March 2015

Volume 3, Issue 7

Posted on 3/30/2015


The U.S. Department of the Treasury has developed myRA (my Retirement Account), a retirement savings account with a new type of Roth IRA investment that makes saving for retirement simple, safe, and affordable. Individuals can open a myRA account with no start-up cost and there are no fees for the maintenance of the account. myRA has no minimum contribution requirement, so savers can contribute the amount that best fits their budget. The investment in a myRA is backed by the United States Treasury and the account carries no risk of losing money. Contributions to myRA accounts are invested in a new United States Treasury security, which safely earns interest at the same variable rate as investments in the government securities fund for federal employees. This fund has had an average annual return of 3.39% over the ten-year period from December 2003 to December 2013.

Savers can contribute to their myRA accounts as little as a few dollars a month up to $5,500 per year (or $6,500 per year for individuals who will be 50 years of age or older at the end of the year).* The myRA account can have a maximum balance of $15,000 or a lower balance for up to 30 years, When either of these limits is reached, savings will have to be rolled over (transferred) into a private-sector Roth IRA. A rollover to the private sector allows savers to continue to grow their savings past the maturity of their myRA starter savings account. Savers can choose to roll over their account balance into a private-sector Roth IRA at any time. More information will be provided to myRA account holders about rollover to the private sector in the future.


For more information about myRA, click here.


Required Retirement Plan Distributions Deadline is April 1

The Internal Revenue Service reminded taxpayers who turned 70½ during 2014 that in most cases they must start receiving required minimum distributions (RMDs) from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and workplace retirement plans by Wednesday, April 1, 2015.


The April 1 deadline applies to owners of traditional IRAs but notRoth IRAs. Normally, it also applies to participants in various workplace retirement plans, including 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans.


The April 1 deadline only applies to the required distribution for the first year. For all subsequent years, the RMD must be made by Dec. 31. So, a taxpayer who turned 70½ in 2014 and receives the first required payment on April 1, 2015, for example, must still receive the second RMD by Dec. 31, 2015. 


The IRS encourages taxpayers to begin planning now for any distributions required during 2015. An IRA trustee must either report the amount of the RMD to the IRA owner or offer to calculate it for the owner. Often, the trustee shows the RMD amount in Box 12b on Form 5498. For a 2015 RMD, this amount would be on the 2014 Form 5498 that is normally issued in January 2015.


More information on RMDs, including answers to frequently asked questions, can be found on

Volume 3, Issue 6

Posted on 3/20/2015

Recent Enforcement Actions

Under the Bank Secrecy Act, FinCEN may bring an enforcement action for violations of the reporting, recordkeeping or other requirements of the BSA. FinCEN's Office of Enforcement evaluates enforcement matters that may result in a variety of remedies, including the assessment of civil money penalties. For example, civil money penalties may be assessed for recordkeeping violations, for reporting violations for failing to file a currency transaction report (CTR), a suspicious activity report (SAR), or a report of foreign bank and financial accounts (FBAR). FinCEN also takes enforcement actions against money services businesses (MSBs) for failure to register with FinCEN. 

Recently, FinCEN assessed a $1.5 million civil money penalty against the First National Community Bank of Dunmore, Pennsylvania (FNCB) for willfully violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). FNCB admitted that it failed to file suspicious activity reports on transactions involving illicit proceeds from a judicial corruption scheme that spanned over five years. Despite several red flags indicating suspicious activity, FNCB did not file a single suspicious activity report related to these accounts until after 2009. To read the details of the penalty in its entirety, click here


Join Debbie Crawford on March 27 for the webinar " Recent BSA Enforcement Actions: Lessons Learned" to review key compliance risk issues highlighted in recent BSA Enforcement Actions and learn what you need to look for and avoid. For more information or to register, click here.


Identity Theft Tops FTC's Consumer Complaint Categories Again

Identity theft topped the Federal Trade Commission's national ranking of consumer complaints for the 15th consecutive year, while the agency also recorded a large increase in the number of complaints about so-called "imposter" scams, according to the FTC's  2014 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, which was recently released.


Criminals will try to use your institution to perpetuate identity theft.  Don't let them!  Join Susan Wind on May 19th for "Detection and Prevention of Identity Theft" to learn common scams and activities that criminals will use to try to assume your account holder's identity. For more information or to register for this webinar, click here. This program will fulfill your annual training requirement on identity theft and will help your staff protect the financial institution and your account holders. 

Unfair and Deceptive Overdraft Practices

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau examiners found that certain banks changed the way in which they assessed overdraft fees - and that the new approaches increased the likelihood that consumers would incur fees that they did not anticipate. The institutions did not explain the changes in a way that consumers could understand and use to avoid overdraft fees. Based on the specific situation at these institutions, examiners found that the banks had carried out unfair and deceptive practices. You can read all of the CFPB's findings by clicking here


Brandy Lalla owner of The Compliance Company in New Orleans recently held a webinar to discuss understanding examiners' expectations in regards to overdrafts. For more information about the webinar or to purchase, click here

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