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NIPA Advocacy: Small Business Employee Benefits Roundtable

Posted By Megan Turckes, Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, April 6, 2016

On March 24, 2016, the Small Business Employee Benefits Roundtable met in Washington, DC. The meeting was scheduled to discuss the IRS Proposed Rulemaking entitled “Nondiscrimination Relief for Closed Defined Benefit Pension Plans and Additional Changes to the Retirement Plan Nondiscrimination Requirements.”


On January 29, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed rules that would modify the nondiscrimination requirements for retirement plans that provide additional benefits to a grandfathered group of employees following certain changes in the coverage of a defined benefit plan or a defined benefit plan formula. The Internal Revenue Code provides that a retirement plan is a qualified plan only if the contributions or benefits provided under the plan do not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees. If the average benefit percentage nondiscrimination test is used, the proposed rules would limit the availability of the “each participant in his or her own group” method of determining profit sharing allocations. Consequently, small business stakeholders are concerned that the proposed rules would make it more difficult to satisfy nondiscrimination testing for

 general-tested plans.


The purpose of the meeting was for the small business community to share feedback to the Office of Advocacy in setting its priorities related to this issue. NIPA Board of Director, Robert Chin, Abacus Benefit Consultants, Inc., was in attendance in-person to represent the NIPA community and the retirement plan industry. NIPA was the only organization in attendance who presented a formal document outlining the impact on small business owners of the suggested legislation. Chin presented the following letter to the group in attendance that included J. Mark Iwry, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Retirement and Health Policy, U.S. Treasury Department, among others.


The Letter from NIPA:




NIPA Board of Directors


Board President

Patrick M. Shelton, GBA
Benefit Plans Plus LLC


Michelle Marsh, QKA

Retirement Plan Concepts & Services, Inc.

Chief Financial Officer

Joseph Burt, APR, ERPA, QKA, QPA
Pension Plan Specialists


Immediate Past President

Ann Slotwinski, APR

John Hancock Financial Services


Executive Committee Member-at-Large
Darren Holsey, APA, ERPA, QKA, QPA

Premier Retirement Services, Inc.



Robert Chin

Abacus Benefit Consultants, Inc.


Ralph DelSesto, APR



James Eberhardt, APA

Pension Services Corporation


Trina Gross, APA, QKA

Acuff & Associates, Inc.


Matthew King

The Standard


Emily Lichtenwalner, APA, AIF

T R Paul Inc.


Michael B. Stuber, ERPA, QPA

Primark Benefits

    March 22, 2016 


We all know and agree small business owners represent at least 85% of all the businesses in the United States. In order to attract talented, experienced employees and loyal employees, they are faced with many challenges;

  • Continuation / Competition of their business enterprise
  • Competitive Employee Wages
  • Employee Benefits – Offering Health Insurance, Vacation and Retirement Plan  
  • Flexible Working Hours
  • Less governmental intervention

We know the government is encouraging the private sector to offer a “meaningful” retirement plan but, at what cost or detriment to the small business owner. Since 2008 we have seen the decline in the stock market, the housing bubble burst, unemployment increase, LESS talented experienced employees available and the shrinkage of personal savings especially retirement plan accounts. During the last 3 years we have seen a slight increase in the formation and improved employer contribution patterns to retirement plans. We do not want this to decline. The new “proposed” Non-Discrimination rule would only add to an already complex set of Regulations that would slow or reduce the implementation of private sector retirement plans.  


Speaking for the small business owner we ask, that you not impose the new Non-discrimination rule. As a third party administrator, let us continue the good work to encourage employers to keep their retirement plans, start new plans and help supplement the retirees who will also collect Social Security.  


Since we are in the field every day, help our industry promote the advantages of continuing the promotion of small business retirement plans, establish a procedure for TPA’s to efficiently administer retirement plans and pass legislation toward that end. Legislate additional incentives for implementing a retirement plan, promote the continuation not elimination of private sector qualified plans. It is vital to the private sector that small business retirement plans remain an optimum solution for all employees to retire with dignity. "Collectively, the Federal Government, third party administrators, investment companies should develop a national campaign on the saving for retirement. Employers and employees will view this as a positive cause to move the undecided to save for retirement."




Laura J. Rudzinski, Executive Director

NIPA Headquarters

330 North Wabash Ave., Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60611-7621 USA | | (800) 999-NIPA (6472)

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