Retirement Plans Newsletter

September 2, 2016

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Consulting Actuary
Markley Actuarial Services
in PA

Senior Plan Compliance Associate
BOK Financial Asset Management, Inc.
in TX

Actuarial Analyst
Newport Group
in FL, IL

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Webcasts and Conferences

Statewide Pension Fund Seminar Fall 2016
September 20, 2016 in NY
Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC

New EEOC Regulations and More: Is Your Wellness Program Ready for 2017?
September 29, 2016 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

401(k) Beyond the Basics 10: After-Tax Contributions
October 17, 2016 WEBCAST
FIS Relius Education

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[Guidance Overview]

The New Fiduciary Regs: A Practical Review, Part 3 (PDF)
"[The authors have seen] a continuous fluctuation in the level of practitioner or pundit confidence that they have correctly interpreted certain sections of the regulation or the prohibited transaction exemptions. Points that we all thought were clear on first or second glance through the rules don't seem so understandable on our third or fourth look. What one practitioner questions is different from what another sees as problematic. And, the more discussions we have with others in the industry, the more unclear much of the regulation appears. Here is a selection of the material unanswered questions[.]"
Ferenczy Benefits Law Center LLP

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[Guidance Overview]

What the DOL's Final Fiduciary Rule Means for Plan Committees
"At its narrowest scope, the new Fiduciary Rule will have no effect on plans that already have strong retirement plan committees comprised of qualified internal representatives aided by independent fiduciaries.... Where the new Fiduciary Rule will have an effect ... will be in dealing with service providers who in the past may not have regarded themselves as fiduciaries.... As these consultants will no longer be able to take the position that they are not ERISA fiduciaries, the change in status has a number of possible implications for retirement plan committees."
The Wagner Law Group

[Guidance Overview]

Fiduciary Responsibility for Governmental Defined Contribution Plans: An Overview (PDF)
"Under a participant-directed DC plan, much of the control and responsibility for participant investment outcomes is substantially shifted from the plan sponsor to the participant. The plan sponsor, however, remains fully and solely responsible for maintaining the plan, meeting regulatory requirements, educating participants, prudently selecting and monitoring both investment options and service providers, and controlling plan expenses.... It provides a simple explanation of fiduciary standards of conduct."
National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators [NAGDCA]

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Green Lights State Savings Programs for Private Sector Employees
"Eight states ... have already passed legislation that could eventually require private employers to offer employees the option to make pretax contributions to a payroll-deduction IRA.... With the issuance of the final rule, the states now know how to finalize their programs to avoid a preemption challenge, at least from the DOL. The DOL warns that the courts will be the one to determine whether the safe harbor exception is proper under ERISA."
Segal Consulting

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Provides Determination Letter Guidance Revenue Procedure 2016-37
"Revenue Procedure 2016-37 changes the remedial amendment period and is geared to the [Required Amendments List (RAL)]. The remedial amendment period for a change included in the RAL will generally be the end of the second calendar year following the year in which the list is issued. A change will not appear on the RAL until the IRS has issued guidance including any model amendments. The first RAL will apply to changes effective during the 2016 calendar year."
ERISAdiagnostics, Inc.

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Older Women's Labor Market Attachment, Retirement Planning, and Household Debt
"[C]ompared to our HRS baseline surveyed in 1992, more recent cohorts of women in their 50's and 60s's are more likely to plan to work longer. When we explore the reasons for delayed retirement among older women, factors include education, more marital disruption, and fewer children than prior cohorts. But household finances also play a key role, in that older women today have more debt than previously and are more financially fragile than in the past."
Pension Research Council, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; free registration required

[Opinion]

American Academy of Actuaries Letter to Senate Special Committee on Aging About Proposed MEP Legislation (PDF)
"[We] encourage you to consider two additional but related options for multiple employer plans (MEPs): [1] A defined benefit MEP option. [2] An 'Open Defined Contribution Retiree MEP' design (a defined contribution plan focused on the payout or decumulation phase).... Facilitating multiple employer arrangements of both the defined contribution and defined benefit variety will lead to approaches that can enhance retirement security."
American Academy of Actuaries

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of Final Regs: Definition of Terms Relating to Marital Status
"This document contains final regulations that reflect the holdings of Obergefell v. Hodges ..., Windsor v. United States, ..., and Revenue Ruling 2013-17 ... and that define terms in the Internal Revenue Code describing the marital status of taxpayers for federal tax purposes.... While [the regulations] will continue to provide that registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and other similar relationships not denominated as marriage under state law are not recognized as married for federal tax purposes, [they are clarified to] ensure that there is a point of reference for which state law is applicable when determining whether the alternative legal relationship is recognized as marriage under state law. Accordingly, ... the terms 'spouse,' 'husband,' and 'wife' and 'husband and wife' do not include individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship not denominated as a marriage under the law of the state, possession, or territory of the United States where such relationship was entered into, regardless of domicile."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

More Filers, More to File: ERISA Agencies Slate Major Expansion, Revamp of Form 5500 for 2019
"Although the new forms are not slated for use until plan years beginning in 2019 (with the first filings in 2020), many of the data that they demand are not routinely collected and may not be easily retrievable from current information systems. Some changes are matters of form rather than substance. Some questions have been moved to different schedules, others have been rephrased, and numerical codes for plan features have been replaced by a series of 'yes/no' choices. More substantively, the new regime will expand both the universe of plans that must file annual reports and the quantity of information that the reports must include."
Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

ISS Change Means Companies May Need to Review Grandfathered Employment and Other Agreements
"Companies and committees should be conscious of the fact that ISS is taking a firmer approach to problematic pay practices in 'grandfathered' agreements, including 'evergreen' agreements with problematic pay practices. In fact, the 2016 U.S. Executive Compensation Policies' Frequently Asked Questions does not include the phrase 'grandfathered.' "
Winston & Strawn LLP

Press Releases

2016 Leadership Award Winner - The City of New York Deferred Compensation Plan “The Individual Consultation”
National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators [NAGDCA]

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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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