IRS 403(b) Expert Joins VALIC

January 12, 2010 ( - VALIC has hired Robert J. "Bob" Architect, formerly Senior Tax Law Specialist and 403(b) guidance author in the Internal Revenue Service's Employee Plans Division, as vice president of Compliance and Market Strategy.

According to a VALIC announcement, in this role, Architect will help VALIC continue to enhance business and compliance strategies for supporting employers and helping to meet the needs of their retirement plans. He will also be instrumental in developing key educational content, including articles and white papers, to continue his efforts in assisting plan sponsors and their counsel navigate through rules and regulations.

Architect will report to Glenn Harris, executive vice president, Group Management and National Markets for VALIC.

Architect is a recognized expert in the 403(b) industry, responsible for drafting recent 403(b) regulations as well as a number of guidance pieces affecting the 403(b) marketplace (see 403(b) Summit: “Architect” of IRS 403(b) Regs Says Limited Formal Guidance Coming).

From 1975 to 2009, Architect served as senior tax law specialist with the Employee Plans Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Starting in 1978, his specialty was in the area of 403(b) tax-sheltered plans. Architect spearheaded the IRS’s public outreach and educational efforts in this area, having made well over 200 presentations as well as numerous Web casts (see That Relief on the 403(b) Written Plan – It May be Better than You Thought).

In addition, starting in 2000, Architect was involved in governmental and tax-exempt 457 plans and most recently had been working on regulations under section 457(f) of the Internal Revenue Code. Architect was also actively involved in the IRS’s examination efforts concerning these plans, which included organizing and leading national 403(b) and 457 training sessions for IRS field examiners.

“After 35 years of working to shape the 403(b) landscape and educate the market, with VALIC, I can work directly with plan sponsors, plan participants and a company that shares my passion for outreach, education and plan compliance solutions,” said Architect, in the announcement.

Prior to joining the IRS, Architect served in the Armed Forces as a Captain in the Army. He received his J.D. degree from Brooklyn Law School and his LL.M. from the New York University School of Law. He is a member of the New York State and District of Columbia Bar Associations.