Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 9, 2016

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Preferred Pension Planning Corporation
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Webcasts and Conferences

EPCRS Review with Adam Pozek
June 15, 2016 in MO
(ASPPA Benefits Council [ABC] of Gateway St. Louis)

Wellness Game: EEOC Has Upped the Ante, Are You In?
June 28, 2016 WEBCAST
(Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

When ERISA Meets Private Equity: What Advisors to Plans, Funds and Investors Should Consider before Closing the Deal
July 14, 2016 WEBCAST
(ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB])

Unique Fringe Benefits to Engage Employees
July 27, 2016 WEBCAST
(Lorman Education Services)

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[Guidance Overview]

The DOL's New Fiduciary Rule: Capturing the Apparent Conflict at the 'Moment of Rollover' (PDF)
"The scope of the final rule may reach websites that allow retail clients to open rollover accounts and to roll distributions or consolidate IRA balances into these accounts. The final rule treats as a separate recommendation how securities or investment property are to be invested after being rolled over, transferred or distributed from the plan or IRA." (Shearman & Sterling LLP)  


[Advert.]

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Text of IRS Publication 4344: 2016 Report of Recommendations of Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (PDF)
284 pages; the Employee Plans Subcommittee Analysis and Recommendations Regarding Changes to the Determination Letter Program begins on page 21. "The EP Subcommittee, like the majority of the EP Community, was distressed by the Announcement and the corresponding general elimination of periodic determination letters. It is the EP Subcommittee's position that such a decision is shortsighted.... If the IRS believes that it has no choice but to go forward with the announced changes to the Determination Letter Program, the EP Subcommittee would urge the IRS to adopt the EP Subcommittee's second recommendation: make it a transition approach while holding further discussions with the EP Community." (Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities [ACT])  

Third Legal Challenge to DOL Fiduciary Regulation Filed
"ACLI and NAIFA support responsible and balanced regulations that protect the interests of retirement consumers. But the regulation is neither reasonable nor balanced. It has become clear that it will harm the very people it is meant to help. It will harm retirement savers who now, more than ever, need access to the guaranteed lifetime income products -- personal pensions -- offered by ACLI and NAIFA members[.]" [ACLI, NAIFA et al. v. Perez, No. 16-cv-1530 (N.D. Tex. filed June 8, 2016)] (American Council of Life Insurers [ACLI])  

Obama Vetoes Resolution Against DOL Fiduciary Rule; Court Sets Date for Lawsuit
"President Barack Obama vetoed [on June 8] a resolution to kill the [DOL] fiduciary rule, which was approved by the House in April and the Senate in May.... The House and Senate resolutions fell well short of the supermajorities required to override a veto. Meanwhile, a federal court in Washington has set a late-summer date for action on one of the lawsuits filed last week against the DOL rule.... The timeline is not clear for the other suit filed by nine financial and business trade groups in a federal court in Dallas." (Pensions & Investments)  

Uptick in Fee Litigation Reshaping 401(k) Industry
"The average fees paid by 401(k) investors declined by about 30 percent between 2000 and 2014... [B]etween 2009 and 2012, the largest declines occurred in plans with assets under $1 million -- the very plans likely to carry the highest fees in the first place.... [Carl Engstrom, a Minneapolis-based attorney said] that the decline in fees can be traced to the decadelong series of lawsuits challenging those fees -- and in particular, a handful of large settlements over the past few years[.]" (Bloomberg BNA)  


[Advert.]

401(k) Answer Book, 2016 Edition

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Soaring Use of Auto Enrollment, Target-Date Funds 10 Years After PPA '06
"The percentage of defined contribution plans using auto enrollment rose to 41% in 2015 from 36% in 2014 and 10% in 2006 when the Pension Protection Act was enacted ... Of the 41% of plans using automatic enrollment in 2015, nearly 75% used default deferral rates of 4% or less, and 70% used automatic escalation, similar to 2014[.]" (Pensions & Investments)  

