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<< Older News Items  |  December 15, 2018

News Items

Editor's Note: This page is an archive of news items that appear in our daily email newsletters. To automatically receive the latest news items -- plus links to the latest jobs, press releases, webcasts and events -- subscribe to our daily email newsletters.

Editor's Pick 2019 Planning for Health and Welfare Benefit Plan Operations (PDF)
Dec. 13, 2018
"[This calendar] presents a schedule of activities that address important upcoming deadlines and [a separate] Reporting and Disclosure Guide will help you identify and address other activities that are event-based and participant-specific."
Editor's Pick The Impact of Automatic Enrollment
J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Dec. 13, 2018
"[M]ore than 51% of 25-year-old participants investing in a plan were initially enrolled through an automatic enrollment default, potentially engaging participants who might not have invested in the plan otherwise.... [A] sizable segment of participants is starting average contributions at a minimal 3.3% rate and failing to take any action other than what the plan sponsor makes on their behalf in terms of subsequent increases."
Editor's Pick 2019 Health and Retirement Plans Reporting and Disclosure Calendar: Multiemployer Plans (PDF)
Segal Consulting
[Guidance Overview]
Dec. 12, 2018
"[This 25-page calendar summarizes] the annual compliance requirements and disclosure obligations that health and retirement plan sponsors need to know. The content in these calendars raise issues that may cause plan sponsors to check, change or consider their current approaches."
Editor's Pick 2019 Health and Retirement Plans Reporting and Disclosure Calendar: Single Employer Plans (PDF)
Sibson Consulting
[Guidance Overview]
Dec. 12, 2018
"[This 24-page calendar summarizes] the annual compliance requirements and disclosure obligations that health and retirement plan sponsors need to know. The content in these calendars raise issues that may cause plan sponsors to check, change or consider their current approaches."
Editor's Pick 2019 Compensation Committee Handbook (PDF)
Dec. 11, 2018
112 pages. "[This Handbook] is intended to help compensation committee members understand and comply with the duties imposed upon them.... [It describes] in some detail the concepts underlying a variety of areas within the bailiwick of compensation committees (for instance, the types of equity awards that are commonly granted and their respective tax treatment) and [provides a] perspective on some of the many decisions that compensation committees must make (for instance, the pros and cons of hiring a compensation consultant and the factors that go into that hiring decision)."
Editor's Pick Annuity Pricing in Public Pension Plans: Importance of Interest Rates
National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]
Dec. 10, 2018
"This study examines the distribution options of 85 large public retirement plans covering general state employees, teachers, and local government employees.... [I]nterest rates used to price annuities vary considerably across the plans. As a result, retirees with the same monthly benefit if a single life benefit is chosen will have substantially different monthly benefits if they select the joint and survivor annuity offered by their retirement plan."
Editor's Pick A Close Look at ERISA 403(b) Plans, 2015 (PDF)
BrightScope and Investment Company Institute [ICI]
Dec. 7, 2018
68 pages. "In 2015, four-fifths of large ERISA 403(b) plans covering nearly three-quarters of large ERISA 403(b) plan participants had employer contributions.... 37 percent [of these plans] had automatic employer contributions, 60 percent had simple matches, and 16 percent had both of these features ... 55 percent of large ERISA 403(b) plans had participant loans outstanding ... The average large ERISA 403(b) plan offered 27 core investment options in 2015[.]"
Editor's Pick 2019 Key Administrative Dates and Deadlines for Calendar-Year Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plans (PDF)
Dec. 7, 2018
This three-page chart includes a descriptive list of the 'key' administrative dates and deadlines for multiemployer defined benefit plans regulated by ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.
Editor's Pick 2018 End of Year Plan Sponsor 'To Do' List, Part 4: Executive Comp
Snell & Wilmer
Dec. 7, 2018
