Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 14, 2017

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Employee Benefits Jobs

401(k) Plan Administrator
BlueStar Retirement Services
in FL

Experienced Attorney
Boutique Consulting Firm
in CO

Employee Benefits Associate
Thompson Hine LLP
in OH

Pension Actuary
Aldrich Retirement Solutions [formerly named AKT]
in AK, AZ, CA, ID, NV, OH

Pension Administrator
Aldrich Retirement Solutions (formerly name AKT)
in AK, AZ, CA, ID, NV, OH, OR

Retirement Plan Specialist
Transamerica
in CO

Account Representative
Nolan Financial
in MD, Telecommute

Technical Specialist
Professional Capital Services
in PA

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Webcasts and Conferences

What You Need to Know About the Changing World of Executive Compensation and Reporting
February 22, 2017 in IL
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Chicago West Chapter

Getting It Right- Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities
March 23, 2017 in NV
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

HRAs, HSAs, and Health FSAs: New Rules, Existing Rules, and Possible Changes to Come May Require New Action by Employers
April 18, 2017 WEBCAST
HRWebAdvisor

EBIA Advanced Cafeteria Plans and Benefits Conference
July 12, 2017 in CA
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

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[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Interest Rate Update for Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans, March 2017
"The March 2017 interest assumptions under the benefit payments regulation will be 1.25 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 [February]  2017, these interest assumptions are unchanged."
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Advert.]

The World of Retirement: PSCA's 70th Annual National Conference

Sponsored by Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA]

Through calm seas, rough waters, and uncharted territories, PSCA has been the flagship in the world of retirement benefits. Join us at PSCA's 70th Annual National Conference to learn the latest trends to help you navigate the changing landscape.


[Guidance Overview]

Plan Sponsors: Approach Target Date Funds with Caution
"[DOL] issued an information letter regarding [TIAA's] 'Income for Life Custom Portfolios' (ILCP) that concluded that the ILCP did not meet the requirements to be a [QDIA] under [ERISA].... [T]he DOL opined that a fiduciary may nevertheless be able to conclude ... that this type of investment is a prudent default investment for a plan -- albeit without the protections afforded by ERISA 404(c) and the regulation.... [T]his information letter emphasizes the DOL's support for efforts to broaden the use of lifetime income options in defined contribution plans as a supplement to and enhancement of accumulation of retirement savings."
Alston & Bird LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Puerto Rico Modifies Requirements for Qualified Retirement Plans and Trusts
[Act No. 9-2017] amends the Trust Act to provide an enhanced protection of trust assets against creditor's claims, incorporate the concept of 'retirement plan trust' ... protect the surviving spouse of a retirement plan participant by recognizing him/her as the beneficiary of the plan's death benefits ... and reduce the uncertainty and court intervention when there is a change in trustee. The Act also amends the PR Code in an effort to ease the establishment and operation of retirement plans in Puerto Rico, particularly those established by small employers and owner-employees."
McConnell Valdes

Proposed Regs Allow for Use of Forfeitures to Fund QNECs and QMACs
"Before using forfeitures to fund QNECs and QMACs, it is important to carefully review the terms of your plan document. Many plans (including most pre-approved plans) have provisions prohibiting this use of forfeitures ... or providing for limited uses for forfeitures. As a result, the plan may need to be amended[.]"
Trucker Huss

Questions to Improve Your Target Date Fund Selection Process
"What percent of plan assets are attributed to terminated employees? ... What are the workforce demographics? ... Does the investment policy statement have language stating the asset classes a client wants to offer? ... Does the company, or their employees, have a preference for passive or active managers?"
InvestmentNews

[Advert.]

2017 SPARK National Conference -- June 1-2, National Harbor, MD

Sponsored by SPARK

The retirement services industry's leading event for top marketing, sales, administration and record keeping professionals. Comprehensive agenda is designed to meet the needs of 401(k) Plan Providers, Financial Advisors and Third Party Administrators.


U.S. Insurers See Opportunity in Unwanted Pension Plans
"U.S. insurers are buying corporate pension plans at a record clip as rising interest rates and all-time high stock-market values give companies the perfect excuse to offload them. Calculating they can make more money from selling companies an annuity to cover the cost of the pension plans and then invest the proceeds in bonds and other securities, insurers are competing to persuade corporate America to sell them their pension risk."
Reuters

Pension Indicator, January 2017
"Asset prices increased in January as interest rate levels remained essentially unchanged. This caused pension plan assets to generally grow while pension liability levels were essentially unchanged."
Findley Davies

Social Security Begins to Increase the Retirement Age
"Most baby boomers can receive the full amount of Social Security they have earned at age 66. However, retirees who will turn 62 in 2017 need to wait an extra two months to collect their full Social Security payments. Starting this year the retirement age begins a gradual increase toward age 67. Here's how the older retirement age will impact how much you receive from Social Security."
U.S. News & World Report

[Opinion]

The Fiduciary Rule's Real Shortcoming That Trump Should Fix
"The fiduciary rule shouldn't apply just to retirement accounts; it should apply to all investment accounts, no matter the size and type. It's probably doubtful that Trump's review will come to this conclusion. Yet this is what the SEC staff who reviewed this issue recommended in 2011."
Financial Planning

[Advert.]

ERISA Audits: What We All Knew but Forgot

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Feb. 27 webinar. When the DOL or IRS comes knocking and looking to examine the benefits being offered to employees, it is important for an employer to be knowledgeable and ready.


Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Disaster Relief Announcement LA-2017-01 for Victims of Severe Storms in Louisiana
"Victims of the severe storms, tornadoes, and straight-line winds that took place beginning on February 7, 2017 in parts of Louisiana, may qualify for tax relief from the [IRS].... Individuals who reside or have a business in Livingston or Orleans parishes may qualify for tax relief."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Which Plans are Subject to the DOL's Final Rules for Disability Claims Procedures?
"The DOL noted that nearly two-thirds of all ERISA litigation involves claims under long-term disability plans, and the final rules are intended to improve the 'full and fair review' of disability claims ... by expanding the procedural requirements.... In order for the new rules to apply, both of the following must be true: [1] the plan must make disability determinations affecting plan benefits; and [2] the plan must be subject to ERISA's claims procedures."
Haynes and Boone, LLP

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Chief Counsel Memo: No More Closing Agreements Under FICA 'Special Timing Rule'
"[Chief Counsel Memorandum AM2017-01] raises the stakes for employers that fail to apply the proper FICA taxation rules to nonqualified deferred compensation. An option previously available to those employers has been taken off the table. Under this option -- which required a formal 'Closing Agreement' with the IRS -- both employer and employee FICA taxes could be minimized by voluntarily paying those taxes for years as to which IRS assessments were otherwise barred under the Tax Code's three-year statute of limitations. Without this correction option, employers have an even greater incentive to apply the proper FICA taxation rules to their deferred compensation arrangements."
Spencer Fane

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Lois Baker, J.D., President  loisbaker@benefitslink.com
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2017 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of BenefitsLink.com, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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