HOUSE CONSIDERS MANDATING EMPLOYER IRA PLANSThe House Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee held hearings on bills that would encourage employers to automatically enroll their employees in individual retirement account plans. One bill is aimed at creating automatic payroll deposit IRAs for workers who do not have access to employer-sponsored pension plans.

The subcommittee also considered a recent report from the Government Accountability Office on how government actions could encourage more employers to provide IRAs.

H.R. 5160, the Small Businesses Add Value for Employees Act, would remove the requirement that Simple IRA plans operate only on a calendar-year basis and create a new automatic IRA option in the Tax Code. The SAVE Act would increase the Small Employer Pension Plan Start-Up Cost Credit for small business owners to 50 percent of the start-up costs for new Simple IRA plans, and would allow for a one-time $25 tax credit for every new employee enrolled in the savings program. The bill would also increase the maximum annual contribution limit that an employee could put into a Simple IRA from $10,500 to $15,500, putting it on par with the limits for 401(k) plans.


Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance has introduced SignatureCare 500, a long-term-care insurance product that lets consumers customize personal policies.

Signature 500 offers a Shared Care Rider 1 option that gives couples and partners more flexibility when their coverage needs differ. Policyholders are eligible to receive annual dividends from MassMutual.

Consumers can choose one of two policies: The facilities-only base policy provides benefits for care in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, while the comprehensive base policy provides benefits for care in those facilities, in addition to care at home and in community-based settings.

Policyholders can also choose from a variety of riders. Among them is a shared-care option for two qualifying covered individuals, providing a shared third pool of money that each can access after exhausting his or her own individual pool of money.

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Payroll and benefits outsourcing concern Paychex Inc. has been selected by the American Institute of CPAs as the provider of retirement services for its member firms. In 2003, Paychex was designated as the preferred provider of payroll services for clients by CPA2Biz, the AICPA’s marketing portal, and two years later, the Paychex Partner Program from AICPA Business Solutions expanded to include 401(k) Recordkeeping services. In 2006, AICPA Business Solutions extended the Paychex Partner Program through September 2011.

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