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TIAA Shakes Up the Plan Sponsor Digital Space with New Mobile App
"There are currently only three firms (20%) in the RPM-I coverage set that have responded to the consumer desire for mobile accessibility by providing responsive sites. TIAA instead launched a native mobile app.... TIAA developed the app with functionality in mind, prioritizing specific uses that sponsors would most likely want access to on the go. The firm also sought to leverage mobile technology that makes for secure and user-friendly experiences, including biometric login and push notifications." (Corporate Insight)
DOL Focusing on Guidance for Locating Missing Participants
"[DOL] is working on guidance for employers who have lost contact with retirement plan participants, head of [EBSA] Preston Rutledge said today in a rare public appearance. The announcement comes after the business community and the [GAO] called for the DOL to release specific guidelines they need to follow to ensure they're in compliance when contacting plan participants." (Bloomberg BNA)
DailyVest and GuidedChoice Partnership Embodies Plan Health Trends
"At the start of 2017, 40% of firms within the Retirement Plan Monitor -- Institutional coverage set offered some sort of plan health tool.... Today, 73% of RPM-I firms offer a plan health tool or provide plan-health-specific data on plan sponsor sites. Firms looking to offer these resources often look to third-party vendors, such as fintech and analytics provider DailyVest, to integrate established platforms rather than build proprietary ones." (Corporate Insight)
Why Median Is Better Than Average When It Comes to Retirement Plan Account Balances
"[T]he average account balance statistic is a worthless number for most.... [It] is often heavily biased by a small concentration of mega-sized account balances at the top of the distribution.... A far better figure to use to determine the health of a plan is the median, which would be the middle number in the distribution of account balances.... The reason why some recordkeepers don't use the median in touting their retirement plan results? In most cases, it does not make them look very good." (Cammack Retirement Group)
How to Gauge Retirement Plan Effectiveness
"[It's] essential for sponsors to have a good idea of what makes their plan attractive (or not), how to measure it and the overall impact on employee satisfaction. Here's how to start tracking your retirement plan -- and its effect on the bottom line.... Perhaps the easiest metric to use in gauging overall plan success is participation rate.... A high contribution rate is a clear sign that the retirement savings plan offering is seen as valuable.... Perhaps the single most insightful piece of data available to plan sponsors though is what's often dubbed retirement readiness." (PlanPILOT)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Final Regs: Definitions of Qualified Matching Contributions and Qualified Nonelective Contributions
"[On] January 18, 2017, the Treasury Department and the IRS ... proposed to amend Section 1.401(k)-6 to provide that amounts used to fund QMACs and QNECs must be nonforfeitable and subject to distribution limitations in accordance with Section 1.401(k)-1(c) and (d) when allocated to participants' accounts, and to no longer require that amounts used to fund QMACs and QNECs satisfy the nonforfeitability requirements and distribution limitations when they are first contributed to the plan. As a result, forfeitures would be permitted to be used to fund QMACs and QNECs.... [A]fter consideration of all the comments, the proposed regulations are adopted without substantive modification." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Employee Benefits Apps Enhance the Employee Experience and Boost ROI
"How can HR be certain employees fully understand, appreciate and utilize their benefits? One way is to introduce an employee benefits app to provide fingertip access 24/7. Mobile access to benefits ... [1] Makes benefits accessible for employees ... [2] Increases employee engagement ... [3] Boosts employee retention ... [4] Consolidates data to contain costs." (Hodges-Mace, via HR Dive)
Legal Risks Associated with Lost Participants
"The [DOL] has asserted that a plan's inability to locate terminated participants can constitute a breach of duty on the part of the plan's fiduciaries, in violation of ERISA. Lost or missing participants can also lead to plan disqualification risks; for example, if 'required minimum distributions,' mandated under the Internal Revenue Code, cannot be made." (Bond, Schoeneck & King)
IRS Proposed Regs Modify Electronic Filing Requirement for Information Returns
"Under the proposed regulations, all information returns, regardless of type, must be taken into account to determine whether a person meets the 250-return threshold for the electronic filing requirement. Further, a person required to file information returns electronically would be required to file corrected information returns electronically. The new rules ... will not apply to information returns required to be filed before January 1, 2019." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
Supreme Court Lets Stand Holding That Parties Under DOL Investigation Can Expressly Waive Time Limits on ERISA Claims
