(b)lines Ask the Experts – Guidelines for Asking the Experts Questions

May 27, 2014 (PLANSPONSOR (b)lines) – “I recently sent a question to Ask the Experts, but it wasn’t used for the column. Can you explain why the Experts do not utilize all reader questions?”

Michael A. Webb, vice president, Cammack Retirement Group, answers: 

First of all, thank you for sending a question; the Experts greatly appreciate the time readers take to send questions to us, and we make every effort to use all reader questions for the column.

However, sometimes we are unable to use a question for the column, in which case we will typically respond privately to the reader. The primary reasons we cannot utilize certain questions for Ask the Experts are:

  • The question requires legal advice: Rather than a question that can be answered simply based on the facts presented, some questions are based on such a fact pattern that is so unique to a specific plan that the advice of legal counsel is needed to unearth all of the facts of a given situation and advise accordingly. This is the most common reason a question cannot be answered in the column.
  • The question is based on such an obscure issue it would be of little benefit to the readership to publish in the column.
  • The question is not related to retirement plans.


Having said this, the vast majority of questions we receive are suitable for Ask the Experts and are indeed answered in the column. If you wish for a question to be answered in the column, simply make certain it does not fall into the above categories.

And finally, the Experts occasionally receive a question to which there is not a good answer, since the regulations or other guidance are unclear on the issue. However, we typically utilize such questions in the column, if only to demonstrate that, on occasion, there is not a clear-cut answer to a question. Thus, in this situation, the Experts might not be have an answer to your question, but will use the question for the column anyway.

Thanks, and keep those questions coming!


NOTE: This feature is to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice.