Retirement Plans Newsletter

August 8, 2016

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Webcasts and Conferences

How to Win Friends and Influence Advisors
August 24, 2016 WEBCAST
TPA Resources, LLC

2016 Retirement Plan Regulatory Update
August 30, 2016 WEBCAST
Multnomah Group

ASC 715 for Pensions: What Your Clients and Their Auditors Need to Know
September 27, 2016 WEBCAST
ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries [ACOPA]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Form 8717: User Fee for Employee Plan Determination Letter Request (PDF)
Revised Sept. 2016. "What's New: Specific user fee amounts are no longer listed on Form 8717. You must now enter the appropriate user fee when completing line 5.... Generally, a user fee is required with each application for a determination letter. Use Form 8717 to submit the appropriate user fee."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Form 8717-A: User Fee for Employee Plans Opinion or Advisory Letter Request (PDF)
Revised Sept. 2016. "What's: New Specific user fee amounts are no longer listed on Form 8717-A. You must now enter the appropriate user fee when completing line 5.... Generally, a user fee is required with each application for an opinion or advisory letter. Use Form 8717-A to submit the appropriate fee for the opinion or advisory letter."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Vanished Into Thin Air? Lost Participants Create Pension Plan Audit Risk
"Recent articles have discussed a [DOL] audit initiative to identify plans that are not paying required minimum distributions to participants, including those for whom they don't have current addresses. This is an IRS compliance issue as well, as qualified plans that don't pay required minimum distributions on time are violating Code Section 401(a)(9).... [F]ailure to keep track of participants raises broader fiduciary responsibility issues."
Cohen & Buckmann pc

Edison 401(k) Fees Case Will Be Reheard by the Ninth Circuit
"In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit entered what looked like the final chapter in the Edison 401(k) saga, when a three-judge panel ruled that the Edison workers who sued over the company's 401(k) fees forfeited their claim that plan fiduciaries failed to monitor these fees. The court announced on Aug. 5 that this decision will be reheard in front of a full panel of Ninth Circuit judges." [Tibble v. Edison Int'l, No. 10-56406 (9th Cir., order granting en banc rehearing Aug. 5, 2016)]
Bloomberg BNA

ERISA and Modern Portfolio Theory: Prudence Per 'Footnote 8'
"[P]lan sponsors and service providers attempt to justify an imprudent investment option by claiming that they are simply complying with the DOL's and the courts' adoption of Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) as the applicable standard for assessing the prudence of investments.... [But in 2007, the Fourth Circuit drew a] distinction between one person putting together one investment portfolio, who can ensure that the investment options are put together in such a way as to take advantage of MPT's cornerstone principle -- effective diversification by factoring the correlation of returns of the investments chosen -- as opposed to including an otherwise imprudent investment option in a menu of investment options for a defined contribution plan, where the plan participants may, or may not, understand MPT and how to properly design an effectively diversified investment portfolio." [DiFelice v. U.S. Airways, No. 06-1892 (4th Cir. Aug. 1, 2007)]
The Prudent Investment Adviser Rules

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Trinity Health Settles Church Plan Lawsuit
"Under the terms of the agreement, Trinity will make an annual $25 million contribution to the plans for three years, totaling $75 million. The contributions will be allocated to the plans in the sole discretion of Trinity. In addition, the health care system will pay $550 each to the 219 individuals who elected and received a lump-sum distribution during the lump-sum window period in 2014."
PLANSPONSOR

Can Interest Rates Ever Be Too Low for LDI to Make Sense?
"Market conditions can impact how effective different instruments are in achieving [liability-driven investment (LDI)] goals; not all strategies remain equally effective at all times. In other words, when interest rates get extremely low, that does not change what the pension plan is trying to do, but it could have implications for the best way to do it."
Russell Investments

Record-Low Interest Rates Drive Another Increase in the Pension Funding Deficit (PDF)
"Discount rates fell 12 basis points in July, but strong investment returns limited the funded status drop to $5 billion. The funded status deficit for the Milliman 100 plans settled at $453 billion after ballooning by $146 billion so far in 2016."
Milliman

Rolling Over a 401(k) Distribution Has Potential Pitfalls
"If you can leave your money in the 401(k), it might make sense to do so. For example, your 401(k) plan might have an excellent investment choice that you cannot buy in your IRA. Or, your new employer might have a 401(k) plan with excellent investment choices and options that you will be able to roll your old 401(k) into. However, your IRA might have more flexible distribution and investment options."
Union Leader

Chicago Bonds Gain as City Plans Tax Hike to Fix Biggest Pension
"Without the fix, the fund that serves more than 70,000 workers and retirees is on track to run out of money within a decade. Less than a day after [Mayor Rahm] Emanuel laid out the plan at Chicago's investor conference, the municipal market applauded the proposal."
Bloomberg

[Opinion]

American Academy of Actuaries Comments to PBGC on Proposed Regs for Mergers and Transfers Between Multiemployer Plans (PDF)
11 pages. "The fact that the statute permits PBGC to provide financial assistance that would enable a plan to postpone insolvency -- not just avoid it -- is an important concept that should be applied throughout the regulations on mergers and transfers.... PBGC's proposed rule, however, would make the solvency requirements for mergers and transfers involving multiemployer plans even stricter than they are under current regulations.... Transactions should be evaluated not against the ideal outcome of no participant benefit losses, but against the current realities facing plans."
American Academy of Actuaries

[Opinion]

Low Returns Taking a Toll on U.S. Pensions?
"[All] pensions around the world are getting slammed by lower returns but more worryingly by higher future liabilities due to record low rates.... [P]ensions are all about managing assets AND liabilities. When risk assets (stocks, corporate bonds, etc.) get hit, of course pensions get hit but when rates are at record lows and keep declining, this is the real death knell for pensions."
Pension Pulse

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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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