LAS VEGAS – A trade show can be a boon for a stumped writer starved for material. A trade show in Las Vegas can be the mother lode – or a disaster. Maybe it was health reform fatigue earlier this month that drove me to Vegas, where I snuck into the 10th annual ASPPA 401(k) Summit. I was sick and tired of hearing about increased compliance, policy drafted by college dropouts and those aggravating mandates.

So I fled. Certainly a quiet little conference dedicated to one of the federal government’s few shining success stories would offer the perfect getaway. But what did I find waiting for me at Caesars Palace? More crippling compliance, more uninformed policy and more misguided mandates. Stop me if you’ve already heard this, but we’re not the only ones wrestling with reform. Congress has been quietly bickering over 401(k) regulations since last summer, tinkering with fiduciary definitions, auto enrollments and, yes, more small business mandates.

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