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News

All News > Retirement Plan Policy

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Pension Spending Supports U.S. Economy
National Institute on Retirement Security [NIRS] Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Jan. 6, 2021

"Retiree spending of pension benefits in 2018 generated $1.3 trillion in total economic output, supporting nearly seven million jobs across the nation. Pension spending also added nearly $192 billion to government coffers at the federal, state and local levels.... Each dollar paid out in pension benefits supported $2.19 in total economic output nationally. Each taxpayer dollar contributed to state and local pensions supported $8.80 in total output nationally."

Tags: Retirement Plan Policy

Automatic State-Sponsored IRAs Provide Subpar Solutions for Retirement Savings
Prof. Teresa Ghilarducci, in Forbes Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Dec. 29, 2020

"These flawed state plans are well-intentioned but may likely be subpar solutions to a national problem we can't solve with 50 or less individual and different state plans.... State plans may create more financial predation ... Ireland personal accounts shows voluntary doesn't work ... A good plan has an employer or government match ... A good plan has low expense ratios ... A good plan has autoenrollment, the best plans have mandatory participation."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

On the Bailouts That Didn't Happen, Part 2: State and Local Governments
STUMP Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Dec. 28, 2020

"[T]he deep, structural fiscal problems of some states can't be fixed by the federal government. It has to be done within the states themselves. If the Republicans hold onto their sliver of a majority in the Senate, nothing is going to happen re: state/local bailouts."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Policy  •  State and Local Government Plans

Ways and Means Chairman Neal Releases Automatic Contribution Plan Proposal
October Three Consulting Link to more items from this source
Dec. 15, 2020

"Under the proposal: [1] Employers with more than 10 employees would generally be required to maintain an 'automatic contribution plan'. [2] May be a qualified plan, 403(b) plan, IRA, or SIMPLE IRA. [3] May satisfy with a new, employee contribution-only 401(k) plan, with an $8,000 contribution limit, not subject to nondiscrimination testing. [4] Sponsors with certain pre-Act plans would be grandfathered. [5] Failure to maintain an automatic contribution plan would result in an excise tax -- $10 per employee per day subject to certain limits. [6] Would generally exempt employers from compliance with state plan initiatives other than those adopted prior to enactment."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

PBGC Statement of Regulatory and Deregulatory Priorities (PDF)
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
Dec. 11, 2020

"[M]odernization modifications PBGC is considering at this time are to the interest, mortality, and expense load assumptions used to determine the present value of benefits under the asset allocation regulation (for single-employer plans) and for determining mass withdrawal liability payments (for multiemployer plans) ... PBGC expects to finalize a rule that would simplify how multiemployer plans calculate withdrawal liability where changes in contributions or benefits are, by statute, to be disregarded in that calculation ... PBGC also plans to propose a rulemaking that would add a new part 4022A to PBGC's regulations to provide guidance on determining the monthly amount of multiemployer plan benefits guaranteed by PBGC."

Tags: Multiemployer Plans  •  PBGC  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Senate Talks Multiemployer Crisis, Expanding Retirement Coverage
Pensions & Investments Link to more items from this source
Dec. 10, 2020

"The Senate Finance Committee's subcommittee on Social Security, pensions, and family policy held a hearing [December 9] on the challenges facing Americans' retirement security. While talk mostly focused on legislation aimed at improving defined contribution plans, there were hopeful signs of a potential compromise to deal with the multiemployer pension crisis."

Tags: Multiemployer Plans  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Senate Finance Committee Hearing: Investigating Challenges to American Retirement Security
Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate Link to more items from this source
Dec. 9, 2020

Dec. 9, 2020. Testimony from: [1] Scott Barr, Edward Jones; [2] Eric Stevenson, Nationwide; [3] Michael P. Kreps, Groom Law Group; and [4] Joshua Luskin, National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators.

