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[Official Guidance]

PBGC Provides e-4010 Filing Update
"The e-4010 module of PBGC's e-filing portal has been updated to reflect the regulatory changes issued last March applicable to information years beginning on or after January 1, 2016 (i.e., filings due on or after April 17, 2017). The e-filing portal is now ready to accept 4010 filings for such years. Additional information and updated versions of the filing requirements (e.g., illustrative form, screenshots) are available on PBGC's 4010 web page."
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Advert.] FREE Webcast: Practical Guide to ERISA Research

Sponsored by Burrmont Compliance Labs LLC

Join us as Ilene Ferenczy, JD and Tim McCutcheon, JD give an insider's perspective on how to find answers to your qualified plan compliance questions. Register here for this FREE webcast and earn 1 hour CE credit. Date: Thurs. Jan 26. Time: 2 pm (ET)

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Relaxes Rules on Use of Forfeitures to Fund Safe Harbor Contributions
"[To] apply these changes, plan documents will need to be amended to remove the language that restricts the use of forfeitures to fund safe harbor contributions.... Since this change is discretionary, an amendment would need to be adopted by the last day of the plan year to which it applies. In addition, an earlier amendment might be needed to avoid violating the anti-cutback rules (IRC Section 411(d)(6)) depending on how forfeitures are handled under a plan sponsor's current plan."
FIS Relius

[Guidance Overview]

Using Forfeitures for Corrective Contributions: Look Before You Leap
"Caution is advised, however, for plan sponsors wanting to make immediate use of forfeiture accounts for QNECs and QMACs. First, they must confirm that their plan document does not prohibit use of forfeitures for this purpose.... [M]aster and prototype and volume submitter basic plan documents may expressly prohibit use of forfeitures for QNECs and QMACs."
E is for ERISA

[Guidance Overview]

Second Fiduciary FAQs Package Issued in Final Days Before DOL Transition
"FAQ II deals specifically with the final regulations. Unfortunately, FAQ II did not answer all of the questions posed by industry practitioners. For example, absent was clarification of how the DOL views its conflict-of-interest guidance in the context of employer-sponsored retirement plans that employ IRAs as their investment vehicles. This includes simplified employee pension (SEP) plans and savings incentive match plan for employees of small employers (SIMPLE) plans. Nonetheless, FAQ II does provide many hoped-for clarifications."

DOL Fiduciary Rule May Be Undone, in a Cruel Twist, by the DOL Itself
"Perhaps the biggest legislative effort since 1940 to put client interests ahead of Wall Street will be stayed in a Texas court ... according to Jason Roberts, CEO of the Pension Resource Institute LLC ... The DOL will likely invite a stay under terms favorable to the nine plaintiffs including [SIFMA], the Financial Services Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.... One jarring detail of the Texas court scenario is that the person tasked with throwing the case is Timothy Hauser, who is acting head of [EBSA]. Hauser is widely viewed as the architect of the DOL rule."

In the Complicated World of ERISA, a Fiduciary Checklist Can Help
"[1] Roster of fiduciary roles and responsibilities; [2] Plan documents; [3] Fidelity bond and fiduciary liability insurance; [4] Service provider contracts; [5] Government reporting; [6] Employee communication materials; [7] Administrative policies and procedures; [8] Annual compliance tests; [9] Meeting minutes; [10] Annual review materials."
The Retirement Plan Blog

Tax Dangers of Retirement Plan Distributions
"One of the easiest ways to develop a relationship with a revenue officer is for a taxpayer to cavalierly treat their retirement distributions.... [P]lan administrators will normally only withhold 20% of the federal tax (unless told to do otherwise).... [W]ith upper graduated tax rates of 25% through 39.6%, the 20% withholding may not be enough to cover the actual amount due.... [M]any taxpayers forget to consider the effects of state taxes.... [S]ome folks are under the impression that some or all of their distributions are tax-free."

How Much Retirement Savings Will You Need to Feel Financially Secure?
"[1] Are you planning for just yourself or for your household? ... [2] When do you (and your spouse) plan to retire and when do you (and your spouse) plan to commence Social Security benefits or other sources of income? ... [3] What is the standard of living that you and your spouse are trying to replace in retirement? [4] How will you address long-term care costs and other non-recurring costs? ... [5] What are your assumptions for future investment return on your accumulated savings, length of retirement planning period and future inflation? [6] Is your estimate based on today's dollars or future inflated dollars?"
Ken Steiner, FSA Retired

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

That's a FAQ, Jack! New Interpretations from ISS
"On December 19, 2016, ISS issued updates to several of its key FAQs, including those on Equity Compensation Plans, Executive Compensation Policies, and also the explanation of ISS' Pay-for-Performance Mechanics. [This article summarizes] the specific updates under each FAQ and the P4P Mechanics."

Press Releases

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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 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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