"The Court declined to review a holding of the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit dealing with how much time the DOL has to initiate a civil action under ERISA. In denying a petition for certiorari, the Court left intact a holding that the statutory limit on DOL's window of time to initiate ERISA claims can be waived by the party under investigation." [Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Labor v. Preston, No. 17-10833 (11th Cir. Oct. 12, 2017; cert. denied June 25, 2018)] (Eversheds Sutherland)
Missing the Match
"How does an employee miss the match? First, by not signing up to make a deferral out of their salary. Secondly, and most importantly, by not understanding the matching contribution that the employer is making on their behalf and how it is calculated.... [A] plan participant can miss the match ... by deferring too much out of each pay period early in the year in order to maximize their deferrals early on." (TriStar Pension Consulting)
Inexpensive Ways to Promote Your 401(k) Plan to Employees
"[Y]ou probably have at least a couple of all-star investors who are maximizing their contributions, diversifying properly, and attaining sizeable retirement balances as a result.... Consider tapping into this group the next time you have a benefits awareness program or communication, or when you conduct enrollment or education meetings ... [P]articipants are more likely to read a company newsletter article since it tends to be less technical, plus the plan sponsor is the one doing the communicating, which may also offer an advantage." (Conrad Siegel Actuaries)
Ways for Plan Sponsors to Increase 401(k) Participation and Employee Deferrals
"[1] If you haven't adopted automatic enrollment and auto-escalation, consider it.... [2] Look carefully at how you structure the match.... [3] Communicate effectively.... [4] Keep enrollment as simple as possible.... [5] Think carefully about naming a 'go-to person' for the 401(k) plan.... [6] Create a small budget for fun educational activities.... [7] Use tools ... to create competitions and increase engagement.... [8] Create one-on-one opportunities for employees to talk about their 401(k) benefits." (Bronfman Rothschild)
New Colorado Data Privacy Requirements Apply to Organizations That Employ Workers in Colorado
"The key provisions in the new law are its requirements that covered entities: [1] maintain reasonable security procedures and practices; [2] establish and follow a written policy for the destruction of personal information when it is no longer needed; [3] ensure that third-party service providers handling their personal information have implemented and maintained reasonable security procedures and practices; and [4] follow the law's notification procedures when it becomes aware that a security breach 'may have' occurred." (Holland & Hart LLP)
Cyber Security Risk for Plan Sponsors
"The plan sponsor should have cyber security policies and procedures in place and all employees should be well trained in them. There should be consequences in place to ensure that all employees follow proper procedures.... Plan sponsors also need to do their research regarding vendors. Here are some important questions to ask[.]" (PlanPILOT)
Cybersecurity Hot Topics for Closely Held Businesses (PDF)
"Cyberattacks are not exclusively a threat to companies of a particular size.... [1] Users can be your greatest risk or your best security ... [2] Multifactor authentication and a password management solution can help keep you secure ... [3] Use security software and create access barrier ... [4] Image-based backups with an offsite copy ... [5] Consider cyber liability insurance." (Journal of Pension Benefits)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Instructions for 2018 Forms 1099-R and 5498: Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. (PDF)
25 pages. "What's New: ... [1] A conversion of a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, and a rollover from any other eligible retirement plan to a Roth IRA, made after December 31, 2017, cannot be recharacterized as having been made to a traditional IRA.... [2] Special rules apply to retirement plan distributions made to employees affected by certain natural disasters that occurred in 2016 and 2017." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Hardship Withdrawals After the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018
"While there is no change to current rules for 2018, the rules with respect to hardship distributions are going to change significantly beginning in 2019. Beginning in 2019, participants may legally take hardship distributions from QNECs and QMACs and earnings on 401(k) contributions, QNECs and QMACs, if the plan permits them to. Sponsors will want to review their hardship distribution policy and consider whether they wish to extend it to these amounts. There will also be new rules (of some sort) for determining whether a participant has a hardship." (October Three Consulting)
ERISA Advisory Council to Meet August 14-16
"[T]he 192nd meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (also known as the ERISA Advisory Council) will be held on August 14-16, 2018.... The purpose of the open meeting is for Advisory Council members to hear testimony from invited witnesses and to receive an update from [EBSA]. The EBSA update is scheduled for the morning of August 16, subject to change." (Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL])
