Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 5, 2016

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Employee Benefits Jobs

401(k) Plan Administrator
Southern Pension Services
in FL

Retirement Plan Account Administrator
Stalker and Associates. Inc.
in PA

Retirement Plan Consultant
Consulting TPA with national scope
in ANY STATE

Retirement Services Deputy Director
ACCG
in GA

Client Services Specialist
ACCG
in GA

Relationship Manager - MidWest Territory
John Hancock
in ANY STATE, IL, ND, SD

Actuarial Analyst
John Hancock Retirement Plan Services
in MA

Retirement Plan Administrator
Hawkins Retirement
in UT

401(k) Plan Administrator
Equity Trust Company
in OH

Senior Auditor
Novak Birks, P.C.
in KS, MO

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Webcasts and Conferences

42nd Annual TIPS Mid-Winter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits
January 14, 2016 in FL
(ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB])

ACA 1094/1095 Reporting Details
January 28, 2016 WEBCAST
(Frenkel Benefits, LLC)

ABA Tax Section 2016 Midyear Meeting
January 28, 2016 in CA
(ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB])

Private Exchanges: What You Need To Know (Part 1)
February 4, 2016 WEBCAST
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP])

Private Exchanges: Making the Right Choices in An Increasingly Complex Market (Part 2)
February 11, 2016 WEBCAST
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP])

View All Webcasts and Conferences


Discussions


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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Rev. Proc. 2016-6: Procedures for Issuing Determination Letters on the Qualified Status of Employee Plans
"[E]ffective as of January 4, 2016, determination letters issued to individually designed plans will no longer contain an expiration date ... [T]he Department of the Treasury and the Service intend to issue guidance with respect to the status of existing expiration dates on determination letters issued prior to January 4, 2016.... Section 3.03 has been modified to provide that the Service will accept determination letter applications for the third Cycle A from 2/1/16 to 1/31/17.... Section 6.04 regarding EPCRS documentation to include for any closing agreement or compliance statement has been clarified.... Section 6.11 has been modified to provide that a determination may be made that an application is not complete and cannot be processed due to a failure to disclose or distinguish contrary authorities.... Section 6.13 regarding processing of incomplete applications has been clarified to note that the application will not be returned." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])  


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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Rev. Proc. 2016-8: Guidance for Complying with the User Fee Program for Letter Rulings, Determination Letters, and Voluntary Correction Program Compliance Statements
"This revenue procedure is a general update of Rev. Proc. 2015-8, 2015-1 I.R.B. 235. In addition to minor revisions, such as updating references, the following changes have been made: ... VCP submissions are included in section 6.08 ... Updated user fee categories and amounts for various employee plan user fees.... Added section 9.02(2) to reflect the forms required to be included with a VCP submission ... Added section 9.03(5) to reflect that a VCP submission may be returned if it is not accompanied by the appropriate fee.... Added section 10.03 to provide information concerning refunds for VCP submissions." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])  

[Official Guidance]

Text of 2015 Instructions for IRS Form 8955-SSA: Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits (PDF)
7 pages. Dated Dec. 7, 2015; published online Jan. 4, 2016. "Plan administrators of plans subject to the vesting standards of section 203 of ERISA must file Form 8955-SSA. For example, the plan administrator of a section 403(b) plan that is subject to the vesting standards of section 203 of ERISA must file a Form 8955-SSA for the plan's deferred vested participants. A plan administrator is not required to report a separated participant if the participant's deferred vested benefits are attributable to an annuity contract or custodial account that is not required to be treated as part of the section 403(b) plan assets for purposes of the reporting requirements of ERISA Title I ... Sponsors and administrators of government, church, and other plans that are not subject to the vesting standards of section 203 of ERISA (including plans that cover only owners and their spouses) may elect to file Form 8955-SSA voluntarily." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])  

[Official Guidance]

Text of 2015 Instructions for IRS Form 5329: Additional Taxes on Qualified Plans (Including IRAs) and Other Tax-Favored Accounts (PDF)
8 pages, revised Dec. 30, 2015. "Part II was revised to include the tax on the amount of any distribution from an ABLE account that is included in the gross income of the distributee. Also, new Part VIII was added to reflect the tax on excess contributions to an ABLE account. For more information on ABLE accounts, see Pub. 907, Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])  

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Publication 571: Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans (403(b) Plans) for Employees of Public Schools and Certain Tax-Exempt Organizations (PDF)
22 pages, revised Jan. 2016. "What's New for 2016: ... [T]he adjusted gross income limitations have increased from $61,000 to $61,500 for married filing jointly filers, from $45,750 to $46,125 for head of household filers, and from $30,500 to $30,750 for single, married filing separately, or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filers.... For 2016, the limit on elective deferrals remains unchanged at $18,000.... For 2016, the limit on annual additions remains unchanged at $53,000." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])  

[Official Guidance]

Text of 2015 Instructions for IRS Form 8606: Nondeductible IRAs (PDF)
Dated Dec. 18, 2015; published online Jan. 4, 2016. "What's New: Modified AGI limit for Roth IRA contributions increased.... Due date for contributions." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])  

[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Notice: Changes to PBGC-6 Record System (PDF)
30 pages. "[The PBGC] is proposing to make the following changes to PBGC-6, an existing system of records: [1] revise the Categories of Individuals Covered by the System, [2] revise the Categories of Records in the System, [3] revise an existing routine use, [4] add two new routine uses, [5] revise the Safeguards, and [6] revise the Record Source Categories. PBGC is also proposing to make the following changes to PBGC-9, an existing system of records: [1] revise the Categories of Records in the System, [2] revise an existing routine use, [3] add a new routine use, and [4] revise the Safeguards." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC])  

