Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 3, 2016

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Webcasts and Conferences

Defining the Value of Wellness
February 9, 2016 WEBCAST
(myInertia LLC)

In-House Counsel Series: Seven Deadly Sins of 409A
February 10, 2016 in NY
(Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC)

In-House Counsel Series: Seven Deadly Sins of 409A
February 10, 2016 in FL
(Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC)

Mid-Year Changes to Safe-Harbor 401(k) Plans: New Rules Under IRS Notice 2016-16
February 23, 2016 WEBCAST
(ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries])

Pension De-Risking: Legal Issues and Market Insights for ERISA Attorneys
March 8, 2016 WEBCAST
(Practising Law Institute)

IRA Contributions
March 10, 2016 WEBCAST
(Ascensus)

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[Guidance Overview]

The IRS Giveth ... and the IRS Taketh Away (PDF)
"[T]he IRS has finally given permission for plan sponsors to adopt many -- if not most -- types of amendments to safe harbor 401(k) plans during the plan year.... [But in] a recent set of proposed regulations ... nominally intended to provide nondiscrimination relief for certain 'closed' defined benefit plans, the IRS proposes to make general nondiscrimination testing in DC plans harder to pass. The proposal will limit the availability of the 'each participant in his or her own group' method of determining profit sharing allocations, if the average benefit percentage test is to be used." (Ferenczy Benefits Law Center LLP)  


[Advert.]

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Relaxes Rules for Mid-Year Safe Harbor Plan Changes
"[C]ertain mid-year changes may be made so long as an additional updated Safe Harbor notice is provided at least 30 days in advance of the change and plan participants are given the opportunity to modify their deferral elections in response to the plan changes.... Other changes are permitted with notice only, without notice and without having to give participants additional election opportunities. The Notice also states which mid-year changes are prohibited even under the new rules." (Stinson Leonard Street)  

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Announces Additional Changes in Determination Letter Program
"For employers with individually designed defined contribution plans who want to consider converting those plans to pre-approved plans, there may be an advantage in converting before April 30, 2017, to gain reliance on the pre-approved plan's opinion or advisory letter." (McDermott Will & Emery)  

[Guidance Overview]

2016 Compliance Calendar for Plans with June 30 Year End
"This Compliance Calendar is intended to provide the plan sponsors with notable annual compliance related deadlines. Any changes to the various laws and regulations applicable to the Plan may result in additional compliance requirements not contemplated here." (Multnomah Group)  

Most Target Date Fund Investors Not Using All-In Approach
"Only 15% of target-date users put all of their retirement money in these funds in 2015.... Among participants choosing other investments in addition to target-date funds, 46% said they did so for diversification ... 28% said they wanted to invest more aggressively, 28% said they wanted to customize their portfolios, 26% said they wanted to invest more conservatively and 16% said they also wanted to invest in a risk-based or balanced fund." (Pensions & Investments)  

The Psychology Behind Leakage of Retirement Plan Assets (PDF)
"[A]lmost one fourth of Baby Boomers 'cashed out' retirement savings at least once when changing jobs, while one third of Millennials and GenXers did so.... Millennials are increasingly using cash outs for non-emergency spending.... Even among the highest income level (those earning over $150,000 annually), 33% reported they have cashed out at least one account during their career.... [O]bstacles such as the length and complexity of the roll-over process are barriers to the rollover decision." (Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association [DCIIA])  

ESOPs: Naturally Built for Innovation?
"ESOPs -- and other employee owned firms -- provide better job security.... ESOPs focus workers on the long term -- perhaps more effectively than stock options.... Well-run ESOPs treat employees like owners. (In other words, well.)" (The ESOP Association)  

How Your Employer's Pension 'De-Risking' May Increase Your Pension Risk
"A de-risking transaction is intended to do what its name says: Decrease plan risk. But the intent is to decrease the employer's plan risk. The result may be that your pension benefit is at greater risk.... In the absence of a change in the law, here are some of the most important questions you should ask[.]" (Prof. Dana M. Muir, in The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)  

Recent Legislation Provides Good News for Some Church Plans
"Provisions of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 [PATH] ... will allow church retirement plans to include automatic enrollment features in their retirement programs regardless of state wage withholding laws, as well as allow for certain kinds of transfers and mergers between accounts of the same employer. Additionally, provisions addressing counting employees for benefit purposes among certain church-related employers will help distinguish between different kinds of church and denominational governance structures." (Baptist Message)  

What's Next for Couples Under New Social Security Rules?
"When the lower-earning person has a projected Social Security benefit greater than half of their higher-earning spouse's benefit, the spousal benefit will not be of interest to the lower earner because their own benefit will be greater. The question then becomes, 'When do you turn on both benefits to maximize the amount of Social Security payments the couple receives?' The answer depends on the ages and health of the spouses." (InsuranceNewsNet)  

[Opinion]

Could a Tontine Be Superior to Today's Lifetime Annuity Income Products?
"Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether consumers would be willing to adopt a payment structure that involves getting more money for outliving your tontine peers. Yet ... tontine agreements have actually been very popular in the past, and nearly 100 years ago the use of tontines by Americans for retirement was similar to the adoption of IRAs today. Which means it really may not be much of a stretch to suggest that they should be brought back as a new form of retirement lifetime income vehicle for the 21st century as well!" (Michael Kitces in Nerd's Eye View)  

[Opinion]

The One 401(k) Move That Makes Huge Sense Now
"How easy is it to bail and move into cash in your 401(k)? It's probably a simple matter. But don't do it. Avoid the temptation. Buy more shares in stock funds. You're getting a better price and buying more shares when the price goes down. And since you're reinvesting the dividends, you're buying even more shares." (Forbes)  

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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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