Boeing Loses $150M Fight With Spirit Over Pension Benefit Costs
"Boeing Co. couldn't persuade the Delaware Supreme Court to reverse a ruling that left it on the hook for about $150 million in employee benefit costs in a long-running dispute with Spirit Aerosystems Inc. Under the parties' purchase agreement, Spirit never agreed to assume Boeing's liability for pension and retiree medical benefits, a three-justice panel held July 12. Spirit agreed only to credit the Boeing employees' past service with Boeing for the purpose of determining their eligibility for benefits under Spirit's own benefit plans, the justices said in affirming a lower court ruling." [The Boeing Co. v. Spirit Aerosystems, Inc., No. 5, 2018 (Del. July 12, 2018)] (Bloomberg BNA)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2018-60: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates Applicable for July 2018 (PDF)
"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates used under Section 417(e)(3), and the 24-month average segment rates under Section 430(h)(2) ... In addition, this notice provides guidance as to the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities under Section 417(e)(3)(A)(ii)(II) as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008 and the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate under Section 431(c)(6)(E)(ii)(I)." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
[Official Guidance] Text of PBGC Proposed Regs: Terminated and Insolvent Multiemployer Plans and Duties of Plan Sponsors
"[PBGC] proposes to amend its multiemployer reporting, disclosure, and valuation regulations to reduce the number of actuarial valuations required for smaller plans terminated by mass withdrawal, add a valuation filing requirement and a withdrawal liability reporting requirement for certain terminated plans and insolvent plans, remove certain insolvency notice and update requirements, and reflect the repeal of the multiemployer plan reorganization rules." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC])
Affected Parties Suggest Reasons, Methods for Expanding IRS Determination Letter Program
"The circumstances believed to warrant determination letter applications included: [1] Significant legislative and regulatory changes; [2] Significant plan design changes; and [3] Mergers and acquisitions.... Under one suggested approach for obtaining an IRS stamp of approval, the agency would establish or provide official recognition of a third-party certification system to fill the void left when it contracted the determination letter program -- an idea that the IRS raised years ago in a 2001 White Paper." (HR Daily Advisor)
Bullet Proofing Your Claims Procedures
"When there is a request for documents related to a claim or appeal pay close attention to what is requested ... and carefully assess what is relevant in light of the applicable court decisions. Given the change in the disability claim and appeal procedure requirements that became effective ... on April 1, 2018, and the regular litigation over disability claims, it may be prudent to carefully review the forms being used, the process being followed, how document requests are addressed, and how those match with the current requirements." (Winstead PC)
DOL Shifts Focus of Enforcement Letter Following ARA Comments
"[ARA] learned that the wording describing the potential for 'alternative enforcement measures' was intended for plan sponsors who reported a fiduciary violation had occurred without a correction being made.... [G]oing forward the threat of alternative enforcement measures will be limited to plan sponsors where the late deposit violation has not been corrected." (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA])
[Opinion] Few Read Mandatory Benefit Disclosures, Even Fewer Take Action
"[R]esearch and practical experience confirm mandated disclosures are not effective at prompting greater savings. Since disclosure costs are typically paid by participants, before we add a new burden, let's first ask the DOL and IRS to confirm the cost/benefit results and effectiveness of other mandated disclosures designed to prompt changes in participant behavior[.]" (Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA])
[Guidance Overview] Tax Code Changes Require Examination of Hardship Withdrawal Provisions
"[P]lan sponsors that have limited their hardship distributions to the safe harbors now must change their hardship distribution processes for casualty-related home repair expenses, due to an indirect change in Code section 165. These hardship distributions are now limited to home repair expenses caused by presidentially declared disasters only." (Kilpatrick Townsend)
In the Era of Electronic Enforcement, Fidelity Bond Issues Easily Revealed on Form 5500
"The fidelity bond requirement is high up on the DOL's compliance priorities, and it's not a great leap in logic to assume that they monitor this on Form 5500.... It could be a red flag for the DOL to take a closer look at the plan.... A plan's fiduciaries could be held personally liable for any loss that should have been covered by the fidelity bond." (The Retirement Plan Blog)
