ASC Newsletter

In this issue #21-02

 John Griffin, J.D., LL.M. is named ASPPA Educator of the Year!
 Free CE Webcast November 18th: IRS Revises Revenue Procedures
 TPAs Benefit from ASC’s 40 Years of Defined Benefit Experience
Updated! Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) Cards for ASC Clients
Meet Meredith Treat, J.D., APM

 

John Griffin, J.D., LL.M. is named ASPPA Educator of the Year!

ASC Institute Principal, John Griffin, J.D., LL.M., is the recipient of the prestigious ASPPA Educator of the Year Award, presented at ASPPA Annual, 2021.

ASCi (ASC Institute) Principal, John Griffin, has been involved in the industry for nearly 40 years, teaching thousands of retirement plan professionals and leading ASC’s highly rated Plan Document System. ASCi’s very popular Continuing Education Webcasts, led by John, provide easy to understand content, solid course material, and up-to-date IRS and DOL changes. In addition, John has been very involved with ASPPA, serving on the Government Affairs Committee, most often representing plan document issues.

The Educator’s Award was established in 1997 to recognize and honor outstanding educators. It is awarded to an ASPPA member who has made a significant contribution to retirement plan education, and ASC congratulates John for this amazing achievement!

View All Upcoming Webcasts by John

Free CE Webcast November 18th: IRS Revises Revenue Procedures

The IRS recently issued new revenue procedures affecting interim amendments for pre-approved 401(a) plans (Revenue Procedure 2021-38) and pre-approved 403(b) plans (Revenue Procedure 2021-37).

As a forerunner in Continuing Education in the Industry, ASC has designed a FREE webcast for you which explains to plan document providers, the impact of these procedures on their clients and on their document provider responsibilities.

In this free, one-hour webcast, John Griffin, J.D., LL.M. will discuss:

  • Revenue Procedure 2021-38 – Interim amendment for pre-approved 401(a) plans
  • New interim amendment timing requirements
  • Responsibilities of document providers for interim amendments
  • Impact on hardship distribution, SECURE Act and CARES Act interim amendments
  • Revenue Procedure 2021-37 – Procedures for pre-approved 403(b) plans
  • Simplification of the pre-approved 403(b) plan program
  • Submission date for Cycle 2 filings
  • Reliance on opinion letters
  • New Form 5307 determination letter program
  • Expansion of church-related organizations that may adopt pre-approved 403(b) retirement income account plans
  • Remedial amendment period and interim amendment rules
  • Responsibilities of document providers

This webcast qualifies for 1 hour of Continuing Education Credits for ERPA, ARA, NIPA, Enrolled Agent and JBEA Non-Core.

Register Now for Your FREE Webcast

TPAs Benefit from ASC’s 40 Years of Defined Benefit Experience

ASC’s Defined Benefit and Cash Balance Plan clients are often surprised with the extent to which the ASC DB System helps them.

Conversion Process – We were nervous about converting a few hundred DB plans to ASC

ASC built conversion wizards that created plans in ASC, set key plan level settings, and imported participant data. After that, it was quick to change a few settings to get each plan’s result within the 2% threshold requirements. We even successfully converted one of our plans that had fully subsidized early retirement and pre-retirement death benefits using the DB system’s multi-decrement programming!

Takeover Nightmare – We received a takeover case that had not had valuations completed for many years.

ASC’s Support actuaries were able to run valuations using the laws in effect during those prior years! The system even maintains funding rates needed for MAP-21, HATFA, and BBA. We were able to set up a 7+2 extended amortization that was allowed under PRA 2010 and complete all these valuations one after another.

More Funding Methods – Assisting a Plan Sponsor with managing plan cost volatility from year to year.

We ran test cases using the various pre-PPA funding methods available in ASC, so we were able to offer recommendations on achieving more predictable and level annual funding amounts by using the entry age normal funding method. We prepared consulting illustrations showing level contribution amounts as well as the current PPA results.

With over 40 years of Defined Benefit & Cash Balance Plan experience, it’s no wonder our Defined Benefit / Cash Balance systems are a cut above the rest.

The system administers, values and tests all types of defined benefit plans including cash balance, DB/DC combo plan and plans with ancillary benefits. The system integrates with our 5500s for easy Schedule SB & PBGC Form prep. With so many years of experience, we have been able to tweak our functionality to solve many issues that our clients face when administering DB plans.

All DB clients are supported by 3 credentialed actuaries with many years of experience.

Looking for a Defined Benefit System that can handle all your DB needs? Contact our sales team today!

Updated! Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) Cards for ASC Clients

On November 4, 2021, the IRS announced the new cost of living adjustments (COLA) for 2022. The amount individuals can contribute to their 401(k) plans in 2022 has increased to $20,500, up from $19,500 for 2021 and 2020. Other limits have also increased.

