Headlines about "Ret plans - admin"

Gathered from the web by the editors at BenefitsLink.com.
PBGC Secures $208M for Saint-Gobain Retirees
"Under a settlement with the [PBGC], Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc., has made $207.5 million of additional contributions to its pension plan.... The settlement will help preserve the plan and resolves PBGC's concerns about the plan's sponsor being sold to a company with fewer financial resources.... PBGC pressed the parties for better funding because the sale put retirement benefits at risk by moving the plan from a financially strong sponsor to Ardagh [(a Luxembourg-based glass and metal packaging company)], which carries a high level of debt. When the parties [had] declined to provide financial protection for the plan, PBGC took steps to terminate the plan to protect retirement benefits." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC])

BrightScope Goes on Hiring Spree to Capture Revenues from Hot New Market
"[T]he ultimate proof that BrightScope may finally have gotten on track to a bright future as a data company are late developments about who is seeking the better data that it sells -- the 401(k) providers and recordkeepers themselves. The firm has 25 enterprise clients described as recordkeepers and asset managers who want BrightScope, Inc. to clean up their fragmented data making it cleaner and easier to read. They also want BrightScope to help them use the data to increase sales. By the end of the year, BrightScope hopes to have 40 of these big clients[.]" (RIABiz)

Deadlines Coming for Multinationals' Retirement Plans and U.S. Taxpayers with Foreign Financial Interests
"The enforcement mechanism for FATCA is a new 30 percent withholding tax on U.S. source investments of [foreign financial institutions (FFIs)], including investments of foreign retirement plans. The tax applies not just on dividends, but on the gross proceeds of the plan's U.S. investments and not just on the U.S. taxpayer participant's interest in the plan, but rather on the plan's total U.S. source income. Paying agents will start withholding on July 1, 2014, unless given notice that the recipient foreign retirement plan is in compliance with FATCA. Funded foreign retirement plans are considered to be FFIs subject to FATCA, with some important exceptions." (Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP)

[Opinion] Text of Comments by American Benefits Council to Treasury Department on Proposed Liquidity Shortfall/Funding Regs (PDF)
"[T]he proposed regulation, Section 1.430(j)-1(f), Example 11, Paragraph (iii), states that ... the contribution continues to be required even though the shortfall no longer exists, contrary to the applicable statutory language ... Application of such a rule would lead to plan sponsors having to make disproportionate contributions, in many cases contributing for the exact same shortfall multiple times. This is not consistent with the statute, prior interpretations of the same language, or sound administration of the law." (American Benefits Council)

2014 Survey of DC Plan Consulting Support and Trends (PDF)
"Fastest-growing DC areas reported by consultants include: Total plan cost/fee studies; DC investment design; Investment default asset allocation creation (e.g., target dates, balanced fund); DC recordkeeping searches; [and] Manager selection and monitoring... Consultants believe that the perceived mitigation of fiduciary risk (72%) and the ability to hand over reins on investments (66%) are the leading drivers of growth for outsourced CIO or discretionary oversight of assets.... The majority of consultants (59%) indicate that some or most of their plan sponsor clients prefer to retain retiree assets. Over a fifth (21%) indicate that some or a majority actively seek to retain these assets. Only two firms (4%) reported that the majority of their clients prefer that retirees move out of their plan." (PIMCO)

Ninth Circuit: 'Reopening' a Claim, After the Statute of Limitations Has Run, Does Not Waive That Defense
"If the statute of limitations has already run, does the claim administrator 'waive' the statute of limitations defense by agreeing to reopen a claim? NO.... Even when MetLife 'reopened' the claim in 2009, five years after claim denial, the 2004 statute of limitations defense applied, barring the 2011 lawsuit. This also is a good case to review because it discusses how an appeal denial letter should be written, when considering the statute of limitations defense." [Gordon v. Deloitte & Touche, LLP Long Term Disability Plan, No. 12-55114 (9th Cir. Apr. 11, 2014)] (Lane Powell PC)

[Official Guidance] Text of 2014 PBGC Premium Payment Instructions (PDF)
"Electronic filing is mandatory for all plans.... This document provides information for plans paying premiums for plan years beginning in 2014, including instructions for each data element that must be reported. If you are filing for a previous year, you must follow the instructions for that year." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC])

