Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 26, 2017 logo logo
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Webcasts and Conferences

Helping Small Business Owners Save for Retirement
March 1, 2017 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Level-Funded Plans
March 10, 2017 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

Benefits Conference for Public Employees: Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) Highlight
April 25, 2017 in OH
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

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[Guidance Overview]

Potentially Prudent as Default Investment, But Not as QDIA: Target Date Funds with Annuities Restricting Transfers
"The DOL recently concluded that a target date fund with a fixed guaranteed annuity restricting transfers or withdrawals for a 12-month period does not meet the [QDIA] requirements. But noting the need for lifetime income as a public policy issue, DOL said a fiduciary could prudently select a default investment that complies with all requirements of the QDIA regulation save the liquidity and transferability rules. Fiduciaries may be hard pressed, however, to select such an investment as a plan default investment because it does not protect them from liability for investing contributions on behalf of employees."


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[Guidance Overview]

Puerto Rico Treasury Issues New Guidance on Rules and Procedures for Qualification of Retirement Plans
"CL 16-08 provides that qualification letters issued under the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code of 2011... will continue to be valid as long as the official plan document or trust agreement is not amended to add, modify, or remove (in whole or in part) any plan provision considered a 'qualification amendment,' as defined in CL 16-08.... CL 16-08 clarifies that only plan restatements and/or plan amendments that include amendments classified as 'qualification amendments' have to be submitted for qualification.... This new guidance keeps the qualification amendments of the Previous Guidance, but also adds additional types of amendments that will be considered qualification amendments."

Plaintiffs Argue IMO Exemption Is Proof of DOL Fiduciary Fail
"Plaintiffs suing to kill the [DOL] fiduciary rule seized on a new exemption offered by the department last week as evidence of the flawed process.... After receiving nearly two dozen applications for these ad hoc exemptions, the DOL 'now tacitly acknowledges that the fix the department advocated in litigation is not feasible and that the rule's impact on IMOs requires promulgation of a new rule,' plaintiffs wrote."

Why Women Pay More for Healthcare, and What It Means for Retirement
"[A recent] report predicts that women who are currently age 30 will likely live to 91-years-old and spend $548,098 on healthcare. Comparably, men will live to 87 and spend $429,466 on healthcare. The difference is attributed to the longer life expectancies of women.... These numbers are a reminder that women need to factor in the growing cost of healthcare as they age into retirement planning."
Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement [WISER]

How to Avoid Borrowing from Your Retirement Plan
"Don't think of your retirement account as a giant ATM.... Have an emergency fund.... Consider other options."
Financial Finesse


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State Auto-IRAs Are Not the Answer to the Retirement Savings Gap! (PDF)
20 pages. "[S]tate auto-IRAs are a poor substitute for employer-provided plans. Workers are significantly limited in how much they are allowed to contribute; employers are prohibited from contributing at all; fewer small plans will be started; many existing small plans will be terminated, and important worker protections will be lost. Instead of mandating that employers without a plan offer a state IRA, policymakers ought to make it easier for small business to offer retirement plans that best serve workers' needs."
U.S. Chamber of Commerce


How to Save America's Broken Retirement System, According to the Man Who Revolutionized Investing for Main Street
[John C. Bogle said:] "At first, the 401(k) was designed to be a thrift plan, an extra, a savings plan. It was never designed to be a retirement plan. You can see it in its very structure. There's no requirement to put money in, no requirement to pull it out. It's too flexible.... There ought to be restrictions, much more serious restrictions on taking your money out. You need discipline putting it in and the limits on pulling it out."
Business Insider

Benefits in General

Supreme Court to Rule on Church Plan Status, Possibly Affecting Welfare Benefits and DC Plans
"What the Court must determine is whether the exemption applies if a plan is maintained by a (tax exempt) church-affiliated organization or is available only when a church, per se, established the plan.... While the plans at issue in these consolidated cases are defined benefit pension plans, the question of whether ERISA applies is much broader, as it has implications for defined contribution retirement plans, welfare benefit plans, and even for health care continuation obligations under COBRA, which similarly exempts church plans."
Fox Rothschild LLP

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

IRS Updates Golden Parachute Payment Audit Tips
"The [2017 Golden Parachutes Payments (Audit Techniques) Guide (ATG)] specifies two additional types of documents reviewed by IRS examiners in golden parachute payment examinations, including: Information Statement (Schedules 14A and 14C).... Registration Statements (Forms S-4 and F-4).... The 2017 ATG specifies the interplay between I.R.C. Section 162(m) and golden parachute payments."
Bloomberg BNA

Employee Stock Plans: 2016 Year-End International Reporting Requirements
"This White Paper highlights some of the principal calendar and year-end reporting requirements for employee stock plans that U.S. companies most commonly encounter when offering these programs to their employees in selected jurisdictions worldwide.... A chart summarizing these items [is included]."
Jones Day

Trends in Stock Compensation, ESPPs, and Participant Behavior
"Use of full-value awards continues to increase.... Use of stock options continues to decline.... Performance awards are for executives.... [Total shareholder return (TSR)] is the top metric for performance grants.... Dividend payments increase.... Payouts to retirees."

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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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