terra firma when dealing with governmental plans: Panel's new Governmental Plans Answer Book. Prepared by a team of practicing experts—preeminent in their fields—this comprehensive resource takes you step by step through the various laws that govern these plans. The guide makes it easy to understand the unique features of governmental retirement plans, so you can keep your plan in compliance and handle with confidence the myriad administration issues that arise.

At last—governmental plans demystified!

Co-authors Carol Calhoun and Cynthia Moore have gathered in one, highly accessible volume answers to more than 1,500 questions about governmental plans. In clear, plain-English terms, they set forth the federal laws that regulate governmental plans, the various state and local government pension laws that apply, and the compliance issues that go with them. You’ll find specific guidance on all tax-qualified government pension plans including:

  • Defined benefit plans
  • Defined contribution plans
  • 403(b) plans
  • 457 plans
  • 401(k) plans
  • Excess benefit plans
  • And more.
Organized the way you work. Using Panel’s successful Question/Answer format, each chapter provides explanations and guidance on a specific set of issues, and provides a complete working overview of the relevant federal law and state constitutional or legal issues. In the federal area, you’ll learn:
  • Which pension qualification rules under Section 401(a) and Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code apply to governmental plans, and which do not
  • Rules under the Internal Revenue Code and state law that may govern the investments of governmental plans
  • What constitutes a governmental plan and how a governmental plan obtains favorable tax status
  • How the regulation of governmental plans is similar—yet different—from that of private plans governed by ERISA
  • Rules governing social investing and economically targeted investments by governmental plans
  • And more.
Find any state’s requirements in an instant. To help you quickly determine your state’s rules on any particular issue, Governmental Plans Answer Book provides in-depth, state-by-state charts that outline that jurisdiction’s laws. Organized by topic and presented in an easy-access Appendix, these informative charts provide a clear overview of the general principles of state and local law, and illustrate how the rules vary from state to state. There’s an informative chart—35 in all—for nearly every type of issue that is likely to arise during the life cycle of a governmental plan, including:
  • Actuarial methods
  • Actuarial valuation
  • Age and service requirements
  • Annual benefit formula for members per year of service
  • Annual reports
  • Annual statements
  • Benefit protections
  • Boards of trustees’ powers and characteristics
  • Constitutional pension protections
  • Contribution rates and funding
  • Early requirement benefits
  • Final average salary
  • Portability: reciprocal agreements and purchases of service credit
  • Postretirement COLA provisions
  • Summary plan descriptions
  • Vesting requirements
  • And much more!
About the Authors:
Carol V. Calhoun is an employee benefits attorney and president of Calhoun Law Group, P.C. in Washington, DC. With over 20 years’ employee benefits and tax law experience, most of it in the governmental plans area, she is recognized as an expert on this topic, and has been selected as a charter fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. Ms. Calhoun currently represents several state and local retirement systems. A frequent writer and speaker, Carol has written a chapter for the 457 Answer Book (Panel), has given presentations on government plan topics at numerous conferences and professional meetings, and has contributed to various journals and other publications. She is the founder of the Employee Benefits Legal Resource Site.

Cynthia L. Moore is an attorney who specializes in state and local government retirement plan issues. She is President of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys. She is Washington Counsel for the National Council on Teacher Retirement (NCTR), and has served on the Executive Board of NCTR. Her practice includes representing various retirement systems and other governmental plan clients. Cynthia also speaks and writes on government plan topics and is the author of the NCTR’s Public Pension Plans: The State Regulatory Framework, a survey text on state teacher retirement systems.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735525726
  • Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business
  • Publication date: 1/29/2002
  • Pages: 2050
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.45 (d)

Table of Contents

• Introduction to Governmental Plans
• Structure of State and Local Governmental Plans
• Identifying the Employer
• Obtaining Favorable Tax Status
• Reporting
• Governmental Plan Funding
• Investment of Plan Assets
• Selecting a Service Provider
• Remedies for Fiduciary Breach
• Participation
• Distributions
• Beneficiary Designations
• Domestic Relations Orders
• Impact of Bankruptcy Law on Participant Interests in Governmental Plans

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