[Guidance Overview] FINRA's 'Reminder' About Rollovers Is News to Many
"[R]egulators believe that industry practices encourage retirees to make rollovers without a full understanding of their options and the relative costs for each option.... Couched as a 'reminder,' FINRA's year-end Regulatory Notice 13-45 describes practices that many broker-dealers and their registered representatives will find difficult to implement.... The guidance lists ... factors that broker-dealers and their registered representatives must consider and evaluate to determine whether a recommendation to take a distribution and rollover is suitable. In practice, broker-dealer firms and their representatives will have a difficult time obtaining this information." (DrinkerBiddle)

Watch Out for the 'Risk' in Derisking!
"From a plan management standpoint, once a plan hits its 'peak liability' -- the inflection point where benefit payments will trump the interest cost and service cost going forward -- a plan sponsor has very little time.... Plan events such as lump-sum windows, group annuity purchases, and even full-scale terminations are quite popular these days as plan sponsors look to reduce the size of their pension plan liability. It's important to remember, though, that these derisking strategies are fiduciary events." (Vanguard)

[Opinion] Text of Comments by Several Trade Associations to DOL on Proposed 408(b)(2) Guide Requirement (PDF)
"DOL is using the issuance of the Proposed Rule as an opportunity to collect information from the public in order to make findings necessary to adequately demonstrate that the guide (i.e., the proposed data collection) contemplated by the Proposed Rule is (i) necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, and (ii) will have practical utility. Accordingly, DOL has not completed the threshold steps of determining whether the guide is in fact needed or will be useful to plan sponsors, nor has it developed a realistic estimate of the total time required for [affected] service providers to prepare the guide." (The SPARK Institute, Investment Company Institute [ICI], SIFMA, ACLI and American Bankers Association)

The Equitable Allocation of Revenue Sharing (PDF)
"[If] a plan does not specify how to use revenue sharing (and most don't), then committees must make prudent decisions about the allocation.... In most cases, recordkeeping expenses are allocated pro rata to the accounts of the participants -- when they are not paid by revenue sharing. As a result, this method is equivalent to allocating the revenue sharing on a pro rata basis to the participants. But, do plan committees understand that, as a legal matter, they made that decision? What documentation do they have to support that they engaged in a prudent process to reach that decision?" (Fred Reish, for Paychex)

[Official Guidance] Text of PBGC Monthly Interest Rate Update for May 2014
"The May 2014 interest assumptions under the benefit payments regulation will be 1.50 percent for the period during which a benefit is in pay status and 4.00 percent during any years preceding the benefit's placement in pay status. In comparison with the interest assumptions in effect for April 2014, these interest assumptions are unchanged." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

'Before It's Too Late: A Retirement Security Newsletter from Phyllis Borzi', April 14, 2014
"The Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) have some new online tools that can help you get organized, make informed decisions, and plan for a more secure financial future, including a secure retirement." (U.S. Department of Labor)

What to Do With Your 401(k) When You Retire
"The ability to invest in nearly anything is a central attraction of an IRA ... as is the chance to get away from the extra administrative costs and pricey fund options that dog some 401(k) plans. Other respondents said they chose to roll over multiple 401(k) accounts from multiple employers to a single IRA for convenience and simplicity.... Several respondents said they had in fact chosen to stay put in their high-quality, low-cost plans, citing extra creditor protections and the ability to pick up a bit of extra yield in a stable-value offering." (Morningstar)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Ruling Streamlines Plans' Acceptance of Rollover Contributions
"This ruling should be welcomed by plan sponsors and TPAs for its streamlining of the rollover process. Prior examples of 'reasonably concludes' (in Treasury regulations) contemplated employees obtaining documentation from the distributing plan and submitting it to the receiving plan, leading to potential delay and frustration for employees and administrators -- and, as the IRS news release notes, to employees taking taxable distributions instead of continuing their tax-deferred savings." (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)

