Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 17, 2017 logo logo
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Retirement Plan Consultant
Benefit Consultants Group
in NJ

Defined Contribution Junior Consultant
Pavilion Advisory Group Inc.
in IL

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Webcasts and Conferences

Repeal and Replace? Repeal and Delay? What the Health Reform is Going on Out There?

Helping Your Employees to Think and Act Like Owners
January 18, 2017 WEBCAST
Ohio Employee Ownership Center

Status Update on the DOL's Expanded Fiduciary Rule
February 23, 2017 in IL
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

Health and Welfare Plans - Strategic Planning & Design (B3A): Discover the Important Issues
March 9, 2017 in MA
New England Employee Benefits Council

LBI & Pension Risk Transfer Market
March 9, 2017 WEBCAST

EBIA Employee Benefits Seminar
June 6, 2017 in TX
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Proposed Regs: Definitions of Qualified Matching Contributions and Qualified Nonelective Contributions
11 pages. "This document contains proposed amendments to the definitions of qualified matching contributions (QMACs) and qualified nonelective contributions (QNECs) under regulations relating to certain qualified retirement plans that contain cash or deferred arrangements under section 401(k) or that provide for matching contributions or employee contributions under section 401(m). Under these regulations, employer contributions to a plan would be able to qualify as QMACs or QNECs if they satisfy applicable nonforfeitability and distribution requirements at the time they are allocated to participants' accounts, but need not meet these requirements when they are contributed to the plan."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


Recognizing Excellence in Retirement Plan Education and Communication

Sponsored by Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA]

Don't miss out on recognition for your hard work! Deadline to submit retirement plan education and communication programs: Feb. 10, 2017. Learn more. Winners will be announced at the 70th Annual National Conference May 2-3, 2017 in Chicago, IL.

[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL FAQs: Conflict of Interest, Part II -- Rule (PDF)
17 pages. "[T]hese FAQs focus particularly on specific technical questions raised by financial service providers. These FAQs are generally limited to investment advice concerning ERISA-covered plans, IRAs, and other plans covered by section 4975(e)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code." 35 Questions and Answers, covering: [1] Investment Recommendations Covered Under the Rule; [2] Investment Education; [3] General Communications; [4] Transactions with Independent Fiduciaries with Financial Expertise; [5] Marketing Platforms for Individual Account Plans and Providing Assistance in Selection and Monitoring Investment Alternatives.
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

[Guidance Overview]

PBGC Requests Information About 'Two-Pool' Alternative Method for Allocating Withdrawal Liability for Multiemployer Plans
"Comments must be received on or before February 21, 2017, to be assured of consideration.... PBGC is asking for answers to questions about the possibility that more plans will request approval of two-pool methods in the future, the nature of the relief granted employers transitioning to the new pool, other alternatives the trustees considered, the risk of loss to participants and the PBGC created by the two-pool arrangement, and what factors PBGC should take into consideration in assessing such risks."

[Guidance Overview]

2017 Key Administrative Dates and Deadlines for Calendar-Year Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plans (PDF)
3-page chart of key administrative dates and deadlines during 2017 for multiemployer defined benefit retirement plans subject to ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, including Form 5500, Zone Certification, Notice of Endangered or Critical Status, Zone Surcharge, and more.

Auto-Enrollment Pushes Retirement Plan Assets Higher
"Plan assets for 401(k) plans and similar types of defined contribution plans have topped $7 trillion due to continued growth in employee contributions. Part of this increase is not due to employees consciously saving more; it is due to the continued growth of both auto-enrollment and auto-escalation features in a growing number of retirements plans."
Schneider Downs


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IRA Balances, Contributions, Withdrawals, and Asset Allocation Longitudinal Results 2010-2014: The EBRI IRA Database (PDF)
32 pages. "While the cross-sectional overall average account balance increased 38.9 percent from 2010 to 2014, the increase for those IRA owners who continuously owned IRAs from 2010-2014 was 45.8 percent.... Among Traditional IRA owners, 87.6 percent did not contribute to the IRA in any year, while 2.1 percent contributed in all five years. In contrast, 61.5 percent of Roth IRA owners did not contribute in any year and 10.4 percent contributed in all five years.... Among consistent account owners, the percentage of individuals taking a withdrawal from a Traditional or Roth IRA rose from 12.9 percent in 2010, to 15.4 percent in 2011, to 16.7 percent in 2012, to 18.5 percent in 2013, and to 19.6 percent in 2014."
Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Schenectady Hospital Retirees Wonder Who Will Pay After 'Church Plan' Fails
"The pension plan covering workers at the former St. Clare's Hospital has notified more than 1,100 participants that, based on current projections, it will run out of money to pay their retirement benefits in about another decade.... Three cases involving similar pension situations at religiously-affiliated health care organizations are headed to the U.S. Supreme Court this spring[.]"
The Daily Gazette

Fate of Hospital Pensions Rests with Supreme Court (PDF)
"If the Supreme Court agrees with the hospital workers -- as three appellate courts did -- and finds that an ERISA-exempt church plan must be established by a church, then what? That's where things get tricky. In many cases, the workers have sought court orders requiring the hospitals to make up pension funding shortfalls that average about $325 million. They've also sought statutory penalties for decades worth of alleged ERISA violations."
Keightley & Ashner LLP


Future of California Pension Reform Now Up to State Supreme Court
"Two appellate courts recently ruled that state lawmakers may alter retirement benefits for current employees.... That's a radical departure from decades of rulings suggesting pension benefits could not be reduced.... Whether the Supreme Court agrees will profoundly affect California lawmakers' ability to slow soaring retirement costs strangling state and local governments. It also might enable practical unions to negotiate changes for current employees, depending upon how broad the decision is."
San Jose Mercury News

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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2017, 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 those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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