House Committee Passes Bill to Fund State EO Outreach Programs

By a 29-21 party-line vote, the House Education and Labor Committee has passed H.R. 7310, the Protecting America’s Retirement Security Act. The bill now will go to the full House. There is no current Senate companion bill. The bill contains a handful of provisions, most notably requirements for fee disclosure in retirement plans, the creation of a federal personal finance education portal, increased requirements for spousal consent requirements in defined contribution plans, and making automatic deferrals to a 401(k) plan continue by default unless an affirmative action to end them is made.

House Bill Adds Tax Benefit for Sellers to ESOPs in S Corporations

On March 29, the House passed the SECURE 2.0 Act (H.R. 2954), which makes two minor improvements for ESOPs plus other changes aimed at making it easier for employers and employees to assure retirement plans work more effectively. Some of these will affect ESOPs.

Proposed DOL Regulations on Exempt Transactions Raise ESOP Community Concerns

On March 8, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed new rules for prohibited transaction exemption (PTE) filings, rules that have raised concerns in the ESOP community. These filings are relatively rare, with about 20 per year. While ESOPs are statutorily exempt from having to make these filings, some ESOP professionals are concerned the DOL might subsequently extend the concepts in the proposal to ESOPs.

California Bill Would Provide Major Impetus for Employee Ownership

In what would be the most significant step forward by a state yet, Senator Josh Becker introduced the Expanding Employee Ownership Act, which would provide outreach, financing, and technical assistance for conversions to employee ownership.

Minnesota Bill Would Provide Low-Interest Loans for Employee Ownership

HF 3733, a bill to help build community wealth in Minnesota, would create a low-interest loan program to support employee ownership, community land trusts, or cooperatives focused on providing wealth-building opportunities for historically disadvantaged groups, including people of color, women, disabled veterans, and low-income workers.

Why Strong Leaders Can Make Very Bad—and Even Deadly—Decisions

One of the great paradoxes of leadership is that the very qualities that might make someone likely to become a leader of a company—or a nation—can be the very same qualities that can lead to some very bad decisions. Rising to the top usually takes a lot of self-confidence and the ability to make good decisions about a lot of things quickly. But that same self-confidence can turn to arrogance, an arrogance that may discourage those working with you to challenge your assumptions, ideas, and even what you perceive as facts. 

COVID Safety at the 2022 Annual Conference

When we started planning this year's conference, we knew we needed a health protocol system that would give people enough foresight to plan a trip many months in advance.

The Employee Ownership Future

The last two years have been a challenge for all of us, and many challenges still remain. For those of us in the employee ownership community, there are numerous bright spots lighting our way to the employee ownership future.

New Rutgers Program Focuses on Retiring Business Owners of Color

The Rutgers School of Labor and Management has just introduced a free online program that guides business owners through the process of selling their businesses to their employees through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) or worker cooperative.

New Beyster Course for ESOP Professionals

Our friends at the Beyster Institute in the Rady School of Management at the University of California at San Diego have just opened registration for their new training program for ESOP service providers.