[Guidance Overview] Filling in the Retirement Plan Gaps for Same-Sex Couples: What It Means for Your Retirement Plan
"While the IRS guidance is certainly welcome and provides clarity on amendment and retroactive application, this only applies to plan qualification and not claims under Title I of ERISA. The [DOL] has not yet provided similar guidance on applying the Windsor decision. In the interim, there is uncertainty regarding whether a participant or beneficiary (such as a same-sex spouse) can make a benefit claim for a retroactive application of Windsor. Further, due to the gap period from June 26, 2013 to September 15, 2013, plan sponsors must carefully consider whether to apply the state of domicile rule or the state of celebration rule." (Ogletree Deakins)

[Guidance Overview] Do Your Qualified Retirement Plans Recognize Same-Sex Spouses as of June 26, 2013?
"[In] Washington state, plan sponsors should introduce procedures to ensure that they are aware of any same-sex registered domestic partnerships that will be automatically converted into marriage as of June 30, 2014. These new spouses will be entitled to all spousal benefits under an employer's plans." (Davis Wright Tremaine LLP)

Fourth Circuit Finds Use of Age-Based Contributions to Public Pension Plan Causes Discrimination Under ADEA
"[T]he Fourth Circuit ruled that a Maryland public employee retirement plan violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by requiring greater contributions for participants that enrolled at later ages.... Because much of the opinion was grounded in the fact that employees could retire after a stated number of years of service that did not depend on age, the court's decision may not apply to a situation where employees can retire only after attaining a certain age." [EEOC v. Baltimore County, No. 13-1106 (4th Cir. Mar. 31, 2014)] (Cheiron)

Chart of Rollover-Eligible Retirement Plans and IRA Combinations (PDF)
BenefitsLink came across this handy unofficial chart on the IRS web site. It is a one-page summary in the form of a table, listing the eight kinds of plans and IRAs that can make rollover-eligible distributions, and the corresponding eight kinds of plans and IRAs into which those distributions can (or cannot) be rolled over. (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])

[Guidance Overview] New Same-Gender Marriage Guidance; Part 4: Effect on 403(b) Plans
"While the Windsor decision and the related IRS guidance (including the effective date rules in Notice 2014-19) apply to 403(b) plans, the effect is more limited than with qualified plans because relatively few rules dealing with 403(b) plans deal with spouses. For example, because the entities which sponsor 403(b) plans do not have owners, ownership attribution is irrelevant.... Many 403(b) plans sponsored by tax-exempt organizations are subject to ERISA. If so, these plans must either comply with the QJSA/QPSA rules, or else (very commonly) the plan must provide that the spouse is the 100% death beneficiary unless the spouse consents to naming another beneficiary." (SunGard Relius)

[Guidance Overview] Multiemployer Pension Plans May Need Amendments to Comply with IRS Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage Provisions
"The Notice requires that amendments be adopted by a multiemployer pension plan as follows: [1] If the plan's terms with respect to the requirements of section 401(a) define a marital relationship by reference to section 3 of DOMA or are otherwise inconsistent with the outcome of Windsor or the guidance in Rev. Rul. 2013-17 or the Notice, then an amendment to the plan that reflects such outcome or guidance must be adopted. [2] An amendment is required if a plan sponsor chooses to apply the rules with respect to married participants in a manner that reflects the outcome of Windsor for a period before June 26, 2013. The amendment must specify the date as of which, and the purposes for which, the rules are applied in this manner.... For a multiemployer pension plan, an amendment required in [1] is not subject to the requirements of section 432 of the Code ... while an amendment required in [2] is subject to those requirements." (Cary Kane ERISA Lawyer Blog)

Another Federal Judge Rejects 'Church Plan' Exemption for a Catholic-Affiliated Hospital
"[T]his decision ... has broad implications for employers who currently rely on the church plan exemption based on the entity's 'association' with a church. If these plans are not church plans, they will be subject to ERISA and face allegations of ERISA violations. With two district courts now rejecting application of the church plan exemption to non-profit hospital systems that are affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, we await decisions in the three other pending church plan cases." [Kaplan v. Saint Peter's Healthcare System, No. 13-2941 (D.N.J. Mar. 31, 2014)] (Alston & Bird, LLP)

