Last week the smart folks in Washington D.C. suddenly discovered small business owners have a tendency to avoid creating retirement benefit plans. No doubt this concerned them because, without the old reliable 401(k) plan to sustain them, retiring Americans will come knocking on Uncle Sam's door looking for that promised safety net.

Being that Uncle Sam can't go knocking on Aunt China's door forever, the prospect of future generations needing government to fund their retirement means Uncle Sam will have to pay back all those IOUs he has been busy stacking up in the Social Security Lock Box.

In the labyrinth known as ERISA regulations, small business owners only find themselves more discouraged when considering whether to start a retirement plan (see "Exclusive Interview with Ary Rosenbaum: The 3 Biggest Compliance Obstacles for 401(k) Plan Sponsors,", March 13, 2012). Indeed, all the variant rules and regulations of ERISA plus other requirements stemming from the Uniform Prudent Investor Act and the 2006 Pension Protection Act seem like so many mines hidden in an alluringly fertile field. 

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook ( Twitter (