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February 20, 2017 logo logo
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Defined Contribution Account Manager
Nova 401(k) Associates

Junior Defined Contribution (DC) Administrator
Planned Retirement Consultants & Administrators, LLC
in NJ

Assistant General Counsel - Retirement Plans
Nationwide Insurance
in OH

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Webcasts and Conferences

Wellness Plans PART 1 – An Employer Roundtable: What’s Working and What’s Not
March 2, 2017 in MD
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Baltimore Chapter

14th Annual Health Plan and Payer Summit
April 30, 2017 in DC
World Congress

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[Guidance Overview]

Fiduciary Rule Update: Is the 'Applicability Date' Applicable? (PDF)
"Currently pending at [OMB] is a regulation ... entitled 'Delay of Applicability Date.' The fact that the regulation is listed as 'proposed' indicates that the regulation will not have immediate effect ... The release of the regulation has been held up as OMB meets with interested parties....Assuming a 44 day process would be sufficient for the current process, the proposed regulation would have to be published in the Federal Register no later than February 24, 2017 in order for the delay notice to be published on April 10, the scheduled Applicability Date of the Fiduciary Regulation."
Groom Law Group

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[Guidance Overview]

2017 Compliance Checklist for Qualified Plans Subject to ERISA (PDF)
43 pages. "The Compliance Checklist incorporates defined benefit (DB), defined contribution (DC) and ERISA 403(b) requirements and provides information on the materials that you will need to file, filing due dates and agencies to which the filings should be made."

[Guidance Overview]

2017 Compliance Checklist for Qualified Plans Not Subject to ERISA (PDF)
20 pages. "The Compliance Checklist incorporates requirements for governmental and nonelecting church plans, non-ERISA 403(b) plans, 457 plans and nonqualified executive benefit plans, and provides information on the materials that you will need to file, filing due dates and agencies to which the filings should be made."

Timing of Refunds Due to 415 Limitation Violations: What Every 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Know
"The 415 limitation tests gross salary deferrals, match, ESOP discretionary contributions and plan forfeitures. If there are refunds needed for failing the 415 limit, these refunds must be processed prior to any ADP/ACP refunds. The ADP/ACP test must take the post-415 refund deferrals and match into account."
Principal Financial Group

Sixth Circuit Overturns Tax Court Decision on Abusive DISC Commissions to Roth IRA
"Contrary to the Tax Court, the Sixth Circuit determined that the IRS overstepped its bounds applying a substance over form argument to claim a tax avoidance transaction when Congress created both domestic international sales corporations (DISCs) and Roth IRAs with the purpose of providing taxpayers the opportunity to avoid tax, provided the taxpayers followed the form of structures of the DISC and Roth IRA." [Summa Holdings Inc. v. Commissioner, No. 16-1712 (6th Cir. Feb. 16, 2017)]


Things Have Changed – Are You Up-To-Date?

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New York Life Settles Lawsuit Over Alleged Excessive Fees in Its 401(k) Plans
"New York Life Insurance Co. has settled a class-action lawsuit for $3 million with participants in two company 401(k) plans ... Plan participants said two New York Life 401(k) plans should have searched for S&P 500 index funds that were cheaper than New York Life's MainStay S&P 500 fund. 'From 2010 to 2016, the plans' fiduciaries did not act in the best interests of the plans and their participants,' the lawsuit said."
Pensions & Investments

DOL Fiduciary Rule -- What's Next?
"The Senate will hold a confirmation hearing for President Trump's Secretary of Labor nominee.... OMB will release the DOL's proposal to the public.... [T]he DOL will prepare an updated economic and legal analysis concerning the rule's likely impact.... [The DOL may] seek to complete this analysis as quickly as possible to allow the DOL sufficient time to further propose rescinding or revising the rule, if the DOL deems such action is warranted."
K&L Gates LLP

DOL's Fiduciary Rule Faces Threat from Trump Administration But Is Upheld by Texas District Court
"On February 8, 2017 ... Chief Judge Barbara Lynn of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas delivered the DOL a sweeping victory in the third decided challenge to the final conflict of interest regulation and related exemptions ... The win adds to the DOL's scorecard, but the Fiduciary Rule's toughest test yet may be the Presidential Memorandum, issued on February 3, 2017."
Miller & Chevalier

New Labor Secretary Nominee Brings Legal Mind to Fiduciary Debate
"Alexander Acosta, nominated Thursday to lead the [DOL], drew praise ... as a thoughtful, experienced candidate likely to express mainstream conservative views on regulations.... Acosta could be approved and on the job quickly, a matter of no small import when it comes to the fiduciary rule.... [W]hile Acosta's extensive mainstream experience might get him confirmed quickly, he also might be averse to bold changes -- such as a complete reversal of the fiduciary rule."

The State of Defined Benefit Plans
Infographic. "The largest corporate pension plans ... Median corporate plan returns ... Newer companies eschew pensions ... Retirees' only option."
Pensions & Investments

State-by-State PBGC Pension Plan Payments
"PBGC paid more than $5.6 billion (that's 'billion' with a 'b') to 840,000 retirees in 2015 ... This clickable map lists the total amount and number of people paid in each state, broken down by congressional district."
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Blog: Retirement Matters

Credit Easing, Regulation Put Plans on Critical List
"U.S. corporate defined benefit plans have been closing and freezing benefit accruals for decades, with a number of industry experts pointing to the very regulations meant to protect them as a top contributing factor. But the flood of cheap money unleashed by central banks' quantitative easing efforts to combat the global financial crisis has only added to the pressures that corporate, as well as public, plan sponsors face[.]"
Pensions & Investments

Press Releases

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Lois Baker, J.D., President
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager

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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