New Pension Rules for Cooperative Small Employer Charity Plans
"This legislation would amend ERISA to establish minimum funding standards for [Cooperative Small Employer Charity (CSEC)] pension plans and set rules governing contributions to [them]. The bill is designed to help charities and cooperative associations by implementing pension funding rules that reflect the unique designs of their CSEC plans, rather than subjecting these plans to the funding rules of the Pension Protection Act (PPA)[.]" [H.R. 4275 was signed by President Obama on April 6, 2014.] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

Four in Ten Employers Believe ACA Has Impacted Their Retirement Savings Plans
"43 percent of employers report the [ACA] has affected their current retirement benefits strategy and spending, and 45 percent believe ACA will change their retirement plans in the future. Of those who believed the ACA has changed their retirement benefits strategy, 55 percent said they are spending less money on retirement benefits and shifting costs to employees and 42 percent said they are spending less time evaluating their retirement benefits[.]" (LIMRA)

Hibernation Versus Termination: Evaluating the Choice for a Frozen Pension Plan
"As a frozen corporate defined benefit pension plan matures, the need for a decision on exit strategy gets closer. One option is plan termination (the purchase of annuities for all participants, which effectively transfers all liabilities to an insurance company). Another strategy is 'hibernation,' whereby the sponsor continues to manage the plan at a low level of cost and with some uncertainty about future cost. What are the primary considerations for plan sponsors evaluating the latter option?" (Russell Investments)

[Opinion] Mountains of Paperwork Make 401(k) Transfers a Tough Hill to Climb
"Retirement plan advisers are struggling to help workers roll 401(k) assets into a new 401(k) plan when they change jobs, as record keepers load the process with so much red tape that it's easier to move into individual retirement accounts.... Moving assets from one employer to another, in theory, should be intuitive. The transfer ought to take place between the plans and their record keepers so the individual worker doesn't have to worry about receiving a paper check, or about rolling it over within 60 days of receipt[.]" (InvestmentNews)

[Guidance Overview] Investment Advisers to Plans May Be Required to Deliver 'Disclosure Guide' Under ERISA
"[U]nless revised or clarified, the Proposed Amendment would presumably prohibit a covered service provider from including the guide as an exhibit or attachment to another document ... [It] is possible that a covered service provider would need to deliver a guide even in situations where it had already sent out 408(b)(2) disclosures in compliance with the Final Regulations. Further, even those covered service providers that have already delivered a form of guide might need to deliver a new one if the original delivery did not comply with the requirements of the Proposed Amendment ... [A] failure to deliver the guide in accordance with the requirements of the Proposed Amendment would be treated as a failure to comply with the requirements of the ERISA Section 408(b)(2) 'necessary services exemption', potentially resulting in a non-exempt prohibited transaction if no other exemption is available." (Proskauer Rose LLP)

Why Every Retirement Committee Needs a Custom Charter
"A well-written charter should advise the retirement committee of the sponsor's overall retirement planning philosophy, where the organization's retirement plan should be heading and what path it should take. It should also provide helpful review milestones and directions for handling situations where something may go wrong. Moreover, a charter can maximize the retirement plan's outcomes for both the organization and the plan participants by supporting the organization's workforce-planning objectives and helping the participants prepare for a financially secure retirement." (Sibson Consulting)

[Guidance Overview] Better Late Than Never: IRS Issues Long Awaited Guidance for Retirement Plans Regarding Application of Windsor Decision
"The FAQs clarify that the Notice applies to 403(b) plans; however, the Notice has limited application to 403(b) plans that are not subject to ERISA.... [F]or those plans ... the term 'spouse' is relevant for the required minimum distribution and direct rollover rules but not the qualified joint and survivor annuity and qualified preretirement survivor annuity rules ... The timeline [in this article] summarizes the applicability of the Windsor decision and the supplemental guidance with respect to retirement plans[.]" (Quarles & Brady LLP)

