Friday, June 3, 2005

A More Enlightened IRS

This morning while perusing the ‘Special’ June edition of Employee Plans News, published by our gentle friends at the IRS, I found myself laughing out loud.  Not that I find the topic of our retirement benefits funny, mind you.  On the contrary.  It's the quality of the people behind the scenes within our government.  Day after day I get exposed to these individuals and for the most part, I have confidence in many of them.  But the rest...well, after years of banging my head against many walls, I have learned to appreciate the humor in it all, for the sake of my sanity. Seems these individuals are finally getting things figured out…sadly these are the things the rest of us have known all along.


The first line of the article reads, Good news: After more than 20 years of statutory and regulatory changes, the 415 rules will all be in one place.  All in one place…wow!  It only took them 20 years to figure that out.  It gets better.  Containing all of the rules on maximum benefits and contributions, the proposed 415 regulations –when finalized – will provide the benefits community with a one-stop resource for their questions on this oft confusing section of the Code.  Oft confusing section of the Code?  I hate to burst your bubble guys, but the entire Code is confusing!!!  Have you ever read it?


And here we havea fine example of the minds at work within the IRS.  The Employee Plans News was fortunate to spend some time with Marty Pippins, Manager of EP Technical Guidance and Quality Assurance, and get his insights on the new regulations.  With regard to amendments, Mr. Pippins said, “Generally, plans will have to be amended to reflect the new regulations once they’re finalized.”  Amended once they're finalized…ya think?  As opposed to what they did before?  Frankly, I'm not so sure the words Quality Assurance and insights should be used around Mr. Pippins.


Here’s the kicker.  Under the newsletter name are the following words: protecting retirement benefits through educating customers.  They are educating us.  Scary thought, huh?


Our government has entered the age of enlightenment folks.


mkolasa101 said...

Funny, I was just on the Social Security Website trying to find information on the First Year Exception to earnings for someone retiring in mid-year.  You know, already made over the yearly limit of $12,000 for age 62.  We tried once for my husband and the counselor convienced us that he should wait till October and then he would get his first full check in January 2006.  He is ready to retire now.  He needs to retire now.  Who the hey can make heads or tails out of what the read in these papers anyway?  Do you by chance work for IRS?  What do you know about the First Year Exception that she forgot to tell us about, or what they call a Grace Year.  God knows it's Grace we need in this situation.


delela1 said...

Marlene - No, I do not work for the government, LOL; I work for a small non-profit that 'deals with' all levels of the government on a daily basis.  As for your questions, I do think you would do well to seek the advice of a qualified personal financial planner, or CPA, as I am neither qualified nor am I prepared to give out advice in this specialized area.  Good luck! ~Dona  

karebear4x4 said...

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!   i'm rollin in tears over here LOLOLOLOL!   sounds par for the course with 'govt'!~kbear

labdancer51 said...

It`s great to hear that the American IRS is just as bad as the British. Now I know that we are not alone lolol!  Have a lovely weekend.  :-)

Sandra xxx

bleupentacles said...

I worked in the Tax department for a little over a year at Fidelity and IRS regulations have never failed to cure my insomnia or stump me.  It's not hard to understand, but because it's open to EVERYONE'S interpretation, at times, it could mean just about anything!!  My resolution?  Sit back and let my colleagues read it.  I'll learn when I need to!!  HYUK!

Educational my butt.  Stodgy is more like it.  

delela1 said...

You know it!  Everything the government codifies is open to interpretation!!  Sure it is printed in black and white, but after awhile you learn it's just one big gray area.