To make things easier for you, ASC has posted the new COLA numbers on our website here: https://www.asc-net.com/colacard/.

Additionally, download a COLA card here or via the download button on the page.

ASC clients should a receive pocket size COLA card in the mail within the next 6 weeks. If you don’t receive it, contact support@asc-net.com.

Meet Meredith Treat, J.D., APM

Tell Us a Little About Yourself:

I grew up with my family in West Virginia. During my college years, I wanted a change of pace and moved to Chicago where I graduated from Loyola University with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Philosophy. At that point, I needed to move closer to home and went to the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in Pennsylvania and graduated in 2001. I have two awesome kids whom I love beyond measure. My daughter, Noel, is 16 and my son, Jonathan, is 11 and they definitely keep us on the move. I am grateful to have been recently married to my wonderful husband, Alan Treat.

How did you get started in the industry:

After graduating from law school, I worked at a large financial institution on the document team, interfaced with the legal department and eventually managed a team in their documents/compliance department for a collective 18 years! The product that I worked for was acquired by a retirement services company in 2019 and I moved over, too, working in the same capacity.

I had dealings with the ASC Document Team throughout my years of employment. I dealt with John, Dawn and Rich and was always super impressed with the breadth of their knowledge and expertise. Therefore, when I noticed a job opening in the BenefitsLink newsletter, I jumped at the opportunity to work at ASC, which I considered the premier document provider in the industry. I couldn’t have been happier when I received news of my upcoming employment with ASC!!

You started working for ASC in April 2020 – right at the beginning of the COVID epidemic. How was that?

I worked virtually for ASC in my home office while my kids were “zooming” in another room, doing their schoolwork. It was challenging but we all managed. Regarding my new employment, I was (and still am) super impressed with ASC. I think the technology is great. I was able to login into the CSC (Client Support Center), like our clients do, and I can research and view questions and answers. This helped me tremendously.

Additionally, the Plan Document Team meets on a weekly basis to discuss pertinent information and my fellow team members are always there for any questions or assistance that I need. There is a feeling of camaraderie and connection, even though we work virtually, and I am very thankful for that.

What exactly do you do on a daily basis at ASC?

I work with the Client Support Center and answer many document questions that come into the system. Many questions are answered via email but I will also call clients if there is a need. I also respond to Silver Consulting requests – technical ERISA questions. Finally, there are other projects, including the review of plan documents, that I work on, as needed.

I love working with Plan Documents. I enjoy the challenge!

What skills and abilities do you have that help you succeed?

Details are my “thing”! I love problem solving. I enjoy doing research and looking into the details to find answers. Although I am detail oriented, I try hard not to lose sight of the big picture. And I have such great co-workers. Just this morning, Rich Hochman reached out to ask me if I wanted him to help out and answer a client’s question. Everyone is just so NICE!

Congratulations on your recent marriage. Can you share some details of your special day?

Alan and I were married on October 3rd, in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. Alan grew up in West Virginia like me and was actually a good friend of my sister for years. We connected later on in life. Both my dad and his mom and dad were college professors in West Virginia!

Our September 2020 wedding was cancelled due to COVID and we decided to have a small wedding, just the 2 of us at the Mercersburg Inn last month. There was a small ceremony, an officiant who heard our vows and a photographer. That’s it. And there was something so personal and serene about the private, “just us” ceremony. During the reading of our vows, we heard bells ringing in the distance. It was beautiful – we still have no idea where the ringing was coming from. Alan, the kids and I currently live in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania with our cat, Millie, and dog, Molly.

Wow. What do you like doing in your spare time?

Between being newly married, taking care of the kids and working at ASC, I don’t have much spare time. But I do love working in the outdoors, doing landscaping and gardening around our new home. Alan loves landscaping too and we work together as a team, trimming shrubbery, planting, and more. We just received a beautiful tree as a wedding gift from my Dad and we can’t wait to plant it and add it to the other trees around our property.

If you had to pick one person that you would love to meet (from the past), who would that be and why?

I would love to have met Ruth Bader Ginsburg (former associate justice of the Supreme Court). Justice Ginsburg is my role model. She was brilliant and went to law school when there were hardly any women in the field. Her work ethic was phenomenal and she fought for women’s rights throughout, all the while taking care of her family and also focusing on her physical well-being until the end. She was special.

What do you like most about working for ASC?

This is a no-brainer. The people. Everyone I work with is helpful, kind and so incredibly knowledgeable. And I just got to meet many of my co-workers in person at ASPPA Annual. They are all great! I feel very lucky to work with such a special group of people.

Thank you, Meredith. It was so nice to get to know you!