Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 26, 2016

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Employee Benefits Jobs

Lead Manager-Client Administration-Operations
T. Rowe Price
in MD

Benefits Attorney
New York City law firm
in NY

Defined Benefit Administrator
TPA firm in Phoenix, Arizona
in AZ

Enrolled Actuary for DB Plans
MB Actuarial Services
in CA

Administrative Assistant
Independent Retirement
in OR

Retirement Plan Consultant
Ascensus
in IN

Retirement Plan Consultant
Ascensus
in IN

Retirement Plan Coordinator
Ascensus
in NJ

Client Services Manager
Newport Group
in FL, NC, WI

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Webcasts and Conferences

Tax Implications of Affordable Care Act Changes for Businesses
March 1, 2016 WEBCAST
(Financial Executives International)

Seeking Better Outcomes: Expanding Coverage, Enhancing Portability, Improving Plan Design & Solving Retirement Income
March 10, 2016 in MN
(WISER [Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement])

Are You Sure Your Company is 100% Bulletproof Against Costly ACA Compliance Penalties?
March 15, 2016 in PA
(HUB International)

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
March 16, 2016 in IL
(Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor)

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
March 16, 2016 WEBCAST
(Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor)

View All Webcasts and Conferences


Discussions


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[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL Request for Comments on Proposed Retirement Planning Survey Project
"This notice requests public comment on the Department's proposed collection of information regarding a household survey that will investigate retirement planning and decision-making.... The Department is planning to undertake a long-term research study to develop a panel that will track U.S. households over several years in order to collect data and answer important research questions on how retirement planning strategies and decisions evolve over time.... This investigation will explore a set of research questions on retirement savings, investment, and drawdown behavior by conducting a study that tracks retirees and future retirees over an extended period.... Multiple waves of data drawn from various surveys will be utilized to analyze how retirement planning strategies, decisions, and outcomes evolve over time. Prior to administering the surveys, the data collection instruments will be pretested via cognitive interviews, pilot surveys, and debriefing of respondents to the pilot surveys." (Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL])  


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DOL Closing in on 5500 Update, Official Says
"The [DOL] is aiming to streamline and clarify the new Form 5500 and its schedules to reduce the burden that plan sponsors and practitioners have to shoulder, a DOL official said ... [T]he DOL is looking 'to align' ERISA requirements under Section 408(b)(2) that service providers disclose fees to plan fiduciaries with the requirements in that schedule. Some of the concepts such as eligible indirect compensation resulted from the attempt to avoid redundant reporting, particularly with mutual fund investments." (Bloomberg BNA)  

State Initiatives to Cover Uncovered Private Sector Workers (PDF)
11 pages. "California, Oregon, Illinois,and Connecticut have enacted auto-IRA legislation; Washington and New Jersey have adopted a marketplace approach to promote low-cost retirement plans to small employers; Eleven states are actively pursuing legislation; and seven states were unsuccessful in passing legislation. The authors conclude that states have taken action because the lack of retirement savings is a significant problem that the national government has not been able to address. They argue that 'a national plan would be a much more efficient way to close the coverage gap, offering substantial economies of scale and avoiding the laborious, time-consuming, and expensive process of setting up 50 different plans.' " (Center for State & Local Government Excellence)  

Retirement Readiness: A Work in Progress
"There's a big gap between what plan sponsors think their participants know about saving and investing -- and what participants actually know. By identifying the disconnect in participants' understanding of savings strategy, investment options and income potential, sponsors can pinpoint strategies to correct them more effectively." (BlackRock)  

Proceed with Caution in Self-Directed IRAs
"Self-directed IRAs are popular investment tools that allow individuals to invest in a broader category of investments than what a bank, brokerage or mutual fund company-based IRA would permit. However, [two recent] court cases are reminders that IRA account owners must exercise such control with caution and proper appreciation that personal use of the money will cause the amount to be treated as a distribution for tax purposes or in some case deem the entire IRA account to be taxable." (RSM US)  


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Will Congress Repeal the Tax-Free Roth IRA Promise?
"[E]liminating Roth treatment actually scores very poorly in Federal revenue projections, due to the 10-year budgeting process that is typically used to analyze major tax law changes. Notwithstanding this, however, the odds are still good that some 'crackdowns' and loophole closers do come for Roth accounts soon. Potential changes include introducing Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) obligations to Roth IRAs ... elimination of the stretch Roth IRA for young beneficiaries ... maximum IRA account sizes beyond which no new contributions are allowed, and the elimination of the so-called backdoor Roth IRA[.]" (Michael Kitces in Nerd's Eye View)  

[Opinion]

Amicus Brief of American Benefits Council to Second Circuit in Case Challenging Communication of Cash Balance Plan Wear-Away Provision
"[It] is black-letter law that a fiduciary breach claim based on an alleged misrepresentation requires proof of detrimental reliance. Yet the District Court found Foot Locker liable without requiring individualized proof that any class member -- not even the class representative -- relied on an alleged misstatement to his or her detriment; instead, it held that reliance could be inferred on a class-wide basis. This ruling ... effectively vitiates the detrimental-reliance requirement, exposing plan sponsors to potentially massive liability regardless of whether plan participants relied on (or were even aware of) an offending communication." [Osberg v. Foot Locker, Inc., No. 07-cv-1358 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 29, 2015; on appeal to 2d Cir.)] (American Benefits Council)  

[Opinion]

Puerto Rico Risks Dangerous Precedent by Protecting Pensions
"The suggestion to shield Puerto Rico's pensions, combined with bankruptcies in Detroit and Stockton, California, show that the politics around retiree benefits can often muddy the outlook for repayment assumed by bond investors. Constitutionally protected general obligations would recover about 72 percent under a plan from the commonwealth released earlier this month. Other securities would get less." (Bloomberg)  

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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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