Time to 'Tune Up' Your Employee Benefit Service Provider Agreements
"[A]reas of potential concern with service provider agreements that may warrant a closer look. [1] Use of employee data ... [2] Indemnification.... [3] Agreement term." (Wilkins Finston Friedman Law Group LLP)
[Official Guidance] Text of PBGC Interest Rate Update for Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans, August 2018
"The August 2018 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 July 2018, these assumptions represent no change in the immediate rate and are otherwise unchanged." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC])
Participants Should Watch for Late 401(k) Deposits
"One thing participants do not review often enough is contribution deposit dates. Reviewing this information not only ensures that your employer is timely depositing your contributions, but also that any late contributions include an extra lost opportunity contribution in accordance with the [DOL] rules." (Slott Report)
SEC Prioritizes Data Security and Expects More Mature Cybersecurity Programs
"[R]egulators and law enforcement are focused on cybersecurity threats that rely on investment services platforms and resources to target or harm the investing public. For registered investment advisers and broker-dealers, the primary implication of this focus is that the SEC will continue to expect more mature cybersecurity programs that adapt to the changing threat environment and appropriately manage and communicate risks to investors and other market participants[.]" (Alston & Bird)
Your Plan Will Face a Cyberattack -- Here's How to Prepare (PDF)
"[T]he focus of cyberattacks in the [DC] world has shifted from hardened targets like recordkeepers and custodians to plan sponsors, which often lack the extensive cybersecurity defenses of their vendors.... A cybersecurity framework (CSF) provides guidance for how organizations can assess and improve their ability to prevent, detect, and respond to cyberattacks. There are a variety of frameworks that plan sponsors and recordkeeping vendors can use to manage their risk[.]" (Callan; free registration may be required)
[Opinion] Actuaries Want Plan Sponsors to Provide More Complicated Benefit Statements
"[T]he [American Academy of Actuaries] would like to see plan sponsors provide significantly more information to their participants. Needless to say, this additional information would make the hard-copy benefit statement required by law much more complicated to prepare and potentially more confusing to participants." (Ken Steiner, FSA Retired)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Form 4419: Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically (PDF)
Rev. June 2018. "Submit Form 4419 to request authorization to electronically file [through the Filing Information Returns Electronically ('FIRE') system] any of the forms shown in Block 6 [including Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits].... If your application is approved, a five-character alphanumeric Transmitter Control Code (TCC) will be assigned to your organization." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
IRS Confirms that Safe Harbor Hardship Distributions Cannot Be Taken for Repayment of Student Loans
"The IRS confirmed in [Information Letter 2018-1] that because a safe harbor hardship distribution may be made only for the prospective payment of education expenses, it cannot be made for the repayment of student loans. The IRS suggested that as an alternative to taking a hardship distribution, the participant may be able to get a loan from the plan." (Drinker Biddle)
[Guidance Overview] Changes to Retirement Plan Loan Rollover Distribution Rules May Necessitate Updates to Special Tax Notices
"Due to the extension of the period for rolling over plan loan offsets, several references in the special tax notices to a 60-day rollover period are no longer accurate with respect to rollovers of plan loan offsets. If a plan administrator distributes the 2014 [IRS model] notice, a participant would likely not be aware that he or she has several months to repay the loan and complete the rollover to avoid taxation on the defaulted loan." (Ogletree Deakins)
Stakeholders Propose Ideas for Expanding the Determination Letter Program
"The main themes in comments from employee benefits trade organizations ... included: [1] Significant legislative and regulatory changes ... [2] Significant plan design changes ... [3] Mergers and acquisitions ... The comments also included recommendations on other avenues for obtaining the IRS stamp of approval[:] Third-party certification ... Letter rulings ... [and] Limited scope reviews." (Conduent)
Why Plan Participant Education is Essential
"Only through educated engagement with their retirement plans can participants maximize the value they derive from participating in an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. In turn, this success boosts employee confidence and increases the value of the plan as a recruiting and retention tool.... [1] Identify areas of need ... [2] Outline ongoing, systematic educational techniques ... [3] Follow up individually." (PlanPILOT)
[Opinion] What Is PEPTA and How Would It Impact Public Pensions?
