Retirement Plans Newsletter

May 3, 2016

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[Official Guidance]

PBGC Improvements to Online Premium Filing (MyPAA)
"You may move plans in your account so that your more frequently-used plans show first as Active Plans versus Archived Plans (e.g., on your All Plans Page). All e-filing team members for a plan may retrieve an in-process screen-prepared or imported filing if the person holding the filing is not available to route the filing. The check voucher printed for a screen-prepared or imported premium filing (while you are in My PAA) will typically show the amount due that is on the e-filing." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC])  


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[Guidance Overview]

PBGC Proposes to Reduce Late Premium Penalties (PDF)
"Under the Proposed Regulation, if a sponsor self-corrects the missed payment, the penalty would be 0.5% per month with a maximum of 25% of the unpaid premium. If PBGC issues a written notice for the premium delinquency, the proposed penalty is 2.5% with a maximum of 50% of the unpaid premium. The Proposed Regulation also provides that penalties could be further reduced for sponsors with a history of timely paying their premiums." (Groom Law Group)  

Final DOL Fiduciary Rule: Q&As for Employers and Plan Sponsors on Investment Education
"What is investment advice? ... What are the categories of investment education? ... Does investment education constitute investment advice? ... Does investment education apply past retirement? ... Do employees of a plan sponsor provide investment advice? ... Can a plan sponsor become an investment advice fiduciary by engaging a service provider to provide investment advice? ... How certain can an employer be that educational communications do not constitute investment advice? ... When is the final rule applicable? ... As a plan sponsor, is there anything I should be doing now?" (Proskauer Rose LLP)  

The Fiduciary Rule Odyssey: Phyllis Borzi at the Helm
"Standing at the center of that narrative is a woman with a hard-shell concept of right and wrong and who was beat back by those who didn't see the black-and-white nature of her ideal. After patching up the battle scars from an early defeat, she regrouped with a powerful duo and conceded to the reality of gray, in one last drive to change the financial advice business forever." (InvestmentNews)  

Class Actions Will Test DOL's New Fiduciary Rule
"Chris Thorsen [of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings] said the DOL's final rule, while well-intentioned, will more than likely end up hurting investors and attracting plaintiffs attorneys looking for new business.... 'It used to be, when you went and signed up with an investment advisor, you had to sign an arbitration clause,' he explained. 'But now, under this rule, your contract can't have that provision in it. So all of these plaintiffs lawyers who have never been able to aggregate these claims will be able to with the implementation of this rule and that means huge, huge business for them.' " (LegalNewsLine.com)  


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Fee Reductions That Could Be Yours for the Taking, If You Only Ask!
"[A]sking only the plan's recordkeeper is not enough ... Plan sponsors should also ask the fund families directly.... Plan sponsors should confirm with their recordkeeper that any selected proprietary funds are offered with the lowest possible fee structure available to the plan.... Some fund families offer the lower-cost 'recordkeeping share class' fund to former recordkeeping clients, and others offer it to clients that have used the fund for several years.... If the fund company knows that the fund may be removed from the array because a less expensive version is offered, they may be willing to work with you[.]" (Cammack Retirement Group)  

Scary Retirement Statistics and Easy Ways Employers Can Help
"What employers can do to help: [1] Change the way you educate ... [2] Eliminate leakage ... [3] Automate savings ... [4] Provide investment advice." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)  

The Five Killer Concepts that Most Confuse Retirement Savers
"While professionals can confidently breeze through the retirement landscape, to the casual retirement saver, these five concepts have led to the greatest confusion: How to Save ... How Much to Save ... Inflation ... Investments ... Who do you trust?" (Fiduciary News)  

A Framework for Multinational Defined Contribution Plan Governance
12 presentation slides. "Build efficient governance structures ... Weigh pros and cons of centralization in investment and other functions ... Define goals and align benefits ... Improve plans' effectiveness for participants." (State Street Global Advisors, for American Benefits Council)  

Empowering Illinois' Pension Reform (PDF)
38 pages. "A minor change to federal bankruptcy law ... would give state legislatures and governors the option to remedy fiscal crises attributable to pension obligations, notwithstanding local laws that prohibit changes to such obligations.... [S]tate legislatures and governors would be authorized to enact pension benefit changes only after determining that funding obligations impair the performance of essential state services; and would publish the basis for their determination, conduct public hearings, and file a proceeding in a bankruptcy court identifying the changes." (Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research)  

[Opinion]

Let's Expect Transparency from All, Including the Policymakers
"If we can insist on transparency from providers and the mutual fund industry, why can't we insist on transparency -- and integrity -- from policymakers? ... That is, if you're going to pass a fiscally irresponsible highway-spending bill because politicians need it to get re-elected, then admit you're being irresponsible, instead of punishing the (in this case at least) totally innocent DB retirement system with uncalled for and double-counted PBGC premiums. While you're at it, make some obvious and simple reforms to make clear where federal tax money for retirement savings is actually being spent. And finally, craft legislation the financial consequences of which can be clearly measured. In other words: be transparent." (Michael Barry, in PLANSPONSOR)  

[Opinion]

Before Teamsters Negotiate Benefit Cuts, They Should Investigate Reason for Pension Plan Failures
"We, as a nation, have the resources to forensically investigate the reasons pensions fail to provide retirement benefits promised workers. To date, despite the widespread failures, no one seems to care. Forensic investigations of failed plans will both improve the management of existing pensions, as well as signal to Wall Street and other wrongdoers that those who contribute to the demise of a pension will be held accountable." (Edward Siedle, in 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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