Tags: Retirement Plan Policy

Illinois Pension Funding Crisis Looming, Tax Measure Failure Hurts Prospects
Institute for Pension Fund Integrity [IPFI] Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Dec. 8, 2020

"Rather than raising taxes on the wealthiest to cover the pension deficit, the state will now have to look toward alternative measures, including broader tax increases across the board as well as cutting future pension earnings for new workers. One of the paths to reform would be a complete overhaul: a constitutional amendment to cut already-promised benefits. The state should also consider taking smaller measures, including considering more stable investments and using more realistic investment predictions."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Local Regulation  •  Retirement Plan Policy  •  State and Local Government Plans

Truncated IRS Guidance Agenda Heartens Employee Benefits Attorneys
Bloomberg Law Link to more items from this source
Dec. 7, 2020

"The tax agency recently trimmed its benefits agenda in half, highlighting 14 priorities for the coming year -- down from the nearly two dozen projects regulators were still plodding through in late September. More than half of the current projects have moved through the regulatory process within the past decade--including a handful of retirement-related tax breaks and pandemic relief efforts that saw bursts of activity over the past six months. Benefits professionals welcomed the surprise-free to-do list as a chance for everyone to play catch-up."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020, H.R. 8696
Davis & Harman LLP, via American Benefits Council Link to more items from this source
Dec. 3, 2020

38 presentation slides. Summary of Act introduced on October 27 by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Neal and Ranking Member Brady.

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

PBGC Inspector General Semiannual Report to Congress for the Period April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020 (PDF)
Office of Inspector General, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
Dec. 2, 2020

52 pages. "In this reporting period, [PBGC OIG] completed an investigation into a bribery scheme, in which the now former Procurement Director accepted cash, gifts, and the promise of a future job from a government contractor in exchange for steering professional service contracts to the company.... [OIG is] conducting an audit to determine if Procurement Department practices may have allowed contract steering and to look for indications of other contracting improprieties."

Tags: PBGC  •  Retirement Plan Policy

SECURE Act 2.0 Could Solve Longstanding Pension Problems
Cohen & Buckmann, P.C. Link to more items from this source
Dec. 2, 2020

"Building on the framework of the SECURE Act, Representatives Richard Neal and Kevin Brady have introduced the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020, already being referred to as SECURE Act 2.0. [The proposal] contains changes that would further encourage plan adoption and retirement savings, as well as solutions to operational problems that have bedeviled plan sponsors for many years."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Principal Provisions in the Proposed SECURE Act 2.0
Gallagher Link to more items from this source
Nov. 23, 2020

"[H]ighlights include: [1] Requiring newly established 401(k), 403(b) and SIMPLE plans to automatically enroll participants; [2] Expanding self-correction opportunities, including for participant loan errors and employee elective deferral failures; [3] Permitting plan sponsors to contribute an employer match for participants who are repaying student debt; ... [4] Increasing the required distribution beginning date age to 75; [5] Increasing tax credits for small employers that adopt new plans; ... [6] [P]ermitting 403(b) plans to be established as multiple employer plans; ... and [7] Creating a national database to assist taxpayers to locate lost retirement savings."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

IRS Sets Fiscal 2021 Compliance Priorities for Tax-Exempt Entities
Mercer Link to more items from this source
Nov. 23, 2020

"The 2021 program letter provides few specifics on TE/GE's priorities but explains the division's goals in broad terms. With respect to employee benefit plans, the letter suggests that TE/GE will pay close attention to retirement plans of closely held businesses, such as employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), and will develop a tool to help individuals avoid making excess 401(k) plan contributions."

Tags: Retirement Plan Policy

New York Creditors' Rights to Assets in Inherited IRAs, and the Proposed Harmonization of Protections for Savings and Retirement Benefits Act
Law Offices of Albert Feuer, via SSRN Link to more items from this source
Nov. 18, 2020

"The article discusses New York protections for a debtor's savings and retirement Benefits and the only Court decisions considering whether a creditor may enforce a claim against the judgment debtor's interest in an inherited IRA.... The article describes a proposed Harmonization of Protections for Savings and Retirement Benefits Act that would increase the coherence, clarity and equity of New York debtor protections for savings and retirement benefits by applying the current widely accepted paradigm that all similar benefits receive similar protections."

Tags: IRAs  •  Local Regulation  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Department of the Treasury 2020-2021 Priority Guidance Plan (PDF)
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Nov. 18, 2020

31 pages; employee benefits items begin on page 11.

