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(Telecommute / Dallas TX / University Place WA / The Woodlands TX)

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DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.
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DWC - The 401(k) Experts

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401K Generation
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Retirement Planners & Administrators
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The MandMarblestone Group, llc
(Telecommute / Philadelphia PA)

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Plan Administrator

BlueStar Retirement Services, INC.
(Telecommute / Jacksonville FL)

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<< Older News  |  October 21, 2020


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Employees with Company Stock Plans Welcome More Financial Advice as COVID-19 Drives Some Participants to Exercise or Sell Shares
Charles Schwab Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

"While the majority of participants are planning to use their equity compensation for retirement (51%), there was a slight uptick overall this year in those turning to their equity compensation to help meet immediate financial needs, like paying off debt (9%, up from 5% in 2019) and short-term emergencies (7%, up from 5% in 2019). Notably, Millennials have experienced a more pronounced impact compared to other generations and may be in more need of help in developing a financial plan. Ninety-five percent (95%) of Millennials who recently exercised or sold equity compensation report that the pandemic influenced their decision, and almost a third (27%) of this group did so because they were under financial stress."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Stock Plans

Employers Expand New Approaches for Health Care Delivery
Willis Towers Watson Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

"[N]early three in four employers (73%) plan to adopt different health care delivery models over the next three years. This compares with 53% that adopted these models over the past three years. Additionally, 34% of employers currently offer different health care delivery solutions in different markets based on availability and workforce needs. Over the next three years, the portion of employers taking a market-by-market approach will grow to over half (56%)."

Tags: Health Plan Design

Editor's Pick Long-Term Care Insurance: An Underappreciated Postemployment Benefit (PDF)
Benefits Quarterly, published by the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists [ISCEBS] Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

11 pages. "Four out of five Americans have said that they want the option of buying long-term care insurance (LTCi) through an employer. Advantages can include premium discounts, streamlined underwriting and unisex rate structures. Challenges can include limited carrier options, high pre-miums and the possibility of medical underwriting.... [E]mployers will need effective strategies for communication and enrollment, including education campaigns, email communications, webinars, online enrollment, direct billing and the use of behavioral finance tools."

Tags: Health Plan Design

PBGC Report: Analysis of Single-Employer Pension Plan Partial Risk Transfers (PDF)
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

14 pages, Oct. 2020. "8.0 percent of PBGC-covered plans performed [Risk Transfer Activity (RTA)] during the 2015-2018 study period. 44.8 percent of large plans (greater than 1,000 participants) performed an RTA during the study period.... 2.4 million participants received either a lump sum distribution or an annuity as part of a risk transfer transaction during the study period, and thus are no longer participating in their pension plan or covered by PBGC insurance."

Tags: PBGC  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Editor's Pick PBGC Report: Benefit Provisions in Multiemployer Defined Benefit Pension Plans (PDF)
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

34 pages, Oct. 2020. "This supplement to PBGC's Databook provides a detailed study of the plan provisions available to active workers in multiemployer defined benefit pension plans based on data compiled from [2016] Form 5500 filings for 582 multiemployer defined benefit pension plans which, in aggregate, cover approximately 90% of the total universe of active workers covered by all multiemployer defined benefit plans.... This study analyzes benefit provisions ... by industry classification, by plan funding 'zone status' and by amount of current liability. The primary focus is on the structure and amount of the plans' main benefit accrual formula."

Tags: Multiemployer Plans

Text of 2020 Instructions for IRS Form 5329: Additional Taxes on Qualified Plans (Including IRAs) and Other Tax-Favored Accounts (PDF)
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Oct. 20, 2020

Oct. 13, 2020. "[1] Qualified disaster or coronavirus-related distributions.... [2] Maximum age for traditional IRA contributions.... [3] Withdrawals in the case of a birth or adoption of a child.... [4] Increase in age for mandatory distributions.... [5] Temporary waiver of minimum required distributions." [Also available: 2020 IRS Form 5329]

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  IRAs  •  Misc. Distribution Issues  •  Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

Text of Draft Instructions for 2020 IRS Form 8606: Nondeductible IRAs (PDF)
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Oct. 20, 2020

Oct. 19, 2020. "What's new ... [1] Coronavirus-related distributions.... [2] Tax relief for qualified 2018, 2019, and 2020 disaster distributions.... [3] Form 1040-NR.... [4] Modified AGI limit for Roth IRA contributions increased.... [5] Due date for contributions. " [Also available: Draft 2020 IRS Form 8606]

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  IRAs

IRS Announces Relief for Certain Form 1094/1095 Reporting Requirements
McAfee & Taft Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 20, 2020

"The typical deadline to report 2019 plan information [to individuals] is January 31, 2021. However, the new relief extends the deadline to March 2, 2021. The extension is automatic, and the IRS has indicated that no further extensions will be granted, and it will not respond to such requests.... [T]his extension does not apply to the 1094-B and 1094-C filings with the IRS."

