What does the term "new trust since PPA" refer to?

1 answer | Last updated: Jun 21, 2010
A fellow caregiver asked...

I overheard a comment about a "new" trust available since PPA 2006. What could it be referring to?

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

The bit of legal hieroglyphics, PPA 2006, stands for a specific law: the Pension Protection Act of 2006. If you saw a document marked "new trust since PPA 2006," it was likely amended after or established since the law took effect.

Enacted on August 17, 2006, the Act is widely hailed as the biggest reform to pensions and retirement savings in more than three decades.

While its stated aim was to protect retirement savings, the newish law contains so many holes and loopholes that it left more people feeling confused than confident. For estate planning purposes, one major change in the law was to permit beneficiaries other than surviving spouses to roll over some plans into what is called an "Inherited IRA."

At its best, the law also:

  • removed barriers that prevent companies from automatically enrolling employees in defined contribution plans
  • ensured that workers have more information about their retirement accounts' performance
  • provided greater access to professional advice about investing for retirement
  • gave workers greater control over how their accounts are invested, and
  • set contribution limits for IRAs and 401(k)s that are higher than in the past.

If you're the type who delights in reading long and mind-numbing legislation, you can get letter of the law itself by reading the Pension Protection Act.

For more specific information on the Pension Protection Act, go directly to the horse's trough: the IRS website. Type in "pension protection act" in the search function for detailed information on plan funding and filing changes and revisions to tax rules wrought by the legislation.