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December 12, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Regional Vice President, Sales
Transamerica Retirement Solutions
in IL

Benefits Manager
Growing Firm
in CA

Pension Administrator
Alliance Pension Consultants, LLC
in IL

DB DC Assistant
The Pension Studio
in ANY STATE

Benefits/ERISA Associate
Littler Mendelson P.C.
in CA

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Webcasts and Conferences

SHOP Overview for Agents and Brokers
December 17, 2013 WEBCAST
(Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS))

Conquering the FMLA Medical Certification Process: Best Practices for Employers - Recorded
December 27, 2013 WEBCAST
(Franczek Radelet PC)

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  LinkedIn   Twitter   Facebook Hand-picked links to the web's best news articles,
official guidance, jobs, webcasts and more.
[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2013-74: In-Plan Rollovers to Designated Roth Accounts in Retirement Plans (PDF)
11 Q&As. Excerpt: "This guidance is in addition to the guidance provided in Notice 2010-84. Part A addresses the applicability of Notice 2010-84 to in-plan Roth rollovers of otherwise nondistributable amount s. Part B provides additional guidance relating to in-plan Roth rollovers of otherwise nondistributable amounts. Part C provides guidance relating to all in-plan Roth rollovers.... [To] give plan sponsors sufficient time to adopt such an amendment and thereby enable plan participants to make in-plan Roth rollovers of otherwise nondistributable amounts before the end of the 2013 plan year, the [IRS] is extending the deadline for adopting a plan amendment ... to the later of the last day of the first plan year in which the amendment is effective or December 31, 2014, provided the amendment is effective as of the date the plan first operates in accordance with the amendment. Thus, in the case of a 401(k) plan that has a calendar-year plan year, in order for the plan to permit an in-plan Roth rollover of an otherwise nondistributable amount during 2013, a plan amendment providing for that option must be adopted no later than December 31, 2014." (Internal Revenue Service)  


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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2013-84: 2013 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification Requirements (PDF)
"The 2013 Cumulative List is to be used by plan sponsors and practitioners submitting determination letter applications for plans during the period beginning February 1, 2014 and ending January 31, 2015. Plans using this Cumulative List will primarily be single employer individually designed defined contribution plans and single employer individually designed defined benefit plans that are in Cycle D and multiemployer plans as described in Section 414(f). Generally an individually designed plan is in Cycle D if the last digit of the employer identification number of the plan sponsor is 4 or 9." (Internal Revenue Service)  

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2013-85: December 2013 Update for Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates (PDF)
"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve (and the corresponding spot segment rates), and the 24-month average segment rates under Section 430(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, this notice provides guidance as to the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities ... as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008, the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate ... and the minimum present value segment rates ... as in effect for plan years beginning after 2007. These rates reflect certain changes implemented by [MAP-21]." (Internal Revenue Service)  

[Guidance Overview]

Governmental Individually Designed Plans Given More Time to Restate
"If a governmental plan intends to (or thinks it might) use a PPA pre-approved DC PPA document once these plans are available (likely in 2014), the governmental entity should sign a Form 8905 (Certification of Intent To Adopt a Pre-approved Plan) prior to January 31, 2014 and keep this signed form for its records. At the time the plan is due for a restatement, the plan should restate to a pre-approved volume submitter document. If no Form 5300, 5307, or 5310 filing is made once the plan is restated, the employer should keep the original certification in its records and does not need to file the Form 8905 with the IRS. If the governmental plan is restated to a pre-approved plan during cycle E but the sponsor did not sign a form 8905 prior to January 1, 2014, the IRS has stated that these plans must still file a determination letter in order to be eligible for the extension to cycle E." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business / ftwilliam.com)  

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Modifies Rules for Reduction or Suspension of Employer Contributions to Safe Harbor Plans (PDF)
"For plan sponsors that make nonelective contributions, these rules are more liberal than originally proposed in May 2009. However, for sponsors that make matching contributions, these rules are somewhat more restrictive because the IRS chose to adopt a uniform set of rules for the two Safe Harbor Plan designs. While the rules for the suspension of nonelective contributions are effective retroactively to May 18, 2009, the more restrictive rules for the suspension of matching contributions are not effective until January 1, 2015." (Prudential)  

[Guidance Overview]

2013 Q&As: PBGC Meeting with ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, May 8, 2013 (PDF)
20 pages. Questions include: What does PBGC see as the key drivers that lead debtors to maintain plans during and after a bankruptcy rather than to at tempt to terminate them? One of the criteria for initiation of an involuntary termination is that the plan "will be unable" to pay benefits when due. Under what circumstances does PBGC believe this criterion is met? Under what circumstances will PBGC approve a distress termination where there is a controlled group member that does not qualify for any of the distress tests, but is essentially a shell (i.e., it has no or only minimal assets, no employees, and no ongoing business), and thus clearly cannot assist in maintaining an ongoing plan? (American Bar Association)  

