Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 21, 2017 logo logo
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Pension Plan Administrator
Growing Retirement Plan Administration Firm
in NY

Senior Plan Administrator
MGA Consultants, Inc.
in MD, NC

Client Services Associate
Hooker & Holcombe, Inc.
in CT

Pension Administrator
E.H. Thomson & Co., Inc.
in NJ

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Webcasts and Conferences

Brave New World of HR Technology Are You Maximizing Your Investment?
February 23, 2017 in IL
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Chicago West Chapter

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Understand Your Target Date Fund Series
"Because target-date funds come in all types, investment committees need to be aware of how their funds are composed. Asset classes and the associated asset allocations may vary significantly from one series of target-date funds to another.... Also, committees should be aware of the target-date fund investment style, such as active, passive or a mix of those styles."
Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams, Ltd.


The World of Retirement: PSCA's 70th Annual National Conference

Sponsored by Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA]

Through calm seas, rough waters, and uncharted territories, PSCA has been the flagship in the world of retirement benefits. Join us at PSCA's 70th Annual National Conference to learn the latest trends to help you navigate the changing landscape.

Tipping the Scales from Prevention to Detection: Get Ready for an IRS Examination of Your Plan
"At a minimum, the plan sponsor should ensure that the following 10 items from the list of common errors found by the IRS are administered in compliance with the plan document and the federal tax Code: [1] Plan document ... [2] Census ... [3] Definition of compensation ... [4] Timely deposit of deferrals ... [5] Contribution computation and limits ... [6] Discrimination testing ... [7] Eligibility ... [8] Participant loans ... [9] Distributions ... [10] Fidelity bond."
Belfint Lyons & Shuman, CPAs

Fiduciary Responsibility: What 401(k) Plan Sponsors Should Do Now
"Regardless of whether the rules are implemented as written or completely discarded, the most important thing 401k plan sponsors should do is determine whether the investment advisor they are working with is signed on as a fiduciary to their 401k plan. Advisors who work for insurance companies and brokerage firms are not required to be fiduciaries when providing advice to clients."
Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants

Two-Thirds of Americans Aren't Putting Money in Their 401(k)
"U.S. Census Bureau researchers have come up with estimates that rely on tax data, which should be more reliable than surveys. Their conclusion: Only about a third of workers are saving in a 401(k) or similar tax-deferred retirement plan. Also, the gap is far wider than expected between the number of employers offering retirement plans, and the number of workers saving in them."

2017 Employee Financial Wellness Survey
"Employees were more likely to be satisfied in their employer's benefits package when a wellness program was offered and even more when financial wellness was included. Average satisfaction increased by 48.8% when comparing satisfaction ratings of employees with no wellness program to those with wellness that includes financial wellness.... Retirement topped a few of this year's surveys, including top financial goal and the most difficult employer benefit to understand."
Four Seasons Financial Education


ERISA Audits: What We All Knew but Forgot

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Feb. 27 webinar. When the DOL or IRS comes knocking and looking to examine the benefits being offered to employees, it is important for an employer to be knowledgeable and ready.

Multiemployer Retirement Plan Landscape: A Ten-Year Look (2005-2014)
Infographic summary of the report. "The [full] report covers both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) plans using data from Form 5500 Annual Reports filed with the [DOL], with 2014 being the most recent information currently available. The report analyzes key trends in demographics, cash flows, and investments for defined benefit and defined contribution plans over the ten-year period from 2005 through 2014, and will help trustees, consultants and policy makers gain a better understanding of these plans and their environment."
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Fixed Annuity Sales Hit Record $117.4 Billion in 2016
"In 2016, total fixed annuity sales hit a record-breaking $117.4 billion, 14 percent higher than 2015 levels and nearly $7 billion higher than 2009 (when sales were last at their highest) ... In the fourth quarter, sales of fixed-rate deferred annuities ... fell 9 percent ... The Institute expects sales to rebound in the first quarter 2017, responding to the post election interest rate spike late in 2016. As projected by the Institute, fixed indexed annuity (FIA) sales also hit record levels in 2016, up 12 percent to $60.9 billion."


Is the Prudent Man Standard Good Enough?
"While we have made significant strides in implementing 'automatic' plan designs that help participants get off to a better start than they might have if left to their own devices, it still seems that most fiduciaries gravitate toward the 'first, do no harm' standard generally associated with the medical profession's Hippocratic Oath. A higher standard might arguably be the so-called 'Golden Rule,' which sets as its marker that you do to others how you would like them to do to you. How might that apply to retirement plan designs?"
Nevin Adams, for National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]


Congress Should Stay Out of States' Retiree Plans
"At no risk [to] taxpayers and employers, California's Secure Choice and similar programs in other states give workers a way from sinking into poverty after they retire and that -- in political terms -- is the very definition of a 'no-brainer.' ... Secure Choice includes robust oversight, accountability and fiduciary safeguards like those anything contained in ERISA, and exceed those for ordinary IRAs."
Detroit Free Press

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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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