Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 15, 2016 logo logo LinkedIn logo Twitter logo Facebook logo
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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Rules Could Limit QSERPs (PDF)
"Under the newly proposed regulations, the IRS would require that the group of participants benefitting under a QSERP that is utilizing the general test must meet the 'reasonable classification' requirement under the IRS nondiscrimination rules.... The enumeration of employees by name (or criteria having substantially the same effect) typically utilized in a QSERP arrangement does not meet the reasonable classification test." (Groom Law Group)  


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DOL Focuses Attention on Benefit Payment Practices of DB Plans
"[This] may be a good time to revisit plan procedures for addressing both missing participants and gaps in plan records. Plan sponsors and administrators may consider conducting a high-level review of plan procedures relating to the location of missing participants and the adequacy of participant records or, more proactively, a targeted undertaking such as a missing participant search and/or a demographic data clean-up initiative." (Morgan Lewis)  

Advice for Building Retirement Plans Based on the Number of Years Until Retirement
"Consider implementing a program that provides planning strategies and worksheets at critical touch points along the way, starting at least 15 years out.... Participants who are more than a decade away from retirement are juggling multiple priorities, such as helping their children pay for college and assisting elderly parents, in addition to managing their own finances. Encourage them to start imagining what retirement will look like.... With just a decade of full-time work ahead of them, participants must put extra effort into accumulation.... Employer support is critical at [five years out], when there is still time to adjust savings and income plans." (InvestmentNews)  

Pensions with Purpose: Providing Enough Retirement Income for Long Enough
"The pension industry faces colossal challenges in its mission to deliver the best retirement outcomes for citizens, amid vast demographic change and rising dependency ratios globally.... [To] succeed in this environment, industry leaders are ... defining a sustainable strategy to deliver an acceptable level of retirement income for their members over the long term. Their approach? Taking greater ownership of member outcomes. [This] new pension research study identifies five key areas where all funds must act to take control of their future." (State Street Corporation)  

Iowa Treasurer Proposes State-Sponsored Retirement Plan for Private Sector
"[T]he state treasurer's office would serve as trustee for the plan. The bill proposes a July 1, 2018, implementation date. [The treasurer's] office expects to issue a request for proposals for an investment consultant to help design and implement the investment structure of the plan, followed by RFPs for money managers and a record keeper[.]" (Pensions & Investments)  


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Later Retirement, Income Inequality in Old Age, and the Growing Gap in Longevity Between Rich and Poor
174 pages. "[This study examines] changes in the distribution of incomes among the elderly in greater detail.... [The authors] focus on the implications of rising retirement ages and increased life expectancy on the distribution of income among the aged population. Both these developments have had differential impacts on the high- and low-income elderly." (The Brookings Institution)  

San Diego Pension-to-401(k) Reform Goes to Court
"A San Diego pension reform approved by voters nearly four years ago, regarded as a model by some, is headed for a court test ... A powerful state labor board ordered San Diego to restore pensions after finding that state labor law was violated when former Mayor Jerry Sanders ... failed to bargain the proposed initiative with public employee unions. With the unanimous approval of the city council, San Diego filed a court appeal Jan. 25 to overturn the board decision, calling it an 'inappropriate evisceration of the citizens' right to bring an initiative' and listing 21 legal errors in the ruling." (Calpensions)  

Policymakers Consider 'Lockbox' Approach for Connecticut Public Employee Pensions
"State Comptroller Kevin Lembo said he wouldn't necessarily support a constitutional amendment, but he's not opposed to other tactics that could force legislators to keep up with annual pension payments, including borrowing money in the form of a pension-obligation bond (POB) with restrictive bond covenants. The state teachers' pension system used a similar strategy in 2008, issuing a $2 billion POB with covenants that require the state to pay its full ARC each year, which it has done." (Hartford Business Journal)  


Reinventing the Broker-Dealer Model After the DOL Fiduciary Rule
"[A] world without commissions is not necessarily the death knell for advisors, as the reality is that the non-commissioned RIA segment of advisors has already been experiencing the greatest growth in recent years, and even the majority of brokers have indicated that they think it is reasonable to be required to give advice in the best interests of their clients. However, the ongoing evolutionary shift of 'financial advisors' from securities product salespeople to actual advisors is creating an existential crisis for broker-dealers -- after all, in a future fiduciary world where advisors are paid directly by their clients for advice, what is the purpose or need for a broker-dealer intermediary at all?" (Michael Kitces in Nerd's Eye View)  

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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2016, 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, 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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