U.S. FATCA Form Released, Deadline Deferred and IGAs Implemented
"The new Form W-8BEN-E is fairly complex. Sponsors of retirement plans that are exempt from FATCA should examine the form and prepare to file it with their payors of U.S. investment income. Unfortunately, the IRS has not yet released form instructions ... Sponsors of retirement plans that are not exempt from FATCA and therefore need to register with the IRS and agree to identify U.S. account holders to avoid default FATCA withholding on such plans will have a modest extension to do so, until May 5, 2014." (Towers Watson)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Releases Guidance for Effective Date of Same-Sex Spousal Retirement Rights
"[T]he limits on retroactivity described in IRS Notice 2014-19 only apply for tax qualification purposes. As such, the IRS guidance does not provide relief from any individual claims that a same-sex spouse may seek to bring asserting spousal rights for retirement plan benefits accruing before the Windsor decision. Absent any subsequent administrative relief (which is not expected), it appears that any such claims must be handled through a plan's claim and appeals procedures and, perhaps ultimately, the courts." (Morgan Lewis)

[Guidance Overview] New IRS DOMA Guidance for Retirement Plans (PDF)
"[P]lan sponsors can elect to extend the retroactive effective date of the Windsor decision to any date earlier than June 26, 2013 (but presumably no earlier than 1996). Such a retroactive amendment can be limited to certain purposes, provided that the amendment complies with applicable qualification requirements (e.g., it must be nondiscriminatory). For example, the plan sponsor can elect to apply the Windsor decision earlier solely for purposes of the QJSA and QPSA requirements, and only for annuity starting dates (or dates of death) on or after a specified date." (Groom Law Group)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Issues New Guidance for Qualified Retirement Plan Sponsors on Treatment of Same-Sex Couples Post-Windsor
"FAQ-4 permits a plan amendment providing certain special rights or benefits to participants with same-sex spouses to make up for benefits not previously available to those participants, such as a new opportunity to elect a distribution in the form of a qualified joint and survivor annuity." (Jackson Lewis LLP)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Windsor Guidance Limits Retroactivity for Retirement Plan (PDF)
"Any action taken on or after June 26, 2013 must comply with the Windsor decision and any failure after that date must be corrected in accordance with the IRS published correction procedures (EPCRS). For example, a plan subject to the survivor annuity rules that failed to obtain spousal consent from a same-sex spouse to pay benefits in a form other than a qualified joint and survivor annuity must go back to the same-sex couple and get the spouse's consent. If the spouse does not consent, then the benefit must be paid as a qualified joint and survivor annuity." (Buck Consultants)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Releases Additional Post-Windsor Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage (PDF)
"This is unusual for the IRS to allow employers to decide individually whether they will apply guidance retroactively and, if they will, which provisions the specific relief will apply to -- and how far back.... In its latest guidance, the IRS has created seemingly simple and direct rules. But it has ignored the pleas of many in the retirement plans industry to give specific responses and examples to numerous operational concerns." (Ascensus)

[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2014-27, April 2014 Update for Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates (PDF)
"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve (and the corresponding spot segment rates), ... the 24-month average segment rates[,] ... the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities ... as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008, the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate ... and the minimum present value segment rates ... as in effect for plan years beginning after 2007. These rates reflect certain changes implemented by [MAP-21]." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])

FATCA Deadlines Approaching for Sponsors of Non-U.S. Retirement Plans
"If a plan that is required to register as a [Foreign Financial Institution (FFI)] fails to so register or otherwise fails to comply with its reporting and withholding obligations under FATCA, the plan will be subject to a 30% withholding tax on any US source income paid to the plan. 'US source income' would include any income earned from assets invested in US-based stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other investment vehicles.... [N]ot all non-US retirement plans will qualify as FFIs, as there are several useful exemptions available. However, in order to take advantage of any exemption, the plan must affirmatively claim it through the filing of a Form W-8BEN-E[.]" (Winston & Strawn LLP)

