Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 3, 2016

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Trust Accounting Specialist
Kravitz, Inc.
in CA

ERISA Compliance Analyst
John Hancock Retirement Plan Services
in MA

Contribution Processor
MidAmerica Administrative & Retirement Solutions
in FL

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Webcasts and Conferences

Tackling the Administrative Difficulties raised by Advanced Controlled & Affiliated Service Groups
March 22, 2016 WEBCAST
(ASC)

Cross-testing Forecast: Clouds Overhead!
March 22, 2016 WEBCAST
(FIS Relius Education)

Practical Corrections Web Series - Part 01: Elective Deferral Failures
March 29, 2016 WEBCAST
(FIS Relius Education)

Health & Benefit Fair
April 2, 2016 in MN
(Labor/Management Health Care Coalition of the Upper Midwest)

Pensions on Peachtree 2016
April 25, 2016 in GA
(FIS Relius Education)

Portfolio Concepts and Management
May 2, 2016 in PA
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP])

Washington Legislative Update
May 23, 2016 in DC
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP])

Minimizing ERISA Liens in Personal Injury Settlements
June 17, 2016 WEBCAST
(National Business Institute)

View All Webcasts and Conferences


Discussions


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DOL Rebukes Fidelity's Float Practices in Court Filings
"Fidelity's controversial practice of keeping 'float' income earned off the 401(k) plans it manages will go before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit March 8 ... In a brief filed with the court, the DOL argued that [ERISA] bars Fidelity from keeping undisclosed interest generated from plan disbursements held temporarily in overnight accounts -- commonly referred to as 'float.' According to the department, the district judge who let Fidelity off the hook in this case improperly focused on whether the float income qualified as a 'plan asset' under ERISA.... If the First Circuit takes the department's advice and reverses the district judge, it will create a circuit split on the proper framework for analyzing float." (Bloomberg BNA)  


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Tackle the Complexities of Controlled & Affiliated Service Groups

Sponsored by ASC

Learn how to handle the complications that arise from controlled and affiliated service groups when administering qualified plans. Join Charles Lockwood, J.D., LL.M. on March 22nd for a CE credit webcast. Register now!



On the Benefits of Unbundled 401(k)s
"As an advisor working in the unbundled environment, you have the freedom to choose the best selection of investments out there -- much like creating your own iTunes playlist. That can help you focus on delivering the best results to the plan participants. It can also keep costs down because you can now bring in lower-cost funds -- like ETFs or index funds -- that institutions may not offer." (Aspire Financial Services, LLC)  

Employers Focus on Communications -- But Will Retirement Plan Participants Actually Read Them?
"To get retirement plan participants to read and act on benefits information, retirement plan providers should focus on the participant experience, just as marketers of some consumer brands have done ... A separate survey found that the majority of employers struggle to get participants to open or read benefits material.... For every one 'touch point' or personal contact with an employee, there was a 3 percent increase in participation ... When there were three or more touch points, there was a double-digit increase in participation[.]" (Bloomberg BNA)  

DOL's Imminent Final Rule Is Prompting Insurance Industry to Consider Nixing Traditional Variable Annuities in Qualified Retirement Plans
"Even though the Department of Labor's proposed rule has been on the table for years, the insurance industry appears to have been caught flat-footed at the prospect. In the rule's current iteration, advisors would not be allowed to sell a commission-stocked variable annuity in retirement plans due to conflicts of interest." (RIABiz)  

Treasury's Decision on Central States Plan Could Trigger Cuts For Other Plans
"When the Treasury Department delivers its ruling on proposed pension cuts for truckers in May, the cargo for a wide range of retirees could be Pandora's box, warned Pension Rights Center Policy Director Karen Friedman. A decision to let the Central States Pension Fund Trustees cut benefits for 273,000 existing and future retirees may embolden state and local governments to try to reduce payouts as well, she predicted." (Financial Advisor)  


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Guide to Retirement, 2016 Edition
46 pages. Topics include: [1] Factors that shape today's retirement experience; [2] Saving: behaviors and best practices while saving for retirement; [3] Spending: behaviors and considerations for living in retirement; and [4] Investing: building a retirement portfolio. (J.P. Morgan Asset Management)  

14 Facts About Women's Retirement Outlook (PDF)
25 pages. "As women continue to lag behind men in terms of saving and planning for retirement, it is even more concerning that women statistically tend to live longer than men, thereby implying an even greater need for savings and preparations." (Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies)  

How the Best Relationship Managers Help Personalize the Retirement Plan Industry
"As an advisor, a plan sponsor or a plan provider, review whether or not your relationship manager has autonomy and influence, internal support, and advanced technology. The best relationship managers have ample resources in all three categories." (fi360)  

Resources to Learn More About the Saver's Credit
"The IRS' Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, also known as the Saver's Credit, is available to low- to moderate-income workers who are saving for retirement through a qualified retirement plan such as a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, or new myRA, yet just 25 percent of American workers with annual household incomes of less than $50,000 are aware of the credit[.]" (Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies)  

[Opinion]

What Congress Can Do to Help People in Multiemployer Pension Plans
"MPRA is -- and should be -- controversial.... Did distressed multiemployer plans cause their own distress? No.... Is the right response for Congress to repeal MPRA -- or instead to find additional ways to preserve plans? ... PBGC can preserve plans by financial assistance for mergers and 'partitioning'.... But PBGC can't do so if it is underfunded.... To preserve the multiemployer system, PBGC must be adequately funded.... New plan designs can help, but could also harm." (Former PBGC Director Joshua Gotbaum, for The Brookings Institution)  

[Opinion]

Rich Plan, Poor Plan
"The [DOL's] proposed fiduciary rule will strengthen already modernized 401(k) regulations. Remarkably, it will have no bearing where it is needed most. 403(b) plans provide very little or no fiduciary protections for employees. The proposal will do NOTHING to change this sorry state of affairs. Since 403(b) plans are considered to be supplementary to the retirement needs of employees, the regulatory standards they are held to are almost non-existent." (A Teachable Moment)  

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Tax Consequences of Compensation Clawback
"[D]epending on the facts and circumstances, an executive may be better off seeking relief under the 'claim of right' doctrine under Code Section 1341. Under this doctrine, a taxpayer is entitled to either (i) a deduction from income in the year of repayment equal to the gross amount repaid, or (ii) a refundable credit in the year of repayment for any additional tax liability incurred by the taxpayer as a result of including the payment in gross income in the prior year, in either case, without being subject to either the 2% floor or the AMT." (Tax Talks: The Proskauer Tax Blog)  

Press Releases

PSCA's 2016 403(b) Plan Survey Questionnaire
PSCA [Plan Sponsor Council of America]

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Lois Baker, J.D., President <loisbaker@benefitslink.com>
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher <davebaker@benefitslink.com>
Holly Horton, Business Manager <hollyhorton@benefitslink.com>

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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