Tags: Health Plan Administration

IRS Publishes Guidance on Withholding and Reporting of Retirement Plan Accounts Escheated to Unclaimed Property Funds
Ascensus Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

"An amount as described in the Revenue Ruling 2020-24 example is a 'designated distribution' (not wages, not a payment to a nonresident alien or corporation, or dividends on employer securities), and is therefore subject to withholding under Internal Revenue Code § 3405."

Tags: Misc. Distribution Issues  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Some Kinds of Compensation to Plan Service-Providers Are Not Just 'Prohibited', They're Flat Out Illegal
Business of Benefits Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

"[M]any do not realize that there is a specific 'anti-kickback' rule applying to ERISA plans that is NOT found in ERISA, but instead under criminal law.... The language of the statute is broad, and looks at first glance to be able to cover a number of poorly designed compensation schemes or service arrangements. We all know that doing something as foolish as buying a plan sponsor a car in order to keep its 401(k) business would clearly step over the line. But there are some other, maybe more familiar, arrangements which could raise some issues."

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration

Overlooked Fiduciary Errors 401(k) Plan Sponsors Are Making Right Now
Fiduciary News; free registration required Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

"[1] Inadequate ERISA bond coverage ... [2] No clear purpose for the plan ... [3] Access issues ... [4] Monolithic investment advice ... [5] Definition of compensation."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

New York City Passes Key Amendments to Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law
Reed Smith Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 20, 2020

"[T]he City amended the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA) ... to align the Big Apple's local law with the recently-enacted statewide Paid Safe and Sick Leave law (NYSPSL).... [E]mployers may require employees to provide reasonable written documentation that their use of ESSTA was for a purpose permitted by the statute ... The recent amendments ... require that employees are now to be reimbursed for any fees associated with such documentation requests."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave

Can an Investor Make an Investment in a Startup Through an IRA?
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

"Assessing the potential for a prohibited transaction requires a thorough analysis of the facts and circumstances to determine the existence of any disqualified person(s) and whether the transaction falls within a prohibited category. Whether a prohibited transaction will occur is not always obvious, especially if it is not clear whether a conflict of interest exists (or could exist) or whether an IRA owner will receive a benefit from the transaction."

Tags: IRAs  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Stock Purchase Plans and 401(k)s: Not an Either/Or Proposition
PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

"Historically, retirement plan industry experts have been concerned that employees who have access to a 401(k) and an employee stock purchase plan (ESPP) are faced with an 'either/or' decision ... [New] data demonstrates that when employees have access to both plans, in an integrated environment, combined participation is associated with better retirement savings behaviors and greater overall financial wellness."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Stock Plans

HIPAA Breach Notifications for Employers
ABD Insurance & Financial Services Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

"Once the employer determines that a breach of unsecured PHI has occurred in a self-insured health plan, HIPAA requires notice to the affected individuals, HHS, and in some cases the media depending on the scope of the breach.... [1] Determining whether a breach has occurred: the risk assessment ... [2] The three exclusions from breach ... [3] Breach notification step #1: Notice to affected individuals ... [4] Breach notification step #2: Notice to HHS ... [5] Breach notification step #3: Notice to the media (500+ only)."


The Political Games Proxy Advisors Play with Workers' Retirement Security
Institute for Pension Fund Integrity [IPFI] Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

"For pension beneficiaries across the country, this proposal by the [DOL] is a positive step toward ensuring that accountability and fiscal responsibility take precedent.... The proxy system has long been taken advantage of by those without fiduciary responsibilities, preventing sound advice from reaching the nation's pension and investment funds ... [M]ore should be done by the Department to counter the unaccountable practice of 'robo-voting,' in which some fund managers have simply accepted the voting recommendations of proxy advisors automatically without considering the broader fiduciary impact of the proposals."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

ESG Investing: Protection of Retiree Financial Interests Needed
National Review Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

