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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Proposed Regs: Mortality Tables for Determining Present Value under Defined Benefit Pension Plans
69 pages. "These proposed regulations set forth the methodology Treasury and the IRS would use to update the generally applicable mortality tables that are used to determine present value or make any computation under section 430. Pursuant to section 417(e)(3)(B), a modified version of these updated tables would be used for purposes of determining the amount of a single-sum distribution (or another accelerated form of distribution). This methodology for developing updated tables under section 430(h)(3)(A) is being proposed pursuant to the requirement under section 430(h)(3)(B) to revise the mortality tables used under section 430 to reflect the actual mortality experience of pension plan participants and projected trends in that experience. As under the 2008 general mortality table regulations, the methodology involves the separate determination of base tables and the projection of mortality improvement. These proposed regulations also set forth rules for the use of substitute mortality tables."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


Techniques to Enhance Your 401(k) Plans

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Jan. 31 webinar. Fiduciary process and techniques of automatic enrollment, auto escalation, re-enrollment, Qualified Default Investment Alternatives, hiring and monitoring of service providers, benchmarking, investment due diligence, regulatory issues.

[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL Interpretive Bulletin on the Exercise of Shareholder Rights and Written Statements of Investment Policy, Including Proxy Voting Policies or Guidelines
19 pages. "This document sets forth supplemental views of the [DOL] concerning the legal standards imposed by sections 402, 403 and 404 of Part 4 of Title I of [ERISA] with respect to voting of proxies on securities held in employee benefit plan investment portfolios, the maintenance of and compliance with statements of investment policy, including proxy voting policy, and the exercise of other legal rights of a shareholder. In this document, the Department withdraws Interpretive Bulletin 2008-2 and replaces it with Interpretive Bulletin 2016-1, which reinstates the language of Interpretive Bulletin 94-2 with certain modifications."
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

[Guidance Overview]

Text of IRS Publication 590-B: Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), for Use in Preparing 2016 Returns (PDF)
60 pages. "This publication discusses traditional and Roth IRAs. It explains the rules for: Handling an inherited IRA, and Receiving distributions (making withdrawals) from an IRA. It also explains the penalties and additional taxes that apply when the rules are not followed. To assist you in complying with the tax rules for IRAs, this publication contains worksheets, sample forms, and tables, which can be found throughout the publication and in the appendices at the back of the publication."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers -- 2016 and 2017 (PDF)
"[This chart] contains some of the 'number' changes (many based on mandated inflation adjustments) that you might find interesting and helpful for 2017 tax and estate planning (with 2016 comparative numbers)." [Includes federal and selected state numbers.]
Nixon Peabody LLP

[Guidance Overview]

SEC Staff Smooths the Way for DOL Fiduciary Rule Compliance
"The SEC's Division of Investment Management released a Guidance Update ... addressing certain procedural issues that have arisen in connection with the so-called 'Fiduciary Rules' adopted by the [DOL]. The Guidance Update will make it easier for mutual funds to create and administer compensation arrangements tailored to comply with the Fiduciary Rules. It does not address, however, the extent to which brokers may independently set their compensation."
Perkins Coie LLP


The ERISA Fiduciary Compliance Guide

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Authored by ERISA and employment law experts at The Wagner Law Group, this Guide is the practical reference you can rely on. Use code BENLINK for 10% discount.

Decertification Does Not End Employer Contribution Obligations to Multiemployer Funds
"The Seventh Circuit is not alone in finding that an employer's contractual obligations to participate in multiemployer funds can survive decertification, withdrawals of recognition, and disclaimers of interest. But there is a competing view. The Ninth Circuit has recognized that when a bargaining unit ceases to exist, be it by decertification or contract repudiation given the existence of a one-person bargaining unit, any existing contract becomes void, not voidable, ending the employer's obligation to contribute to employee benefit plans." [Midwest Operating Engineers Welfare Fund v. Cleveland Quarry, Nos. 15-2628, 15-3221, 15-3861, 16-1870 (7th Cir. Dec. 20, 2016)]
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Valuation for Purchase of Former Employee's ESOP Stock Did Not Violate ERISA
"Under the terms of the ESOP, [the company] was authorized to purchase the shares allocated to [the employee]. Before the plan amendment was passed, the shares needed to be purchased at fair market value. However, after passage of the amendment, the value of shares was determined by the value set by the most recent stock valuation, which was in 2012." [Lee v. Holden Industries, Inc., No. 15-6405 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 21, 2016).
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Interesting Angles on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule, Part 32
"For the belt-and-suspenders crowd -- the very conservative advisers -- the ultra-safe answer is to avoid all other payments or benefits. On the other hand, for those advisers who are willing to rely on a reasonable interpretation (or, in other words, to use a belt without suspenders), a possible approach is, in the case where additional payments are received, to offset those additional payments on a dollar-for-dollar basis (or to pay them over into the IRA)."

Why the New Fiduciary Rule Spells Opportunity for RIAs
"When the new rule takes effect next April, the DOL will extend to IRAs the kind of best interest protections that have long governed 401(k)s and other workplace-sponsored retirement plans.... These changes, which come as tens of millions of retiring baby boomers face the decision of what they will do with their retirement plan nest eggs, could result in some important benefits for RIAs.... Recent regulatory changes favor RIAs.... RIAs can attract a greater share of 401(k) plan business.... RIAs can capture more IRA rollovers from 401(k) clients.... Advisers can gain other business from plan participants.... Deeper relationships create a competitive advantage."
Financial Planning

What Employees Need to Know About Section 457 Plans
"As with 401(k) plans, participants in 457 plans have pretax contributions deducted from their paychecks.... Unlike the majority of large-company 401(k) plans, however, most 457 plans don't match employee contributions. Public-sector employees are more likely to receive a traditional pension than private-sector workers. Those two factors may explain why only about 55 percent of public-sector employees with access to a 457 plan contribute to it."
Chicago Tribune; subscription may be required

Agencies Warn of Massive Ohio Public Pension Shortfall
"A year that began with Gov. John Kasich telling national TV viewers Ohio public pensions are rock solid ends with another independent, outside analysis warning of an approaching calamity in the retirement system.... Where [the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)] sees a $331.5 billion shortfall, amounting to 58 percent of Ohio's total economic output, [the conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University] sees a shortfall that consumes 51 percent of state GDP and gives all of the Ohio pension funds poor odds of actually paying retirees their full benefits."
The News-Messenger; subscription may be required

CBO Now Projects 31% Cut in Social Security Benefits Will Be Needed by 2031
"[CBO] is now reporting that the combined Social Security retirement and disability trust funds will be depleted in fiscal year 2029 -- five years earlier than the trustees of the two funds had projected earlier this year in their annual report.... CBO's projections on the following are lower than those by the Social Security Trust Fund trustees: [1] earnings subject to the program's payroll tax [2] labor force participation rates, productivity growth, lower inflation ... [3] fertility rates ... [4] real interest rates ... in the long run[.]"

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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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