"Last chance to correct certain Section 409A document failures discovered in 2018 ... Nonqualified deferred compensation deferral elections should be made on or before December 31, 2018 ... Address impact of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Section 162(m) ... Review whether your equity-based compensation plan has sufficient shares remaining for 2019 awards ... Review Director pay practices and consider separate annual limits on Director equity awards ... Section 6039 information statements due by January 31, 2019."
Editor's Pick Can ERISA Plans Require That Fiduciary Claims Be Arbitrated? Should They? (PDF)
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Dec. 4, 2018
"Despite ERISA's endorsement of arbitration for certain issues, breach of fiduciary duty claims, which tend to involve greater damages and tend to attract the most media attention, are not arbitrated. One possible reason is that ... arbitration is not all it is chalked up to be -- for sophisticated fiduciary disputes, arbitration may in fact be just as time consuming, just as expensive, and less likely to lead to a just outcome."
Editor's Pick 2018 End of Year Plan Sponsor 'To Do' List: Qualified Retirement Plans
Snell & Wilmer
Nov. 30, 2018
Action Items for: [1] All qualified plans; [2] Section 401(k) plans; [3] Defined contribution plans (other than Section 401(k) plans); [4] Defined benefit plans; and [5] Section 403(b) plans.
Editor's Pick 2019 Key Administrative Dates and Deadlines for Calendar-Year Single-Employer Defined Benefit Plans (PDF)
Nov. 29, 2018
Chart lists and describes important administrative dates and deadlines for single-employer defined benefit plans subject to ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.
Editor's Pick End-of-Year Tax Planning for IRAs, QCDs, FSAs, and 529As
Nerd's Eye View
Nov. 28, 2018
"[W]hile it often takes consistent planning through the year to make the most of [tax-advantaged] accounts, the end of the year provides the opportunity to make a number of last-minute changes, not only in order optimize contributions and distributions, but potentially to avoid any unnecessary and preventable costs as well."
Editor's Pick Effects of the New UBTI Rules on Tax-Qualified Pension Investments Are Still Unclear (PDF)
Eversheds Sutherland, via Bloomberg Tax
Nov. 27, 2018
"[Consider] a situation where a tax-qualified pension fund invests in 20 private equity partnerships, each of which then invests in 15 private equity investments. Is investing in private equity, generally, a separate trade or business? Or is investing in each private equity partnership a separate trade or business? Or, must a plan look through each private equity partnership to each separate investment? If the latter is the case, can a plan aggregate investments across investments that involve a similar trades or businesses? How should a plan handle investments in a fund of funds, a fund that invests in other funds, each of which in turn makes their own investments?"
Editor's Pick An Employer's Guide to Navigating the ACA Reporting Requirements (PDF)
The Wagner Law Group, via The Practical Lawyer
[Guidance Overview]
Nov. 26, 2018
"[T]he employer shared responsibility and reporting requirements remain fully applicable... Penalties applicable to employers for failure to report are in addition to other ACA noncompliance penalties and are two-fold, including assessments for both a failure to file correct returns with the IRS and a failure to provide a required statements to employees.... An employer knows from the outset if it sponsors a self- funded group health plan, but whether the employer is an ALE is a determination that must be made on an annual basis.
Editor's Pick Year-End Compliance Reminders for Defined Contribution Plans Subject to ERISA (PDF)
Nov. 26, 2018
"Every year, plan sponsors must make sure their plans meet certain compliance requirements ... This publication identifies the materials you need to review and will help you prepare for year-end."
Editor's Pick Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Rules for Tax-Indifferent Entities Under Section 457A
Venable LLP
[Guidance Overview]
Nov. 15, 2018
"This practice note explains the application of Internal Revenue Code Section 457A, which restricts the ability of certain tax-indifferent entities (so-called nonqualified entities) to defer compensation for services provided by their service providers. It provides guidance on practical steps for attorneys advising such entities on nonqualified deferred compensation plans."
Editor's Pick 2018 Study of Executive Severance Arrangements Not Related to a Change in Control
Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC
Nov. 13, 2018