"This proposed rule is timely and needed, and ought to be adopted as a final rule. But two related problems are not addressed in that proposed rule. Because of the staff interpretations of the 2003 rule noted above, fund managers are forced to vote on every proxy proposal; and the liability shield means that they have powerful incentives to vote automatically in accordance with the recommendations of the proxy advisers."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments - ESG

Safe Withdrawal Rates: How Far We Have Come in 18 Years!
ValueWalk Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

"The error in the studies that gave rise to the 4 percent rule is that they do not take valuations into consideration. Robert Shiller's Nobel-prize-winning research shows that the market is NOT efficient, that investors are in fact highly emotional and often set stock prices far above or far below their true value. So risk is not constant but variable and the safe withdrawal rate is not always 4 percent but a number that ranges from 1.6 percent when stock prices are insanely high to 9.0 percent when stock prices are insanely low."

Tags: Misc. Distribution Issues  •  Retirement Plan Design

IRS Extends October 15 Deadline for Victims of Hurricane Delta
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Oct. 20, 2020

"Victims of Hurricane Delta that began on October 6 now have until February 16, 2021 to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... Currently this includes Acadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vermilion parishes in Louisiana[.]"

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Administration

IRS Extends October 15 Deadline for Victims of September Wildfires in California
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Oct. 20, 2020

"Victims of the California wildfires that began on September 4 now have until January 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... Currently this includes Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, San Bernardino, San Diego and Siskiyou counties in California[.]"

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Built for Speed and Savings: How a Nimble PBM Can Help Health Plans Control Drug Spend
Evolent Health Link to more items from this source
Oct. 19, 2020

"Novel specialty medications hit the market. Costly prescribing trends emerge. New patterns of fraud, waste and abuse are hatched. A pharmacy benefit manager's (PBM) ability to detect such opportunities, then quickly act on them, can impact millions of dollars in pharmacy spend every year. Yet, one PBM might take days or weeks to act on an opportunity that another PBM takes months to identify, let alone respond to.... So how can you tell which PBMs are nimble and which are slower to move?"

Tags: Prescription Drug Costs

Voya Financial Comment Letter to EBSA on Proposed ESG Rule
Voya Link to more items from this source
Oct. 19, 2020

"[T]he Proposal is fundamentally flawed for two reasons. First, among the many qualitative factors an ERISA fiduciary may appropriately consider in making an investment decision, the Proposal singles out ESG factors and treats them with skepticism.... Second, in the context of participant-directed individual account plans, the Proposal fails to account for the positive effect on investor behavior that the availability of ESG-focused investment options can have, and fails to identify how and when changes to employee participation and / or saving rates can be validly considered by an ERISA fiduciary when selecting available plan investments."

Tags: Retirement Plan Investments - ESG

Editor's Pick 2020 Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C Contain the Most Substantial Changes in Years
Accord Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 19, 2020

"For most employers the most significant change in the 2020 draft instructions compared to previous iteration is the plan start month box is now required.... Employers who decided to sponsor an ICHRA have a whole new set of rules to assist them in completing the Form 1095-C. Fortunately, most employers will not even need to concern themselves with all of the new ICHRA rules and reporting should be very similar to previous years."

Tags: Health Plan Administration

Data Breaches and HIPAA Enforcement Remain Endemic Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
Health Law Advisor, Epstein Becker Green Link to more items from this source
Oct. 19, 2020

"[E]nterprise-wide risk analyses should account not only for PHI, but also for other personally identifiable information (PII). Nearly every organization will possess PII, ... with each bearing privacy and security obligations under a variety of federal laws and regulations specifically addressing cybersecurity practices. Organizations must also be mindful of state and local requirements concerning cybersecurity[.]"

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Cybersecurity  •  HIPAA  •  Retirement Plan Administration

The Supreme Court Won't Review Sun Capital Partners -- What That Means for Private Equity
Cohen & Buckmann, P.C. Link to more items from this source
Oct. 19, 2020

"Technically, the Sun Capital Partners appellate decisions are precedent only in the First Circuit ... Private equity funds may still argue that different standards should apply in other circuits. However, another court reviewing these same issues ... could follow the Sun Capital Partners analysis. It is also possible that the Supreme Court will decide to review the threshold 'trade or business' issue if there is a split among the circuits in subsequent decisions. But private equity funds can't count on that. What steps can private equity funds take to protect themselves?" [Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund, Nos. 16-1376, 19-1002 (1st Cir. Nov. 22, 2019; cert. pet. denied Oct. 5, 2020)]

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

<< Older News  |  October 21, 2020

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