Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 17, 2017 logo logo
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Client Account Manager
Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors
in CA

Sales Consultant - 401k / DB Plan Sales
Farmer & Betts
in GA, IL, MN, NC, SC, TN, TX

401k Plan Administrator
American Pension Benefits
in PA, Telecommute

Conversion Specialist
American National
in TX

Business Operations Manager 5
Pennsylvania State University
in PA

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Webcasts and Conferences

Everything You Need to Know about Small Business HRAs
February 28, 2017 WEBCAST
WEX Health

14th National Forum on ERISA Litigation
March 1, 2017 in IL
American Conference Institute

2017 Mid-Sized Retirement & Healthcare Plan Management Conference
September 17, 2017 in TX
University Conference Services

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[Guidance Overview]

Annual Plan Deadlines for Plan Years Ending December 31, 2017 (PDF)
"The attached chart provides an explanation of key plan events and the deadline for each for Section 401(a) and 401(k) defined contribution plans with a plan year ending December 31, 2017. The chart is intended as a tool to assist employers with monitoring the key annual plan requirements. Off-calendar year plans should adjust the deadlines accordingly based on the time frames described in the chart."
VOYA Financial


Learn from Wharton Professors—Portfolio Concepts and Management

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

This 3-1/2 day program lays the groundwork for the core principles of portfolio theory and investment performance measurement, offering the practical tools and experiences needed to make sound investment management decisions. Register early and save!

[Guidance Overview]

Puerto Rico Treasury Updates Rules for Obtaining Retirement Plan Qualification Letters (PDF)
"Previously ... plan sponsors and other service providers would have had to submit all plan document restatements and amendments for a qualification letter. Now, under CL 16-08, plan restatements and/or amendments that do not contain 'Qualification Amendments' do not need to submit another application to Hacienda for a favorable determination on the qualified status of the retirement plan."

[Guidance Overview]

New Determination Letter Procedures for Puerto Rico Retirement Plans
"Unlike the IRS, Hacienda is not restricting determination letters to establishing and terminating a qualified retirement plan (and a few other special circumstances). Hacienda continues to require sponsors to file determination letters for many types of plan amendments, and sponsors may seek determination letters for other amendments as well. All new plans must obtain a determination letter from Hacienda to become qualified."
Willis Towers Watson

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Provides Guidance on Plan Fiduciaries' Proxy Voting Policies
"[Interpretive Bulletin 2016-01] spells out that fiduciaries are not required to engage in a cost-benefit analysis to find that the proxy vote or other exercise of shareholder rights would more likely than not result in an increase in the economic value of the plan. Rather, the [DOL] wanted to reiterate the essential point of IB 94-2 instead that 'a fiduciary's obligation to manage plan assets prudently extends to proxy voting.' "
Holland & Knight

Trends in Fiduciary Liability Claims (PDF)
"In the past 18 months, at least 38 ERISA class actions have been filed.... Smaller ERISA plans are now being targeted.... Plaintiffs are focusing on more than just corporate plans.... Excessive fee class actions are expensive to defend.... The fiduciary liability insurance marketplace has not changed much."


Online Learning Course: 401(k) Plan Administration

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Learn more about plan design issues, plan investments, fiduciary responsibility and plan fees, employee communications and investment education, automatic enrollment, participant loans, distributions, and plan amendment and termination.

How to Structure a Plan Committee
"When selecting committee members, one of the most important qualities to look for is willingness to be involved -- to attend meetings, review meeting materials in advance, ask tough questions and engage in discussions and decisions.... Committee members should also be employees with education and experience consistent with evaluating plan investments, reviewing service providers and considering plan administration.... Appointing, monitoring and replacing, as necessary, the committee members is a fiduciary responsibility."
Drinker Biddle and Reath LLP, in PLANSPONSOR

DOL Asks for Stay in Another Fiduciary Case
"The DOL noted that, under the circumstances here, a stay of proceedings would make sense for the Court and the parties, since it involved 'one condition of an administrative exemption issued by the [DOL] ... [which] is not scheduled to become applicable to Plaintiff and the rest of the financial services industry until January 1, 2018.' ... The request also cited the 'Delay of Applicability Date' filed with the Office of Management and Budget on Feb. 9[.]"
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA]

State Retirement Saving Plans Could Be Over Before They Start
"California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington have all approved plans and are working on rolling them out.... But the House passed two resolutions [on Feb. 15] which -- if also approved by the Senate -- would ... overturn rules that exempted state-sponsored plans from having to comply with [ERISA], which sets minimum standards for retirement plan providers."

Multiemployer Pension Plans: Section 1405 Limitation on Withdrawal Liability
"[The arbitrator found] that when a pension fund fails to respond to an employer's request for review letter ... the fund is not entitled to a presumption of correctness ... [T]he arbitrator rejected the fund's argument that to qualify for the 'sale of assets' provision under subsection (a), all the assets had to be sold to a 'single unrelated party.' ... [T]he arbitrator rejected the fund's argument that the 'motivation' or reasons for the sale of assets are relevant to the issue of whether the asset sale caused or triggered the withdrawal."
Ford & Harrison LLP

Estimates of the Financial Effects of the Proposed 'Social Security Expansion Act' (PDF)
21 pages. "Assuming enactment of the proposal, we estimate the year of depletion of the combined OASI and DI Trust Fund reserves would be extended from 2034 under current law to 2078[.]"
Office of the Chief Actuary, U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA]

Press Releases

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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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