"In 2017, 65% of Study Group companies reported maintaining severance arrangements that provide cash severance benefits for [named executive officers (NEOs)], down slightly from 69% in 2014.... In 2017, 76% of companies determine the amount of cash severance based on a fixed multiple of 'pay,' down slightly from 83% in 2014.... For performance shares, 95% of companies determine the number of shares that vest based on actual performance, a significant increase from 2014 (81%)."
Editor's Pick Final Regs Clarify Religious and Moral Exemptions from Contraceptive Coverage Mandates
Katie Keith, in Health Affairs
[Guidance Overview]
Nov. 12, 2018
"The main changes over the previous interim final rules [include]: ... [1] Allow insurers to rely, in good faith, on a representation made by an objecting entity that they qualify to use the accommodation process; ... [2] Clarify that the exemption applies only to the items that an entity objects to (such that an entity that objects to some contraceptives must still cover those it does not object to); [3] Clarify that a group health plan and insurer can offer a separate policy without contraceptives even if an individual only objects to some (but not all) coverage of contraceptives; and [4] Confirm that group health plans must still comply with the contraceptive requirement even when their insurer objects to providing this coverage."
Editor's Pick Healthcare After the 2018 Midterm Election: As Control Shifts, Certainty Settles In (PDF)
PwC Health Research Institute
Nov. 8, 2018
12 pages. "The Democratic success in the midterm elections likely means Republican lawmakers will not undertake a second attempt in the next two years to try to repeal and replace as much of the ACA as possible through a single piece of legislation. Yet President Donald Trump and his administration likely will continue to utilize regulatory agencies in an attempt to transform Medicaid, roll back industry regulations, address drug pricing and streamline reviews of medical products. All of these changes can be made without congressional input."
Editor's Pick 2019 Planning for Governmental Retirement Plan Operations
Nov. 7, 2018
"In addition to the key items noted [in this article], plan sponsors may want to perform an annual 'checkup' (i.e., a review of operational practices and fiduciary responsibilities) to address plan expenses, design considerations, and investments."
Editor's Pick Retirement, Income and Risk: Second Biennial Study on the American Retirement Experience (PDF)
Insured Retirement Institute [IRI]
Nov. 6, 2018
23 pages. "As reported in the 2016 inaugural study, pension income is a significant component of retirees' financial and overall security -- in 2018 this continues to be true, with important implications for current and future generations of active and retired American workers. This year's report will look at how guaranteed income, be it Social Security, pension, or annuities, is the rebar that strengthens the road to and through retirement."
Editor's Pick 2019 Planning for ERISA Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plan Operations
Nov. 6, 2018
"Brush up on the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014.... Update the 'Special Tax Notice' for eligible rollover distributions.... Review and analyze insurance coverage.... Get set to trigger automatic payments.... Identify lost participants with vested benefits.... Evaluate the need for plan amendments -- and deadlines.... Consider mortality and other assumptions.... Address escalating PBGC premiums.... Create or update your investment policy statement."
Editor's Pick 2019 Planning for ERISA Single-Employer Defined Benefit Plans
Nov. 5, 2018
"Set an endgame strategy for closed or frozen plans.... Prepare for the phasing out of funding relief ... Address escalating PBGC premiums.... Consider discretionary funding ... Update the 'Special Tax Notice' for eligible rollover distributions.... Implement benefit restrictions if funding shortfall or top-25 highly compensated employees rules apply.... Identify lost participants with vested benefits.... Address foreign asset reporting obligations.... Review and analyze insurance coverage."
Editor's Pick Government Pension Plans in Focus: Is the Plan Actuarially Sound? (PDF)
Nov. 1, 2018
14 pages. "This article examines how the simple phrase 'actuarially sound' can be a source of confusion for government entity stakeholders, and it provides more specific questions to follow the first critical follow-up question: In what context?"

<< Older News Items  |  December 15, 2018

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