[Guidance Overview] Windsor Compliance Dates Clarified
"What to do now? [1] Review your qualified retirement plan's definition of 'spouse' and 'marriage' to determine if your definition is consistent with Windsor and Notice 2013-17. [2] Determine whether your qualified retirement plan will apply the Windsor decision to a period prior to June 26, 2013. [3] Review the summary plan description and other plan materials to ensure that any description of spousal rights does not exclude same-sex spouses. [4] Speak with your plan recordkeeper and plan vendors to confirm that the plan has been operated in compliance with Windsor beginning on June 26, 2013. [5] Adopt any necessary amendments prior to December 31, 2014." (Nixon Peabody LLP)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Issues New Guidance on Treatment of Same-Sex Couples Post-Windsor to Qualified Retirement Plan Sponsors
"Certain single-employer defined benefit plans are subject to funding-based restrictions under Code Section 436, including limitations on amendments that increase plan liabilities under Code Section 436(c).... [A] plan amendment that is required to conform plan terms to Windsor and Revenue Ruling 2013-17 and takes effect on June 26, 2013, is exempt from the Code Section 436(c) restrictions. However, a plan amendment providing for the application of Windsor prior to June 26, 2013 is not exempt from the restrictions. Such an amendment may require a plan funding contribution to offset the added plan liabilities and, if the contribution is not timely made, cause plan disqualification." (Jackson Lewis LLP)

Spring Cleaning Series: Self-Auditing by Employee Benefit Plans
"A self-audit should, at a minimum, focus on issues of particular importance to the IRS and DOL. While the actual retirement or health plan documents and records are very important, the IRS and DOL are also expanding their retirement plan focus to the people behind the plans by looking closely at internal controls in plan operations (on the IRS side) and fiduciary training (on the DOL side). The IRS and DOL will generally pursue a more thorough audit or examination of plans with weak or unclear internal control and fiduciary structures." (Quarles & Brady LLP)

[Guidance Overview] Building a Safe Harbor Escape Clause
"An important consideration in deciding whether to suspend employer contributions is that the plan will then be subject to nondiscrimination testing which could cause the highly compensated employees to receive a distribution of excess salary deferral and matching contributions. Additionally, a required top-heavy contribution could force the employer to make a 3% top-heavy minimum contribution, almost identical to the nonelective safe harbor contribution that is suspended in the first place." (Belfint Lyons & Shuman, CPAs)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Offers Two New Due Diligence Safe Harbor Procedures for Accepting Rollovers into Qualified Plans
"These procedures describe various fact patterns involving obtaining letters from the transferring plan or IRA regarding the transferring plan's or IRA's status, certain factual representations from the transferring participant regarding compliance with the applicable rules, and/or supporting documentation from the transferring plan or IRA. Absent facts to the contrary, a plan administrator who follows the procedures in the current guidance may treat an inbound rollover as a valid rollover contribution." (Sutherland)

Congressman Camp's Comprehensive Tax Reform Proposal
"The additional taxes paid on pre-tax DC contributions (both the 5% phase-out and the10% surcharge) don't (apparently) add to 'tax basis'. So the participant pays tax on these contributions going in and going out. While, for employee contributions, switching to Roth contributions may be a way around paying these extra taxes on 'pre-tax' DC contributions, the Roth contribution rules do not apply to employer contributions... Employer contributions are always pre-tax. Thus, the phase-out and surcharge significantly reduce the value of DC benefits to high paid employees. For those employee-taxpayers, a DB plan would have more appeal." (October Three Consulting)

[Guidance Overview] The Honeymoon Is Over: IRS Says It Is Time to Amend Plans to Cover Same-Sex Spouses
"The Notice focuses solely on the tax qualification rules of IRC section 401(a), and does not address any claims participants or their same-sex spouses may have under [ERISA]. For example, the Notice does not address whether a participant or a same-sex spouse may argue that same-sex spouses should have been recognized prior to the Windsor decision, especially since the Notice explicitly permits a plan to do so without adversely affecting its tax qualified status." [Article includes a chart listing plan provisions potentially impacted by the Windsor decision.] (Sutherland)

Employment Statistics, Fiduciary Duty and 401(k) Investor Angst
"[O]ne of the most important things that [plan sponsors and fiduciaries] need to manage is 401k investor angst. We all know the only 401k investors who lost following the 2008/2009 market collapse were those who panicked and sold.... Many investment professionals, while not complaining about last year's high market gains, have expressed concerns about the market outpacing the fundamental data. [A recent] white paper suggests this disconnect may exist." (Fiduciary News)

