Retirement Plans Newsletter

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Employee Benefits Jobs

Webcasts and Conferences

2016 Legislative & Regulatory Updates
April 12, 2016 WEBCAST
(ECFC [Employers Council on Flexible Compensation])

Deferring Taxation Using the Section 1042 "Rollover"
May 3, 2016 WEBCAST
(National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO])

May 24, 2016 in GA
(Institute for HealthCare Consumerism)

Advanced Trustees and Administrators Institute
June 27, 2016 in NV
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP])

Accounting and Auditing Institute for Employee Benefit Plans
June 27, 2016 in NV
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP])

View All Webcasts and Conferences


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401(k) Plan Fiduciaries Need to Beware of Upcoming SEC Money Market Reforms
"Fiduciary considerations: [1] Institutional MMFs can no longer be considered a cash equivalent due to their floating NAV. [2] Prime MMF redemption fees and gates present a new risk for 401k participants and fiduciaries -- the possibility that sales can't be made without some delay or reduction in value. This risk is not unprecedented -- stable value funds are generally subject to even stricter redemption rules. [3] Prime MMFs will be managed to avoid fees and gates. [4] Prime MMFs generally offer higher yields when compared to government MMFs." (Employee Fiduciary)  


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Are 401(k)s Suffering from Sponsors' Narrow-Minded Thinking?
"Nearly 60 percent of plan sponsors said they consider track records of three years or less when selecting managers for their plans, and almost three-quarters said they would put an investment manager under review based on one to three years of underperformance.... Sponsors consider performance and fees as the most important factors when selecting target-date funds ... with almost two-thirds of respondents reporting that they look at investment performance and 46 percent saying fees are among the most important factors." (Financial Advisor)  

Is Your Company's Retirement Plan Fine, or About to Be Fined?
"The definition of a fiduciary is broad enough to include anyone who has discretion over the retirement plan. Many plan fiduciaries don't even realize they are a fiduciary, and are therefore highly exposed. In effect, many CEOs, CFOs, and HR professionals are personally liable for any non-compliance found by the DOL.... What many plan sponsors don't realize is that traditional brokers are not fiduciaries. This means they don't share any responsibility if something goes wrong with the plan -- instead, it's all on you." (CFO)  

House Speaker Paul Ryan Becomes Leading Opponent of DOL Fiduciary Rule
"Mr. Ryan's arguments against the rule echo those of the financial industry, which has said it is too complex and costly and would force brokers to abandon savers with small accounts. The Obama administration asserts that the rule would protect workers and retirees from conflicted financial advice that increases investment fees and erodes savings. The fact that Mr. Ryan is charging into the debate alters the terrain." (InvestmentNews)  

How Women in All of Life's Stages Can Prepare for a Secure Retirement (PDF)
12 pages. "Women who reach age 65 are on average expected to live 2.3 years longer than men who reach the same age.... Women have lower account balances than men despite needing higher ones -- women who retired in 2012 are expected to spend 15% more time in retirement than men (20.5 vs. 17.9 years).... Women have a higher chance than men of being impacted financially by chronic or terminal illnesses.... What can women do to overcome these retirement challenges? Plenty, if they make smart moves at every stage of life." (BNY Mellon)  


2015 SPARK National Conference -- June 19-21, Washington DC

Sponsored by SPARK

The retirement services industry's leading event for top marketing, sales, administration and record keeping professionals. Comprehensive agenda is designed to meet the needs of 401(k) Plan Providers, Financial Advisors and Third Party Administrators.

The Search for Consensus on Public Pension Reform
"History shows that as government pension plans face insolvency, policymakers tend to increase taxes and/or pull funds from important public services, such as education, public safety and transportation, to pay down pension debt. In Arizona's case, to help make up the shortfall, required employer contributions to the plans increased by as much as 145 percent over the past few years, exceeding 60 percent of payroll in many jurisdictions throughout the state." (Governing)  

San Diego Pension Reform Initiative Stalled Over PERB Ruling
"The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) recently found that the City of San Diego violated the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act when it failed to meet and confer over the language of Proposition B, a popular pension reform initiative which passed by 67 percent of the majority vote in the 2012 local election.... PERB ... effectively nullified the measure by ordering the City to compensate all affected employees for the value of the pension benefits allegedly lost and to pay any costs incurred by the unions for litigation undertaken to overturn Proposition B through the proper legal channels." (Liebert Cassidy Whitmore)  


Lack of Federal Action Spurs State Pension Initiatives
"[S]imply providing information through a marketplace instead of requiring employers without a plan to automatically enroll their employees in a state-initiated plan will have only a modest effect. A mandate coupled with auto-enrollment is the key to success. Hopefully, many of the states with active legislation will follow the Auto-IRA model." (Alicia H. Munnell, in MarketWatch)  

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

The Year of Top Hat Plan Litigation
"Former employees who terminate employment after having satisfied the minimal vesting requirements of ERISA, but before satisfied the more restrictive vesting requirements of their former employers' non-qualified plans, have figured out (actually, their lawyers have figured out) that challenging a non-qualified plan's status as a top hat plan can be an effective way to collect additional dollars. And some federal courts, including Texas, of all places, have been sympathetic to these challenges. Unfortunately, these types of allegations have become fairly common in recent years." (Winston & Strawn LLP)  

Former CEO's State Law Claims Against Bank Are ERISA-Preempted
"[T]he court noted that some courts engage in an analysis of the stated purpose of the plan as determined by its plain language to determine whether it qualifies as an excess benefit plan. A stated purpose in general doesn't suffice, there must be a specific reference to Section 415 in the plan's language for the plan to be exempted from ERISA, the court noted." [Shepherd v. Community First Bank, No. 8:2015cv04337 (D. S.C. Mar. 7, 2016)] (Bloomberg BNA)  

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