Retirement Plans Newsletter

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Retirement Plan Administrator
TPA Firm
in FL

Retirement Plan Administrator
Hessel & Associates, L.L.C.
in IL

ERISA Specialist
Newport Group
in CA, FL, MN, NC

Vice President, Corporate Development of Merger & Acquisitions
in PA

401(k) Plan Administrator
The Finway Group

Jr. Clerk
IUPAT Industry Pension Fund
in MD

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Webcasts and Conferences

Form 5500 21st Century Modernization & Improvement Initiative
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Retirement Advisor Symposium
September 21, 2016 in NY

Statewide Pension Fund Seminar Fall 2016
October 5, 2016 in NY
Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC

Employee Benefits Update: Cutting-Edge Insights on Retirement Plans and Executive Compensation
November 3, 2016 WEBCAST
American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group [ALI CLE]

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Liabilities and Risk from Failing to Address the Cybersecurity of Your Retirement Plan Data
"If a Plan wants to disclose information through electronic media ... it must ensure that the electronic system used for furnishing the documents results in (i) actual receipt of the transmitted information, and (ii) 'protects the confidentiality of personal information relating to the individual's accounts and benefits' ... [T]his may apply to the outside retirement plan record keeper and also to the employer's own information system as both may be used to furnish documents and information electronically to participants."
Winstead PC

[Advert.] Form 5500 Software – Complete. E-Sign. E-File.

Sponsored by Wolters Kluwer

Cloud-Based, Integrated - Fast and Easy 5500 Conversion Using's Exclusive 55Autofill Technology. Learn more!

Business Owners' Perspectives on Workplace Retirement Plans and State Proposals to Boost Savings
"[T]he majority of employers expressed concerns about states' administrative capabilities and questioned the motives for such plans ... Many employers said they thought workers might opt out of state-based auto-IRAs because of distrust of state-affiliated savings programs, limited incomes, or tight household budgets.... Most employers reacted negatively to proposals to use automatic savings features."
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Using Spot Rate Approach to Measure Pension Service/Interest Cost
"Nearly half (49%) of the 255 companies using a yield curve approach for their U.S. plans adopted the spot rate approach. 90% of the companies adopting the spot rate approach disclosed the change in their year-end 2015 financial statements. Nearly all of the companies that adopted the spot rate approach did so for measuring both service cost and interest cost."
Willis Towers Watson

When It Comes to Fiduciary Liability, 401(k) Plan Sponsors Must Determine If Bigger Is Better... or Worse
"In nearly all cases, the large financial services firms exposed their clients to a far greater potential for a material conflict-of-interest.... [T]his increased exposure to conflicts-of-interest coincides with a greater incidence of some sort of significant fiduciary breach.... [W]hile the data cannot for said to confirm previously academic research indicating the ineffectiveness of disclosure... [it] offers anecdotal support. What's more, it may also confirm the 'safety in numbers' approach (i.e., selected a larger firm) may offer greater risks to 401k plan sponsors than their own intuition might suggest."
Fiduciary News

Retirement Plan Trends That Matter
"Plan sponsors are changing to funds with cheaper and cheaper share classes, and their recordkeepers are providing more assistance with the effort.... Retirement Plan Investment Review committees are beginning to focus their attention on the investments with larger amounts of assets in them; namely, fixed/stable value and target date funds/customized asset allocation strategies."
Mike Webb of Cammack Retirement Group, via LinkedIn


SPARK Forum - November 6-8, 2016 -- The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL

Sponsored by SPARK

Join us at the retirement services industry's leading event for top marketing, sales, administration and record keeping professionals. Comprehensive agenda to meet the needs of 401(k) Plan Providers, Financial Advisors and Third Party Administrators.

Retirement Saving and Retirement Incomes: Better Data Tell a Better Story
"[M]any of the commonly-cited data understate retirement plan availability and participation as well as the income that retirees derive from IRA and 401(k) plans.... A perception that most Americans are falling far short of their retirement saving goals may cause policymakers to overlook targeted polices to assist the smaller number of households who truly are at risk of an inadequate income in retirement."
American Enterprise Institute, via SSRN

America's Biggest 401(k) Adviser Has a Plan to Manage All of Your Money
"Most people go to the doctor for medical advice. Why can't we all get a checkup for our financial health, too? ... Another idea is to get people wide-ranging, soup-to-nuts financial advice the same way they get health insurance -- through their employers.... As useful as managed 401(k) accounts are in helping workers plan for retirement or predict their monthly Social Security check, their scope is limited.... '[F]inancial planning solutions' are the 'next wave of benefits that plan sponsors will seek to offer to employees.' "

House Committee Releases Discussion Draft on a New Multiemployer Plan Structure: 'Composite Plans' (PDF)
"The Act would: [1] Require that benefits under a composite plan be calculated pursuant to a formula set by the plan's trustees in order to provide annuities upon retirement. [2] Require the trustees of a composite plan to take corrective actions in the current plan year if the plan is projected to be less than 120% funded in 15 years. [3] Allow a composite plan to be established either as a stand-alone plan or a component of an existing multiemployer defined benefit retirement plan[.]"
United Actuarial Services, Inc.

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL Guidance for Employee Benefit Plans in Wake of the Louisiana Storms, Flooding and Related Disruptions
"The relief provided under this announcement is in addition to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report filing relief already provided by the IRS ... [1] Verification procedures for plan loans and distributions ... [2] Participant contributions and loan repayments ... [2] Blackout notices ... [4] ERISA group health plan compliance guidance."
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL FAQs for Participants and Beneficiaries Following the Louisiana Storms (PDF)
22 Q&As address issues for employees whose employers are closed or whose records are unreachable as a result of the Louisiana storms. The guidance addresses various plan administration issues for retirement and health plans, including employee and employer contributions or premium payments, benefit claims and payments, investment allocations, QDROs, COBRA, and how to locate a person to contact for purposes of benefit claims, applying for a participant loan, etc.
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

[Guidance Overview]

Companies Should Review Employee Agreements and Policies Following SEC's Aggressive Stance on Impediments to Whistleblowing
"Whether or not the SEC's asserted positions would ultimately prevail in court, in light of these settlements and the SEC's apparent enforcement position, employers should consider reviewing their policies, codes of conduct, and employee agreements to ensure that that they do not include provisions that the SEC may assert deter employees from coming forward with information about potential securities law violations. Even those companies not subject to the SEC's jurisdiction may wish to undertake such measures, as the SEC's stance is similar to that now taken by the [NLRB] and the [EEOC][.]"
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Earnings and Employment Data for Workers Covered Under Social Security and Medicare, by State and County, 2013
"The data show, by sex and age, the number of wage and salary workers and self-employed persons, the amount of their taxable earnings, and the amount they paid in Social Security and Medicare contributions."
U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA]

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

The State of Regulation of Executive Compensation: How Did We Get Here?
"There have been various attempts throughout the years to regulate the amounts of executive compensation paid to CEOs and other executives. These attempts were largely reactive to down economic periods that resulted with many rank and file individuals losing their jobs ... While most of the mandates of Dodd-Frank relate to regulation through disclosure of pay, the attempt to regulate pay itself has come to fruition this summer."
Ballard Spahr LLP, via Legal Intelligencer

Press Releases

IRI Praises Latest Treasury Effort on Lifetime Income
Insured Retirement Institute [IRI]

DOL Files Complaint to Distribute Assets of Mariah Industries Inc. 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2016, 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, 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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