IRS Puts Retroactivity for Same-Gender Spouses to June 2013
"IRS on April 4 said rules that do not distinguish between same- and opposite-gender married couples in tax and federal retirement plan provisions will be in effect retroactive to June 26, 2013.... The changes in the announcement must be adopted by retirement plans by Dec. 31, 2014, or an applicable deadline under Section 5.05 of IRS Revenue Procedure 2007-44, whichever is later[.]" (Thompson SmartHR Manager)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Issues Guidance on Reducing or Suspending Safe Harbor 401(k) Contributions During a Plan Year
"The IRS has allowed employers who make safe harbor matching contributions to reduce or suspend their safe harbor match during the plan year. However, for those employers who make nonelective contributions, under prior guidance, the employer had to prove a financial hardship in order to reduce or eliminate the nonelective contributions during the plan year. The new IRS guidance provides consistency for all safe harbor designs now." (TRI-AD)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Issues Windsor Guidance for Qualified Retirement Plans
"Plan operations are required to reflect the Windsor outcome only as of June 26, 2013. This means that qualified plans are not required to recognize same-sex marriages for dates prior to June 26, 2013.... [P]lans will not be penalized for having determined marital status by reference to the participant's state of domicile before September 16, 2013. Plans can choose to comply with the outcome of Windsor as of any date prior to June 26, 2013, and can choose the purposes for which same-sex marriages are recognized for periods prior to that date." (Ropes & Gray LLP)

Private Sector Pension De-Risking and Participant Protections
"One way to transfer a benefit liability is to transfer the benefit to the participant by paying out the benefit in a lump sum. The other way is to purchase an annuity from an insurance company.... [This de-risking] approach has a much greater impact on plan participants, as it may change who will pay their benefit and requires them to decide whether or not they want to receive a lump sum distribution. It is this ... approach which raises the most issues under ERISA." (Thompson Coburn LLP)

[Guidance Overview] The Wait Is Over -- IRS Guidance on Amendments Really Was Imminent
"[A] plan may (permissively) be amended to reflect the outcome of Windsor for some or all purposes as of a date prior to June 26, 2013, if the amendment complies with the applicable qualification requirements ... For example, a plan could apply only the QJSA and QPSA requirements to same sex spouses before June 26, 2013 solely with respect to participants with annuity starting dates or dates of death on or after a specified date. However, as the IRS warns, amending a plan retroactively to a date prior to June 26, 2013 may trigger requirements that are difficult to implement retroactively (such as the ownership attribution rules) and may create unintended consequences." (Benefits Bryan Cave)

EBSA's New Fee Disclosure Guidance: Questions as Much as Answers
"When would this separate guide be needed, and how detailed must it be? It is on these questions that the difficulty of complying will turn.... Such as, what is 'quick?' What is 'easy?' What is 'lengthy?' And a big one: 'who will decide?' There is legitimate concern that if a guide must have specificity down to the page number, or to the paragraph, it could be extremely costly for a [covered service provider] to create custom guides for the many plans it may serve." (Todd Berghuis, for Ascensus)

[Guidance Overview] PBGC Proposed Regs Encourage Rollovers from DC Plans to DB Plans
"The PBGC wants to increase the retirement plan options available to employees who are participating in defined contribution plans. The proposed regulations promote this goal by providing guarantees to defined contribution plan participants who roll over their plan benefits to a pension plan that is later terminated by the PBGC." (Practical Law Company)

IRA Custodian Creates 60-Day Rollover Problems
"The end result of all of this was that IRS let Tony put some funds back into an IRA, but not the full amount of his original SEP IRA balance. Both of Tony's IRA custodians made mistakes here. The SEP custodian did not timely release Tony's IRA funds. The Roth custodian apparently did not tell Tony that his funds went into non-qualified accounts, despite his instructions to the contrary. But Tony made mistakes too. He did not follow the most basic of the IRA and Roth IRA rules. He was only spared the consequences of his actions by the mistakes of his custodians." [Private Letter Ruling 1412020, Dec. 23, 2013; published online Mar. 21, 2014.] (The Slott Report)

A Possible Alternative to the Moench-ies
"The approach has been to look for a presumption that emerges from the overall statutory scheme -- a la Moensch. Looking at the oral argument, it's not impossible to discern possible hostility on the part of the Court to a presumption that isn't expressly in the statutory language.... [T]he Moench presumption, which requires the uncovering of a presumption that is not expressly legislated, may not be the only way to get to a result that may indeed be the right one under ERISA." [Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, argued Apr. 2, 2014] (Andrew L. Oringer in Pension and Benefits Blog, by Bloomberg BNA)