Text of PBGC Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate 2015 Annual Report (PDF)
30 pages. Participant Issues: [1] Complex benefit entitlement and omitted participant cases; [2] Consultation with the Participant Advocacy Groups and PBGC; and [3] Interagency coordination and participant benefit entitlements. Plan Sponsor Issues: [1] PBGC must improve relations with plan sponsors; [2] Premiums and premium penalties need a fresh look; [3] PBGC's early warning program; and [4] Reportable events regulations. (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC])  

Anthem Sued Over 401(k) Fees Paid to Vanguard
"A proposed class of Anthem Inc. workers accuse the Indiana-based health insurer of loading its 401(k) plan with high-fee mutual funds and paying excessive fees to the Vanguard entities that service the plan. The workers fault Anthem for not using the plan's large size -- allegedly more than $5.1 billion in assets -- to secure lower fees.... They also challenge Anthem's failure to investigate and offer non-mutual fund investments such as collective trusts and separately managed accounts prior to 2013.... The complaint was filed Dec. 29 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana by Schlichter, Bogard & Denton[.]" (Bloomberg BNA)  

Report to Connecticut State Legislature: State-Sponsored Retirement Program for Private Sector Workers (PDF)
48 pages. "The fundamental finding is that the Program is financially feasible under a range of market scenarios and plan designs at a 6% default contribution rate. The financial analysis concludes that the Program needs approximately $1 billion in assets to reach a breakeven point, the point at which the Program becomes self -- sustaining.... The remainder of this summary outlines the CRSB's recommendations to the Legislature with regard to the minimum statutory design elements and CRSB's proposed design elements." (State of Connecticut Retirement Security Board [CRSB])  

401k Plan Sponsors Shift from Investment Focus to Emphasizing Retirement Readiness
"Over the last decade or so, perhaps with the advent of the popularity of target date funds, we've seen a dramatic shift from focusing on retirement plan investments towards emphasizing retirement readiness.... Savers sought to distance themselves from making investment decisions by delegating that responsibility to professionals. Similarly, in recognition of their fiduciary duty, 401k plan sponsors began restructuring retirement plans to echo this movement. But are plan sponsors too late in making this change? Have retirement savers not only given up on investments, but given up on retirement plans in general?" (Fiduciary News)  

Reduce Fiduciary Risk with an Effective Investment Policy
"An effective IPS will describe the roles and duties of a plan committee, other responsible officers, or plan service providers. It provides a framework and process for investment decisions as well as indemnification for employees who are charged with fiduciary duties. In many cases, there may be a financial advisor or consultant who is engaged to carry out the policy in some capacity. Once a policy has been discussed and adopted, it is an aid in running efficient committee meetings and in working effectively with outside service providers." (Bond Schoeneck & King)  

Does a Uniform Retirement Age Make Sense?
"Due to rising life expectancies, many policy experts would encourage people to work longer. However, such changes assume all workers, regardless of socioeconomic status (SES), have experienced similar gains in life expectancy. In fact, between 1979 and 2011, the gain for men in the lowest education quartile was one third lower than for men in the highest quartile. If the goal were to keep the same balance of retirement to work years as in 1979, low-SES men could work to 68 today, while high-SES men could work to 69-1/2." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)  

Results of the NCEO ESOP Transaction Survey
"The number of initial transactions for a minority of shares declined only slightly (from 44% of all transactions in 2010 and earlier to 40% after 2010). The number of initial transactions that involved 100% of the shares of the company increased dramatically, from 38% for 2010 and earlier to 56% for after 2010.... The majority of transactions included in this data (72%) were leveraged, and for the majority of those (60%), loans funded the entire amount of the transaction. Almost half of the transactions (46%) used at least some seller financing. Most transactions (63%) reported in this survey did not make use of the Section 1042 rollover." (National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO])  

Five Resolutions 401(k) Plan Sponsors Should Make in 2016
"[E]very 401(k) plan sponsor should resolve to ensure that their 401(k) plan has the following features in place by the end of this year: [1] Automatic enrollment ... [2] Automatic escalation ... [3] No loans ... [4] Target date funds ... [5] Participant investment advice." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)  

December 2015 Pension Finance Update
"Pension plans lost a bit of ground in December due to stock market declines, but ended 2015 modestly ahead. Both model pension plans ... were down last month: Plan A lost 1%, ending the year up 3%, while Plan B dropped a fraction of 1% but still finished up close to 2% during 2015." (October Three Consulting)  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Are Your Retirement Vesting Provisions Motivating the Wrong Behaviors?
"As more executives near retirement age, many banks are realizing their equity vesting provisions may be motivating unintended behaviors. Do your bank's retirement provisions encourage executives to: Provide advance notice of retirement to facilitate planned succession? Assist in their transition? Remain engaged and motivated through the last day on the job? Remain interested in the bank's success following retirement? Unfortunately, many retirement provisions don't consider these important objectives and in some cases motivate the opposite behaviors." (Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC)  

President Obama Approves Consolidated Appropriations Act with Key Employee Benefits Provisions
"In addition to the Cadillac Plan Tax delay and the Section 9010 Fee suspension, the Consolidated Appropriations Act included a host of other benefits-related changes ... including: [1] Permanent parity between employer-sponsored mass transit and parking transportation fringe benefits; [2] Permanent allowance of tax-free distributions from [IRAs] for charitable purposes; [3] A safe harbor for de minimis errors on information returns, payee statements and withholding; [4] Relief for rollovers from retirement plans into SIMPLE retirement accounts; and [5] Clarification of certain tax-related church plan provisions." (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)  

Press Releases

ECFC Hires Martin Trussell as Executive Director
ECFC [Employers Council on Flexible Compensation]

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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2016 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of BenefitsLink.com, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

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