Plan Wellness Scorecard for Calendar Year 2015 (PDF)
"Consider adopting the following best practices: Use plan design to encourage desirable employee behaviors.... Use simplified enrollment solutions to maximize participation.... Encourage employees to contribute at higher rates.... Select managed solutions that offer personalized recommendations as the default investment option. Deliver and communicate a multichannel financial wellness program that provides access to ongoing education ... Educate employees holistically around all savings opportunities." (Bank of America Merrill Lynch)  

Arbitrator Slashes Annual Withdrawal Liability Payments in Underfunded Multiemployer Pension Plan Dispute
"The arbitrator found persuasive the employer's argument that the plain and unambiguous language of the statute dictated that the Rehab Plan Increases were improperly included in the highest contribution rate by the Fund.... He found the Rehab Plan Increases, implemented unilaterally by the Fund under the Rehab Plan, clearly did not arise under a collective bargaining (or related) agreement." (Jackson Lewis P.C.)  

NJ Supreme Court Rules State Is Allowed to Freeze COLAs
"The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that retired public employees do not have a contractual right to receive increasing cost-of-living adjustments, a decision that is expected to save the state billions of dollars.... Wall Street credit rating agencies rank New Jersey the second-worst U.S. state, behind only Illinois, in part because of its growing pension costs and narrow reserves." [Berg v. Christie, No. 074612 (N.J. June 9, 2016)] [Editor's note: In 2011, New Jersey legislation froze COLAs at the 2011 level for current and future qualifying retirees.] (CNBC)  

Quick Fix Needed for Ailing Puerto Rico Public Pension System
"Unless the commonwealth's Employees' Retirement System receives more cash, it will run out of funds in the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2017, unable to make good on its promise of $30.2 billion in benefits to current and future retirees ... [T]he island's public pension plan has been unsustainable since its inception in 1951 ... Various legislative tweaks over the years have done little to reverse the tide." (Bloomberg BNA)  

Senators Introduce Bill to Help Graduate Students Save for Retirement
"The Graduate Student Savings Act of 2016, introduced by senators on opposite ends of the political spectrum -- Democrat Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Republican Mike Lee of Utah -- would amend the tax code to allow funds from a stipend or fellowship to be deposited into an individual retirement account. The rule would apply to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows." (InvestmentNews)  

[Opinion]

State-Sponsored Retirement Programs for Small Business Employees: Is Government Action Wise?
"Some of the states that are setting up retirement programs for private company workers have a poor track record as evidenced by underfunded pension plans for municipal staff.... It's not clear ... that individuals will have a better level of consumer protection by being part of a state-run program versus setting up an IRA account directly with a reputable financial institution." (Pension Risk Matters)  

[Opinion]

One Simple Trick for Beating the Collapse of Social Security
"[P]ension funds are currently playing a game with employees' retirement funds they cannot win by overestimating future returns. Two legs of [the] three-legged-stool -- Social Security and employer funded pensions -- are not to be trusted in today's retirement reality. The only leg left is personal savings, and that means the security of your retirement is up to you. It's that simple." (Young Research and Publishing, Inc.)  

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

[Official Guidance]

Text of Agency Proposed Regs: Incentive-Based Compensation Arrangements
698 pages. "Section 956 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires that the Agencies prohibit any types of incentive-based compensation arrangements, or any feature of any such arrangements, that the Agencies determine encourage inappropriate risks by a covered financial institution: [1] by providing an executive officer, employee, director, or principal shareholder of the covered financial institution with excessive compensation, fees, or benefits; or [2] that could lead to material financial loss to the covered financial institution....

"The first part of this Supplementary Information section provides background information on the proposed rule, including a summary of the 2011 Proposed Rule and areas in which the proposed rule differs from the 2011 Proposed Rule. The second part contains a section-by-section description of the proposed rule.

"To help explain how the requirements of the proposed rule would work in practice, the Appendix to this Supplementary Information section sets out an example of an incentive-based compensation arrangement for a hypothetical senior executive officer at a hypothetical large banking organization and an example of how a forfeiture and downward adjustment review might be conducted for a senior manager at a hypothetical large banking organization."

(Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation [FDIC]; Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]; Federal Reserve System; National Credit Union Administration; Federal Housing Finance Agency; and Comptroller of the Currency)  

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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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