PBGC Premium Would Increase Substantially in 2015 Under Proposed Budget Deal, But Is It Necessary?
"The financial position of the single-employer program did not worsen over FY2013, it improved: 'the single-employer program's net position increased by $1,761 million, decreasing the program's deficit to $27,381 million.' The multi-employer program, which is in serious trouble, did get much worse." (October Three Consulting)  

Best Practices for ERISA Plan Revenue-Sharing Account Arrangements
"Ask your consultant (or other provider) to provide specific recommendations on the type of reporting needed to confirm that amounts paid back to the plan are correctly calculated and applied for the benefit of the plan; require that this reporting be provided for under the contract with the provider; and designate a person or entity to periodically review the reporting and confirm that payments received by the plan are correct." (Winston & Strawn LLP)  

Fair Value Hierarchy: Classifying Your Plan's Assets Into Levels
"Accounting rules define fair value as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date.... Classification can be complex if not provided directly by the Plan's investment Custodian. [This article provides] a description of the levels and common examples of Plan assets included in each level." (WithumSmith + Brown, PC)  

Pension Funds Make the Most of Stocks' Surge
"Investments in the average company's pension plan are expected to be at levels that cover 96% of future obligations at the end of the year, according to a new estimate by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. A separate analysis by Milliman Inc.... puts the figure above 94%, while pension specialist Mercer says the figure was 91% at the end of October. Funding levels are up from 77% at the end of last year, according to J.P. Morgan -- a figure that was essentially unchanged since the financial crisis of 2008." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)  

Cypen & Cypen Newsletter, December 12, 2013
Article titles include: Will "pension theft" be new olympic event? Public fund survey for 2012; Corporate pension funding ratio nears 94% -- Third straight monthly improvement; and, How much retirement savings do workers really have? (Cypen & Cypen)  

Understanding DC Plan Participants' Web Expectations
"[T]he overall sample is generally content, with 63% indicating that they are 'satisfied' ... Younger participants, who typically have greater expectations in terms of Web experience, are less satisfied than their older counterparts.... 15% of participants under 25 identify themselves as 'extremely satisfied,' nine percentage points less than participants 60 or over." (Corporate Insight)  

Are City Fiscal Woes Widespread? Are Pensions the Cause? (PDF)
"[T]he image that American cities are about to topple like dominoes is not accurate. About 13 percent of the cities and towns in our local sample has been cited in the press as having financial problems, which is not surprising in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession. Second, fiscal mismanagement and economic issues are more important than pensions in explaining why cities are identified as being in financial trouble." (Alicia H. Munnell, Jean-Pierre Aubry, Josh Hurwitz, and Mark Cafarelli, for Center for State & Local Government Excellence)  

[Opinion]

Retirement Crisis Grows as Cities Raid Pension and Health Plans
"For years if not decades, top fiscal managers in a mix of cities, counties and states didn't put away what's now hundreds of billions of dollars for civil service workers. Now, the same class of public sector executives are taking steps to cut these retirement packages. The question is not whether the cuts are coming, but how will they unfold." (Salon)  

[Opinion]

The SEC's Failures, the Fiduciary Standard, and the Role of a Fiduciary Oath for Consumers and Professionals
"Integrity. Trust. Fiduciary. These words have, throughout history, possessed meaning. As applied to financial and investment advisors, these words define whom advisors might be, the confidence placed in advisors by their clients, and the status as a loyal, candid and honest servant, expert, and steward.... Dilution has occurred to such an extent that the very core of the concepts expressed by these words -- the ability to trust one's advisor -- is eviscerated, leaving nothing but an empty shell. This empty vessel exists today, as a result of the failure to apply and enforce bona fide fiduciary standards under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 by the [SEC] over the past few decades." (Ron Rhoades)  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Company's Stock Bonus Plan May be Subject to ERISA with No Statute of Limitations
"[The federal district] Court refused to dismiss the plaintiffs' nearly 20 year-old claims due to the statute of limitations because the plaintiff 'did not understand ERISA, how it applied to the Marriott pension scheme, what the top-hat exemption consisted of, or how his Retirement Award benefits might have been affected by the application of ERISA's substantive requirements.' (Under this rationale, the statute of limitations would bar only about 100 people in the world from bringing 20-year old ERISA claims.) ... Lacking any other basis for this unusual result, the Court argued that 'Marriott did not adopt an administrative claims procedure until after the Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit, and so it was impossible for the Plaintiffs to participate in any internal benefit claims determination, receive a formal denial therefrom, and accrue a cause of action.'" [Bond v. Marriott Int'l, Inc., No. 10-cv-1256-RWT (D. Md. Aug. 9, 2013)] (Winston & Strawn LLP)  

Text of IRS Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC) Annual Report for 2013
"The Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC) today released its annual report for 2013, including numerous recommendations to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue on new and existing issues in tax administration." [Editor's note: the Employee Benefits & Payroll Subgroup report is included.] (Internal Revenue Service)  

Press Releases

CalSTRS Names New Defined Contribution Plan Chief
California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS)

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