"PEPTA would require state and local public pension plans to disclose their unfunded liabilities to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, but it would require them to calculate their liabilities using the rate of return on U.S. Treasury bonds. This would artificially inflate the unfunded liabilities to much higher levels than what the plans actually face.... The federal government has very little oversight of state and local pension plans.... These plans do report plenty of relevant information to the stakeholders in their states." (National Public Pension Coalition)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Disaster Relief Notice TX-2018-05, for Victims of Severe Storms and Flooding in Texas
"Victims of severe storms and flooding that began on June 19, 2018 in parts of Texas may qualify for tax relief from the [IRS].... Individuals who reside or have a business in Cameron and Hidalgo counties may qualify for tax relief.... certain deadlines falling on or after June 19, 2018 and before Oct. 31, 2018, are granted additional time to file through Oct. 31, 2018." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Cybersecurity and Retirement Plans
"Are qualified retirement plans really at risk? ... What kind of information (and assets) 'precisely' is at risk? ... What steps should be taken to safeguard retirement plan assets and information?" (McGuireWoods, LLP)
Changes to DOL Late Deferral Remittance Enforcement Procedure
"The threatening tone of the new version of this DOL correspondence is undeniable.... It remains to be seen how the DOL reacts to recipients of the letter who do not proceed with formal VFCP correction of late deferral remittance issues.... [P]lan sponsors now have additional motivation to pursue formal correction of these issues under VFCP in order to avoid potential DOL enforcement actions." (Legacy Retirement Solutions)
[Guidance Overview] 401(k) Plan Sponsors: Time to Revisit Your Hardship Withdrawal Provisions
"Will a plan be treated as satisfying the regulatory safe harbor if it retains the 6-month suspension period for purposes of making elective deferrals and employee contributions? What happens to participants whose 6-month suspension period has not yet expired when the change to eliminate the suspension period becomes effective? Will a plan be treated as satisfying the regulatory safe harbor if it retains the requirement that a participant must first obtain any available plan loan before taking a hardship withdrawal?" (Verrill Dana LLP)
[Opinion] American Academy of Actuaries Letter to Congress Suggesting Improvements to the Proposed 'Lifetime Income Disclosure Act' (PDF)
"[S]hould Congress take up the Lifetime Income Disclosure Act (S.868, H.R.2055), it could be improved in the following ways: [1] Provide more guidance to the [DOL] with respect to the lifetime income disclosure provisions ... [2] Exempt small employers from providing the income disclosure statement; however, require that they furnish employees with information regarding the DOL website tool and how to access it ... [3] Require that the DOL update its website to align with the legislation.... [4] Direct the DOL to create a better safe harbor that would relieve employers from fiduciary liability for providing retiree income options." (American Academy of Actuaries)
Circuit Split About ERISA Proper Party Defendants and Service of Process May Be Resolved by Supreme Court
"The Colorado Supreme Court's decisions upholding the dismissal of claims against two separate disability plans under ERISA may be under review by the [U.S.] Supreme Court, following submission of the joint petition for a writ of certiorari ... Petitioners asked the Supreme Court to review the following two issues: [1] a Circuit split regarding whether and when an ERISA benefit plan is a proper defendant in a benefit claim; and [2] whether an ERISA plan's agent for service of process must be an actual human or can be a group, corporation or other entity." (Robinson & Cole LLP)
[Guidance Overview] IRS Umbrella Closing Agreement Program Available to Correct Missed Deadlines
"Financial institutions and providers can still make corrections through the Voluntary Correction Program. However, with the umbrella closing agreement option, there does not have to be a system-wide error. Instead, this allows the financial institution to seek correction across a group of employers. An umbrella closing agreement correction can be more cost-effective and simpler for providers looking to make group corrections." (Butterfield Schechter LLP)
401(k) Plan and Participant Outcomes Improved Again in 2017 (PDF)
55 pages. "The 6% default deferral rate for auto-enrollment plans surpassed the 3% industry standard for the first time by a small amount: 32.4% of plans had a 6% default deferral compared with 31.9% with a 3% default.... The average employee pretax deferral rate reaches 8.3% -- the highest in 10 years ... [T]arget date products now account for the largest percentage of plan assets under management, surpassing all other investment types in nearly every category.... Loan usage decreased to 23.4%, but a greater number of participants age 50+ have outstanding loans." (T. Rowe Price)
Lawsuit Alleges Fraud by Matrix Trust in Connection with Theft by TPA
"[P]laintiffs claim that [Matrix Trust Company, custodian for the plans administered by Vantage Benefits,] 'fraudulently transferred at least three million dollars from the Section 403(b) plan accounts in its custody ... The plaintiffs say that these 'unsanctioned' transfers were taken from at least five 403(b) plans and deposited into a private Bank of America business account maintained by Vantage or its agents." (National Tax-Deferred Savings Association [NTSA])
