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Risky Investments: Retirement Plans, IRAs and Master Limited Partnerships
Posted by Bernard Kaplan on Wed, Jun 15, 2016 @ 10:38 AM

One of the basic concepts of saving for retirement via a retirement plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is that earnings grow tax deferred until withdrawn.  There are certain investments such as Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) that could result in current income taxation despite being held as an investment within a retirement plan or IRA.  Careful consideration should be taken before investing in an MLP within a retirement plan or IRA.

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Topics: retirement plans, Retirement Plan Investments, Bernard Kaplan, IRA, Master Limited Partnership, MLP

Determining the Fair Value of Retirement Plan Investments – the FASB ASC 820 Fair Value Hierarchy
Posted by Larry Kaplan on Fri, Nov 21, 2014 @ 09:06 AM

Part 4 of 4: Plan Sponsor’s Guide to Retirement Plan Investments  

In this series to date, and in our more detailed and comprehensive whitepaper, we have discussed the responsibilities of retirement plan sponsors with a special focus on valuing and reporting on plan investments. To wrap up the series, we’re presenting a brief overview of how to determine fair value in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

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Topics: Larry Kaplan, ERISA-Qualified Retirement Plans, Retirement Plan Investments

Valuing Retirement Fund Investments
Posted by Larry Kaplan on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 @ 09:34 AM

Part 3 of 4: Plan Sponsor’s Guide to Retirement Plan Investments

A fundamental responsibility of a plan sponsor is to prove the values of the investments in the retirement plan.

If your plan is invested solely in assets with readily determinable fair values, such as mutual funds or marketable securities, you’ll typically obtain fair values from nationally recognized pricing services such as Interactive Data Corporation (IDC) or Bloomberg. However, if your plan invests in assets without readily determinable fair values, the reported values may be based on the best information available, which may or may not be fair value.

To obtain the fair value for alternative investments, a process should be developed to determine the reliability of the evidence obtained and when the use of specialists is needed.

There are three acceptable techniques that can be used to determine the fair value of an investment:

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Topics: Larry Kaplan, ERISA-Qualified Retirement Plans, Retirement Plan Investments

Retirement Plan Investment Types – 8 Alternative Investments
Posted by Larry Kaplan on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 @ 09:27 AM

Part 2 of 4: Plan Sponsor’s Guide to Retirement Plan Investments

When it comes to structuring your plan’s investment portfolio, you are faced with a number of options for investment types, and then you have to select from a bewildering list of products, each of which has a different risk profile.

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Topics: Larry Kaplan, ERISA-Qualified Retirement Plans, Retirement Plan Investments

Reporting Requirements for ERISA-Qualified Retirement Plans
Posted by Larry Kaplan on Fri, Oct 31, 2014 @ 10:39 AM

Part 1 of 4: Plan Sponsor’s Guide to Retirement Plan Investments

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be presenting a series of four blog posts on various topics related to retirement plan investments, – based on our experience as employee benefit plan auditors for hundreds of plans in New England.

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Topics: Larry Kaplan, ERISA-Qualified Retirement Plans, Retirement Plan Investments

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