Retirement Plans Newsletter

May 31, 2016

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PBGC 2014 Data Book (PDF)
77 pages; 70 charts. This edition of the PBGC Data Book, updated for the PBGC's 2014 fiscal year, contains financial information about the PBGC and the single-employer and multiemployer pension plans for which it provides benefit guarantees, with charts comparing the data to prior years. A new multiemployer table (M-17) includes time series data on participants in plans by zone status (as defined by PPA '06) through 2013. (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC])  


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The 'Partnership in Fact' Doctrine of the Sun Capital Partners Case: More Egregious Aggregation under ERISA?
"[T]he First Circuit in its 2013 decision expressly rejected the Multiemployer Plan's claim ... that the Sun Funds had engaged in a transaction to evade or avoid withdrawal liability and that, therefore, the 70%/30% split should be disregarded for purposes of ERISA aggregation....By inserting a partnership-in-fact in the investment structure specifically designed to avoid the 80% threshold, the [2016 District Court decision] creates the possibility that any number of affiliated funds could be deemed to have created a partnership and effectively be subject to the ERISA liabilities of their portfolio companies." [Sun Capital Partners III, LP, et al. v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund, No. 10-10921 (D. Mass. Mar. 28, 2016)] (Dechert LLP)  

Delta Air Lines 401(k) Participants Sue Fidelity Alleging Fiduciary Breach
"The participants, who are seeking class-action status, alleged that Fidelity 'wanted a piece of the action' when Financial Engines was hired to provide investment advice for the Delta Family-Care Savings Plan, according to the complaint.... This arrangement 'inflated the price of investment advice services that are critical to the successful management of workers' retirement savings and violates (Fidelity's) fiduciary responsibility,' the complaint said." (Pensions & Investments)  

12 Cities Where Most Workers Don't Have a 401(k)
"The proportion of workers with access to a retirement plan varies form 71 percent in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Scranton, Pennsylvania, to 23 percent in McAllen, Texas. Cities with low access to retirement benefits are largely concentrated in just three states: Florida, Texas and California." (U.S. News & World Report)  

Achieving Retirement Income Security: A Comparison of Withdrawal Strategies
"With the exception of retirement income starting dates at the beginning of the Great Depression, [Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB), systematic withdrawal, and partial Variable Immediate Annuity (VIA)] strategies [all] performed well in providing income throughout retired life. The partial VIA and GLWB strategies provided better 'peace of mind' retirement income products, while the systematic withdrawal strategy offered the greatest flexibility in managing retirement assets. Overall, ... a partial VIA income strategy comprised of a VIA and supplemental liquid asset account would have provided the best mixture of income generation, risk management, and estate potential for the majority of cohorts." (TIAA Institute)  


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The Federal Insurance Fund Protecting Millions of Pensions Is Running Out of Cash
"The insurance fund for single-employer plans is financially stable, but the fund for multi-employer plans is woefully underfunded.... The thinking was that multi-employer plans would be able to turn to the other companies in the pension fund if one employer fell short in contributions or went out of business ... But over the past several years, multi-employer plans have faced financial challenges similar to those of the Central States fund ... Two severe market downturns over roughly 10 years left the plan without enough money to pay expected benefits. At the same time, many companies went out of business, leaving the plan with a smaller number of employers available to pitch in and cover that shortfall." (The Washington Post; subscription may be required)  

Illinois Legislature Overrides Governor's Veto of Chicago Pension Bill
"[T]he Illinois House on Monday voted 72-43 to override [Gov. Bruce] Rauner's veto of the Chicago police and fire pension bill ... The action came just hours after the Illinois Senate voted 39-19 to override the bill. It will now become law.... Rauner blasted the bill, which defers city payments to the pension funds, as financially irresponsible by merely kicking the can down the road. [Chicago Mayor Rahm] Emanuel said Rauner's veto, if sustained, would have meant a $300 million property tax hike for city property owners, which Emanuel quickly dubbed the 'Rauner Tax.' " (Chicago Sun-Times)  

[Opinion]

Quantifying 'Best Interest,' Reasonable Compensation and Suitability for Investment Professionals
"Given the abundance of evidence establishing the poor historical performance of actively managed mutual funds and the inequitable nature of the 'inverse pricing' method used by many variable annuity issuers in computing a variable annuity annual M&E fee, a strong argument can be made that the fees and other costs charged by many investment professionals are not reasonable at all[.]" (The Prudent Investment Adviser Rules)  

Press Releases

Mancell Financial Group is Certified for Fiduciary Excellence
Centre for Fiduciary Excellence [CEFEX]

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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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