Less Is Not More: Information Presentation Complexity and 401(k) Planning Choices (PDF)
40 pages. "The hypothesis is that providing concise information with helpful recommendations would improve choices over providing lengthy and detailed information.... [C]ontrolling for demographic and other factors, this hypothesis was not supported by the data, for either the new employees or the business school students.... [S]implifying the presentation of retirement-plan information to employees is unlikely to result in vastly improved retirement-planning choices." (Eric Cardella, Charlene M. Kalenkoski, and Michael Parent, for IZA Institute of Labor Economics)
[Official Guidance] Text of PBGC Request for Comments on Multiemployer Plan Regulations
"(PBGC) intends to request that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) extend approval, under the Paperwork Reduction Act, of collections of information in PBGC's regulations on multiemployer plans ... This notice ... solicits public comment on the collections of information.... [1] Termination of Multiemployer Plans (29 CFR part 4041A).... [2] Notice of Insolvency (29 CFR part 4245).... [3] Duties of Plan Sponsor Following Mass Withdrawal (29 CFR part 4281)." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC])
Plan Committee Lessons from the Second Continental Congress
"Inertia is a powerful force.... Selection of committee members is crucial.... Know that there are risks.... It's important to put it in writing.... Actions can speak louder than words." (National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA])
Top Fiduciary Questions to Ask Your Plan's Financial Professional
"How do I protect myself from being sued due to my position as a fiduciary on the 401k? ... What is a fiduciary, and how do you know if your advisor will fulfill that role? ... How does automated investing fit in with the traditional advisory model? ... . Who does our investment professional represent? ... What is this product's true track record over the long run? ... What exactly is a financial 'conflict of interest'? ... How do you get paid?" (Fiduciary News)
How to Use Income Tax Withholding on IRA Distributions, and When Not To
"Using withholding saves the trouble of sending a payment to the IRS yourself.... Withheld tax is treated as if it is paid at an even rate over the year even if in fact it is all paid just before year-end. This means that withholding on an IRA distribution taken just before year-end can be used to retroactively escape underpayment penalties on earlier missed quarterly estimated payments.... Quarterly payments and withholding can be used together." (Slott Report)
[Guidance Overview] PBGC Changes How It Announces Disaster Relief
"The PBGC's announcement assures filers that the PBGC will grant disaster relief when, where, and for the same relief period that the IRS grants tax relief for taxpayers affected by a disaster ... except for certain exceptions detailed in the announcement. Filers will not have to wait for the PBGC to separately issue disaster relief." (Thomson Reuters Practical Law)
SCOTUS Decision on Stock Options at Railroad Companies: Do the Justices Understand Stock Compensation?
"For Justice Gorsuch, the author of the majority opinion, it didn't seem to matter as much that stock options can be easily exercised and the shares sold for money. Yet in the minority opinion, Justice Breyer elucidates in detail the procedure for cashless exercises and provides data on how a large percentage of employees at railroad companies use this exercise method." [Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. U.S., No. 17-530 (U.S. June 21, 2018)] (myStockOptions.com)
Genstar, Aquiline Mull Sale of Retirement Plan Administrator Ascensus
"Private equity firms have been eager to buy retirement services providers, which are often ripe for technological innovation and poised to benefit from an aging population. The industry is also dense with small players, creating an opportunity to grow through acquisitions." (ThinkAdvisor)
IRS Appears Likely to Expand Determination Letter Program in 2019
"The end of the [cycle-based program in 2017] left plan sponsors with no way to obtain a confirmation from the IRS that their plans continued to satisfy the formal requirements for qualification after multiple amendments and changes to the law. Based on recent IRS announcements, however, it appears that individually designed plans will have restored access to the program, possibly as soon as next year." (Verrill Dana LLP)
Preparation for an Outsourcing Renegotiation
"The first question is whether or not the outsourcing should continue.... All options available in the market should be considered before beginning a renegotiation.... Clients should review the relationship that exists with the service provider to develop an understanding of what is going well and what needs improvement.... It is important to calendar upcoming expiration and potential termination dates to avoid surprises and provide for adequate time to properly prepare." (Morgan Lewis)
Questions (with Answers) about Benefit Plan Best Practices
"What does 'best practices' mean? ... What activities do best practices embrace? ... Are the steps needed to perform the fiduciary disciplines defined? ... Isn't our plan's recordkeeper obligated to enforce best practices? ... I know that managing our plan's fees is a required practice, but how do I know if our vendors' fees are fair and reasonable?" (Roland|Criss)
 
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