SEC Reconsiders Target-Date Fund Glide Path Illustrations
"The rule amendments would ... require marketing materials for TDFs to include a table, chart or graph depicting the fund's asset allocation over time ... SEC officials hope the reopened comment period will generate additional input on the question of whether such illustrations would be helpful to new and inexperienced investors and how difficult they would be to deliver for service providers. SEC officials also hope to test the industry's response to a new question coming out of a 2013 proposal from the SEC's Investor Advisory Committee, which urges the full SEC to take the additional and more challenging step of requiring a standardized glide path illustration that factors in important risk considerations -- not just asset allocation over time." (planadviser)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Employee Plans News, April 4, 2014 (PDF)
Issue no. 2014-6. Topics include: [1] Treatment of Marriages of Same-Sex Couples for Retirement Plan Purposes: Notice 2014-19; and [2] Plan terminations: EP phone forum on May 6 at 2 p.m. EDT. (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])

[Official Guidance] Text of IRS FAQs Regarding the Application of the Windsor Decision and Post-Windsor Published Guidance to Qualified Retirement Plans
6 Q&As cover operational questions for qualified plans, including: "If a plan's terms designate a particular state's laws as applying to the plan, and that state does not recognize same-sex marriage for purposes of applying state law, is it permissible for the plan to be operated in a manner that does not recognize a participant's same-sex spouse with respect to the 401(a) qualification requirements? In general, no.... May a qualified plan be amended in light of the Windsor decision to provide new rights or benefits with respect to participants with same-sex spouses? Yes.... Do the Windsor decision, Rev. Rul. 2013-17, and Notice 2014-19 apply to 403(b) plans? The rules of Rev. Rul. 2013-17 apply for all Federal tax purposes, including for purposes of the Federal tax rules that apply to Section 403(b) plans." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])

[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2014-19: Application of the Windsor Decision and Rev. Rul. 2013-17 to Qualified Retirement Plans (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "Whether a plan must be amended to reflect the outcome of Windsor and the guidance in Rev. Rul. 2013-17 and this notice depends on the terms of the specific plan ... If a plan's terms with respect to the requirements of section 401(a) define a marital relationship by reference to section 3 of DOMA or are otherwise inconsistent with the outcome of Windsor or the guidance in Rev. Rul. 2013-17 or this notice, then an amendment to the plan that reflects the outcome of Windsor and the guidance in Rev. Rul. 2013-17 and this notice is required by the date specified in Q&A-8 of this notice... If a plan's terms are not inconsistent with the outcome of Windsor and the guidance in Rev. Rul. 2013- 17 and this notice, an amendment generally would not be required. If no amendment to such a plan is made, the plan nonetheless must be operated in accordance with the provisions of Q&A-2 of this notice.... [If] a plan sponsor chooses to apply the rules in a manner that reflects the outcome of Windsor for a period before June 26, 2013, an amendment to the plan that specifies the date as of which, and the purposes for which, the rules are applied in this manner is required.... The deadline to adopt a plan amendment pursuant to this notice is the later of (i) the otherwise applicable deadline under section 5.05 of Rev. Proc. 2007-44, or its successor, or (ii) December 31, 2014." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])

Cypen & Cypen Newsletter, April 3, 2014
Article titles include: [1] Total holdings and investments of major public pension systems rise to over $3 trillion, reaching highest level in forty-five years; [2] Pension funds join in fee resistance; [3] Lower-income individuals without pensions miss out; and [4] Using automatic escalation in public sector retirement plans to increase savings. (Cypen & Cypen)

Upcoming IRS Phone Forum: Plan Terminations -- What You Need to Know Before You Terminate That Plan (May 6, 2014)
"[IRS staff will] discuss the important items to review when a retirement plan terminates, like the date of termination, permanency requirement, the need to update the plan for all law requirements and accelerated vesting requirements. We'll also discuss the different types of terminations for defined benefit plans and what happens if the plan is overfunded or underfunded. Please email [IRS] your questions by April 21, 2014." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])


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