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.