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Policy  •  Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Supreme Court Ends Puerto Rico Bondholders’ Bid for Pension Assets
Pensions & Investments Link to more items from this source
Nov. 17, 2020

"The U.S. Supreme Court ... declined to review an appeals court ruling against a group of Puerto Rico bondholders seeking pension assets and a share of future revenue." [In re The Financial Oversight & Mgmt. Bd. for Puerto Rico, Nos. 19-1699, 19-1700 (1st Cir. Jan. 30, 2020; cert. pet. denied Nov. 16, 2020)]

Tags: Bankruptcy  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Editor's Pick Building Better Retirement Systems in the Wake of the Global Pandemic
Olivia S. Mitchell, via SSRN Link to more items from this source
Nov. 17, 2020

"In the wake of the global pandemic known as COVID-19, retirees, along with those hoping to retire someday, have been shocked into a new awareness of the need for better risk management tools to handle longevity and aging. This paper offers an assessment of the status quo prior to the spread of the coronavirus, evaluates how retirement systems are faring in the wake of the shock ... [and examines] insurance and financial market products that may render retirement systems more resilient for the world's aging population. Finally, potential roles for policymakers are evaluated."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

SECURE 2.0: The Proposed 'Securing a Strong Retirement' Act
October Three Consulting Link to more items from this source
Nov. 12, 2020

"Highlights of the new proposal include: [1] A new auto-enrollment/escalation mandate for 401(k) plans. [2] A solution to some of the technical problems presented by programs providing for 401(k) matching contributions for student loan repayments. [3] A relaxation of the required minimum distribution (RMD) rules ... [4] Establishment of a Retirement Savings Lost and Found agency to assist participants in finding missing benefits and instructing DOL/IRS/PBGC to (finally) provide a definition of when a participant may be treated as 'missing' for purposes of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

The Right to Jury Trial in ERISA Actions (PDF)
Cohen Milstein, via Bloomberg Law Link to more items from this source
Nov. 9, 2020

"[C]ourts largely agree that ... an ERISA action is typically not subject to ajury trial. However, one circuit court (and several district courts) have permitted jury trials in instances where the litigants seek legal relief (as opposed to equitable relief) such as personal liability for losses."

Tags: Retirement Plan Policy

Bipartisan Leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee Release Latest Retirement Reform Package
K&L Gates Link to more items from this source
Nov. 4, 2020

"Expansion of auto-enrollment ... Saver’s credit improvements ... 403(b) plan modifications ... Improvements for plan participants."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Bipartisan Retirement Reforms Offered by Key House Lawmakers
Mercer Link to more items from this source
Nov. 4, 2020

"Student loan match payments ... Mandated automatic enrollment and escalation for new plans ... Expanded coverage of part-time workers ... Required minimum distribution (RMD) changes ... Qualified longevity annuity contracts ... Expanded self-correction program ... Recovery of retirement plan overpayments ... Reporting and disclosure ... Retirement savings lost and found ... Provisions specific to 403(b) plans ... Provisions of interest to small employers."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Supreme Court Considers Appealability of Railroad Retirement Board Decisions
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
Nov. 2, 2020

"The issue before the Court is a straightforward question of statutory interpretation. Section 355(f) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA) provides that any claimant, certain railway labor organizations, certain of the claimant's employers, 'or any other party aggrieved by a final decision under [Section 355(c)]' may obtain a court review of 'any final decision of the Board' if they follow the prescribed claims procedures." [Salinas v. U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, No. 19-199 (5th Cir. Apr. 17, 2019; cert. pet. granted Jan. 13, 2020; oral arg. Nov. 2, 2020)]

Tags: Retirement Plan Policy

Presidential Memorandum Focuses Attention on Troubled Multiemployer Plans
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
Oct. 30, 2020

"Just days after the Memorandum was published, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ordered the PBGC to respond to the Delphi retirees' petition for a rehearing, which may increase the likelihood of a rehearing in Black v. PBGC, No. 19-1419 (6th Cir. Sept. 1, 2020)."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Presidential Memorandum Stirs Long-Simmering Pension Issues
The Wagner Law Group Link to more items from this source
Oct. 30, 2020

"In taking over the Delphi Salaried Pension Plan, the PBGC incurred about $2 billion in insurance losses. Retirees lost another $500 million in non-guaranteed benefits. An association of former salaried employees sued to undo the takeover.... [In] March 2019, ... the district court upheld the takeover. The Sixth Circuit affirmed in September 2020. In the meantime, the association lobbied Congress and the Executive Branch." [Black v. PBGC, No. 19-1419 (6th Cir. Sept. 1, 2020)]

Tags: Retirement Plan Policy


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