Cross-Testing, Nondiscrimination, and New Comparability: A Rejoinder to Mr. Orszag and Professor Stein
Posted: 13 Nov 2001
In a reply to a critique of his article, Is Cross-Testing A Mistake? Cash Balance Plans, New Comparability, and the Incoherence of the Nondiscrimination Norm, the author discusses the primary areas of disagreement: 1) whether defined benefit plans by small employers and, as a logical extension, cross-tested new comparability plans should be permitted; 2) whether qualified plans constitute a tax expenditure; and 3) whether the issue raised by new comparability plans is one of form rather than substance. The author notes substantial agreement on the lack of substance of the current nondiscrimination norm and replacing that norm with minimum distribution and contribution rules. The author also concludes that regulation of qualified plans has become counterproductive and unsuccessful and more regulation is not the answer to the challenge of retirement savings for low-income Americans.
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