James E. Holland, Jr. joined Cheiron in January 2010 as Chief Research Actuary. Jim has over three decades of professional, managerial and public service experience working on issues relating to retirement plans and welfare benefit plans. He was a long time official at the IRS before joining Cheiron. At the IRS, Jim held a variety of positions, was the chief of the actuarial branch for many years, and ended his career as the assistant director for the employee plans rulings and agreement area, where all aspects of the regulatory and legal guidance pertaining to pension plans is produced. In his roles, he often worked with officials from the Treasury Department, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the Department of Labor and other government agencies. At Cheiron, Jim is providing his expertise to consultants and clients on a variety of pension related issues.
Some of his areas of particular expertise pertaining to single-employer plans (including governmental plans) include:
- Rules limiting benefits under section 415. Comprehensive regulations were revised in 2007 for the limitations pertaining to qualified plans. The new rules have important differences from those in the past. Keeping plan language, plan operation, and plan funding coordinated will be important in the future.
- Cash balance plans, and other hybrid plans. The popularity of hybrid plans is likely to increase with the passage of the Pension Protection Act (PPA), which settled much of the legal controversy.
- Deferred Retirement Option Plans (DROPs). In the public sector arena, DROP plans have grown in popularity, often because they have been perceived as way to keep employees from departing just to receive their pension benefits. Understanding the impact on plan qualification of different designs is important.
Jim has been a frequent speaker at professional meetings where he made complicated regulations understandable to the pension community.