If one leading academic has his way, there would be a new acronym for benefit providers to learn in the crowded concoction of employee benefits law and regulation. And his plan could mean a simpler set of guidelines and documentation for employee retirement plans.

Ron Rhoades, director of the financial planning program at Western Kentucky University where he’s also an assistant professor of finance, recently suggested the creation of a "New" Individual Retirement Account, or NIRA. As described by Rhoades, a NIRA would not only offer a simplified approach that features a single form to enroll in these plans, it would also eliminate annual filings, plan administrator fees, and as he describes, "tax traps for the unwary."

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