Retirement Plans Newsletter

November 17, 2016

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Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Study Group: How Advisors Can Use Financial Wellness to Add Value
RECORDED
T. Rowe Price

Can This Marriage be Saved? Risk Adjustment and the ACA
November 29, 2016 WEBCAST
Society of Actuaries

Employee Benefits Conference
December 13, 2016 in IL
Illinois CPA Society

Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System Changes
December 15, 2016 WEBCAST
IRS [Internal Revenue Service]

2017 Mid-Sized Retirement & Healthcare Plan Management Conference
April 23, 2017 in MD
University Conference Services

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2017 Planning for ERISA Single-Employer Defined Benefit Plan Operations
"The calendar provided in this [article] will help you set up your own schedule of activities to address as the year progresses so that you do not miss important deadlines for your qualified plans. As you evaluate the various tasks, you can confirm suitable deadlines with your vendors for their completion.... As you make your plans, [the article includes] a number of key issues for you to consider (along with the calendar deadlines) as we head into 2017."
Xerox HR Services

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401(k) Answer Book - 2017 Edition

Sponsored by Wolters Kluwer

The hunt for specific answers to important questions begins - and ends - with this clear, comprehensive resource. Covers all aspects of plan design and administration, as well as the relationships of 401(k) plans with other types of retirement plans.


Survey of Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors (PDF)
20 pages. "A much larger percentage of corporate DB plans were closed or frozen in 2015 relative to our 2010 survey. In addition, many sponsors of these plans are looking for exit strategies.... [R]esults show an increased focus on funding in order to minimize variable PBGC premiums, manage impact to sponsor company financials, and facilitate eventual plan termination. At the same time, most of those with open plans remain committed to maintaining their plan, but these sponsors continue to implement risk and cost management strategies."
Vanguard

401(k) Participation and Contributions Increase
"24 percent more employees are enrolled and contributing to their company's retirement savings plan in the first half of 2016 compared to last year, and millennial participants (ages 21-34) generated more contribution rate increase activity during the first half of 2016 than any other age group.... 6 percent of new enrollments were generated by employers' use of simplified enrollment, including auto-enrollment (up 33 percent since 2015) and Express Enrollment (up 42 percent since 2015). Higher auto-enrollment default rates have also supported a rise in participation, in addition to the use of auto-increase, which is up 41 percent since last year and 153 percent since 2012."
Merrill Lynch

SEC Guidance on Registration of 401(k) Plan Interests When Brokerage Windows Are Offered
"The SEC apparently was concerned that some employers have been advising participants regarding their ability to invest 401(k) plan assets in company securities through open brokerage windows. This might occur, for example, when an employer has decided to remove the company stock fund as an investment option because of concern over potential stock drop litigation; in communicating such a change, the employer might point out to participants that they still have the ability to purchase company stock through the open brokerage window."
Benefits Bryan Cave

Investors Unsure of ESG Benefits
"[In a survey of] 90 U.S. institutional asset owners, wealth managers and defined benefit consultants ... 30% said environmental, social and governance factors drive alpha, while 37% said they do not, and the remaining 33% said they are unsure.... 33% of respondents said ESG investing helps mitigate portfolio risk, while 40% said it does not and 28% said they are not sure.... [O]nly 17% of investors are satisfied with the quality and amount of ESG information provided by companies."
Pensions & Investments

[Advert.]

The Conference is 'Virtual', but the Insights are Real.

Sponsored by ASPPA

Catch up on the latest industry trends and topics while gaining up to 7.5 hours of CE? Hear from and interact with five of the industry's top thought leaders: Ilene H. Ferenczy, Brian Graff, Craig Hoffman, Bob Kaplan, and Adam Pozek.


Finding Value Under the New DOL Regime
"Assuming a Financial Institution has not fully adopted all the requirements imposed by the new regulation what happens to Financial Institution and the advisers they support if they are not ready? There are two options: [1] Establish a moratorium on the sale of any new products to new or existing clients along with a prohibition of providing recommendations/suggestions to existing clients. [2] Adopt some or none of the new requirements and continue providing recommendations with the understanding that since all the new requirements are not adopted, all compensation received is received without an exemption and is subject to disgorgement along with lost opportunity cost, potential penalties and/or excise taxes since the exemption does not apply."
Fiduciary Matters Blog

The Other DOL Retirement Regulation Trump and the GOP May Scuttle
"The potential repeal of Dodd-Frank and the Labor Department's fiduciary rule has dominated discussion among financial circles following Donald Trump's presidential-election win last week, but one regulation has largely gone unmentioned: that governing state-based retirement programs.... While industry-watchers expect the [DOL's] rule governing state retirement programs to survive a Trump presidency, financial groups have been lobbying against it and congressional Republicans have a legislative tool at their disposal that would allow them to kill it with a simple majority vote in the Senate."
InvestmentNews

The Benefits of an ESOP for Construction Companies
"For many owners of construction companies, succession planning for the business usually takes a back seat to the daily task of running the business.... There are a number of ways an owner can transition their business ... [One] way that an owner could liquidate his holdings and unleash the potential value of his interest is consider selling his interests to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP)."
WithumSmith+Brown, PC

Treasury Announces Conference Call with Participants in the Ironworkers Local 17 Pension Plan
"In addition to the written comments already received, Treasury is providing an opportunity for all plan participants to provide feedback on the application. Special Master Kenneth R. Feinberg and Treasury staff are hosting a conference call for any Ironworkers 17 participants and beneficiaries who wish to call and provide comments on the application. The teleconference will be Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at Noon Eastern Time."
U.S. Department of the Treasury

PBGC's Single-Employer Pension Deficit Narrows, But Multiemployer Deficit Deepens
"The single employer deficit narrowed to $20.6 billion as of Sept. 30, the end of fiscal year 2016, from $24.1 billion a year earlier; while the multiemployer deficit rose to $58.8 billion from $52.3 billion a year earlier ... The improvement in the single-employer program was attributed primarily to investment and premium income and a low level of plan terminations during the year."
Pensions & Investments

2017 Planning for Governmental Retirement Plan Operations (PDF)
"The calendar provided in this [article] will help sponsors of governmental retirement plans that are exempt from many ERISA requirements set up a schedule of activities to address as the year progresses so that important deadlines for qualified public -sector plans are met.... [T]here are a number of key issues for you to consider as we head into 2017."
Xerox HR Services

CalPERS Finds the City of Loyalton in Default for Non-Payment of Pension Obligation
"The Board of Administration for [CalPERS] today declared the city of Loyalton in default of its obligations to CalPERS after failing to pay what it owes to fund its pension plan.... To date, Loyalton has not made any payments toward its voluntary termination costs.... [A] certified letter explaining CalPERS' proposed action to reduce benefits was sent to the four affected retirees and one individual who no longer works for the city but does not yet collect retirement benefits."
CalPERS

CalPERS Cuts Tiny Town's Pensions by 60 Percent
"Doing what it has never done before, the CalPERS board voted yesterday to slash the pensions of all five former employees of a small Sierra County town, Loyalton, by an estimated 60 percent.... A divided Loyalton city council attempted to get back into CalPERS, talked about getting a loan with installment payments, and pleaded ignorance about the need to pay off the big debt to preserve the pensions of four retirees and one person not yet retired."
Calpensions

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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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