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March 27, 2017 logo logo
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Webcasts and Conferences

Affordable Care Act and Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Wellness Plans Part 2 Ė Reaching Those Who Donít Want to Be Engaged
April 6, 2017 in MD
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Baltimore Chapter

Pension Bridge Annual 2017
April 18, 2017 in CA
Pension Bridge

Health Benefits Laws Compliance Assistance Seminar
April 19, 2017 in UT
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Fixing Tax Qualified Plan Failures under EPCRS
May 2, 2017 WEBCAST
Ohio State Bar Association

401(k) / 403(b) Investment Lineup
May 16, 2017 in IL
Pensions & Investments

2017 Fusion Conference
July 31, 2017 in DC
PenServ Plan Services, Inc.

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Oral Argument Today on Definition of 'Church Plan' -- What Issues Are in Play?
"[One] issue that may emerge in the argument is what deference the court should give to rulings by the [IRS] and other agencies on the scope of the exemption. The hospitals' brief argues that if the court deems the statutory language to be ambiguous, it should defer to three decades' worth of agency rulings that such plans are exempt church plans under ERISA." [Advocate Health v. Stapleton, Nos. 16-74, 16-86, 16-258 (oral argument in consolidated cases sched. Mar. 27, 2017)]
Bloomberg BNA


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 today!

Anthem Workers Advance Challenge to 401(k) Plan Fees
"The proposed class action accuses the committee of including high-fee mutual fund share classes in Anthem's 401(k) plan and paying excessive record-keeping fees to Vanguard Group Inc. A federal judge largely denied the committee's motion to dismiss on March 23, saying that choosing high-fee share classes when identical lower-fee classes were available could constitute fiduciary breach under [ERISA]." [Bell v. Pension Comm. of ATH Holding Co., No. 15-2062 (S.D. Ind. Mar. 23, 2017)]
Bloomberg BNA

USC Can't Force Retirement Plan Fee Claims Into Arbitration
"The participants' ability to bring claims of fiduciary breach under [ERISA] is unaffected by their arbitration agreements with USC because those claims are, by their nature, plan claims and the plan didn't consent to arbitrate, Judge Virginia A. Phillips of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California held March 23." [Munro v. Univ. of So. Calif., No. 16-6191 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 23, 2017)]
Bloomberg BNA

The Educated Participant: How Employers Can Improve Retirement Readiness
"After plan sponsors recognize that their participants need more help, the next question is almost always: Do we expose ourselves to liability for participant investment losses if we voluntarily provide participant education? Fortunately, the [DOL] provides a number of protections for plan sponsors who provide education or more personalized advice, and the safe harbor for participant-directed investments may provide additional protection."

Hey Millennials, How Much of Your Pay Should You Be Saving?
"So, you are a Millennial who is employed but hasn't started to save yet. The 'experts' tell you that you need to start saving like yesterday and you need to save as much as possible. This post will walk you through how to use our Actuarial Budget Calculator for pre-retirees so that you (or your financial advisor) can develop a spending/savings budget that will help you accomplish your financial goals."
Ken Steiner, FSA Retired


2017 SPARK National Conference -- June 1-2, National Harbor, MD

Sponsored by SPARK

The retirement services industry's leading event for top marketing, sales, administration and record keeping professionals. Comprehensive agenda is designed to meet the needs of 401(k) Plan Providers, Financial Advisors and Third Party Administrators.

Five Reasons Millennials Aren't Saving for Retirement
"They take jobs without retirement benefits.... They aren't eligible for the 401(k) plan.... They fail to sign up.... Parenthood and homeownership responsibilities ... Low salaries."
U.S. News & World Report

Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley: A Tale of Two Fiduciary 401(k) Business Models
"While Merrill Lynch is offering advisers servicing 401(k) plans a fairly high level of discretion, Morgan Stanley is substituting some adviser discretion for more risk at the firm level ... The firms, each with adviser forces of greater than 14,000, are the first among their wirehouse peers to outline changes to how their representatives can conduct fiduciary 401(k) business as the [DOL's] fiduciary rule looms."
Pensions & Investments

How Much Does a Mutual Fund Company Have to Disclose Under BICE for Funds Governed by ERISA?
"The Introduction of this article gives a detailed look at what the new rules are and how they have changed from the 1975 regulations. Part 1 discusses the possible areas where conflict will be found in disclosures. Part 2 gives a detailed analysis of 15 mutual fund disclosures from various financial advisors.... [The author] assessed whether the disclosures would be materially misleading under the best interest of the client analysis."
Rodgrick Hickman, Student at the University of Mississippi School of Law, via SSRN

Retirement Assets Total $25.3 Trillion in Fourth Quarter 2016
"Total US retirement assets were $25.3 trillion as of December 31, 2016, up 1.4 percent from the end of September and up 6.1 percent for the year. Retirement assets accounted for 34 percent of all household financial assets in the United States at the end of 2016."
Investment Company Institute [ICI]

Illinois Governor Vetoes Bill to Help Improve Funding Ratio for Two Chicago Pension Plans
"The measure ... was intended to improve the pension plans' funding ratios to 90% each by 2057 through higher contributions for certain employees and increased city contributions. The bill required that Chicago begin making contributions on an actuarial basis to both pension funds in 2023.... The bill would also have raised payroll contributions for participants of both pension funds hired after Jan. 1, 2017, to 11.5% from 8.5% ... Illinois faces roughly $130 billion in combined unfunded pension liabilities across its five state retirement systems."
Pensions & Investments

What Role Should Your House Have in Retirement Planning?
"Including housing wealth -- and sometimes the debt that accompanies it -- during retirement planning can show clients a more realistic view of their retirement possibilities. At the very least, it can help them envision what their housing situation might look like and changes they need to make."
Journal of Accountancy


Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore
"Unfunded pension obligations have risen to $1.9 trillion from $292 billion since 2007.... [In] 1952, the average public pension had 96 percent of its portfolio invested in bonds and cash equivalents. Assets matched future liabilities. But a loosening of state laws in the 1980s opened the door to riskier investments. In 1992, fixed income and cash had fallen to an average of 47 percent of holdings. By 2016, these safe investments had declined to 27 percent."

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

An Executive's Guide to Defeating the SOX 304 Clawback (PDF)
"Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) grants the SEC the discretion to claw back the incentive-based compensation and stock sales of chief executive officers (CEO) and chief financial officers (CFO) after a restatement resulting from corporate misdeeds.... [This article examines] possible arguments and responses to an SEC investigation of alleged SOX 304 violations." [A companion article examines the SEC's burden of proof in SOX 304-related litigation and possible defenses.]
Paul Hastings LLP

Proxy Reminders: Don't Forget 162(m) Compliance!
"Section 162(m) generally limits a public company's tax deduction for compensation paid to the chief executive officer and its three other highest-paid officers (other than the chief financial officer) to $1 million per year. This deduction limitation does not apply to certain 'qualified performance-based compensation' if certain requirements under Section 162(m) are satisfied.... Timely establish performance goals and goal adjustments ... Use only performance goals approved by shareholders ... Do not exceed individual limits."
Morgan Lewis

Press Releases

NAGDCA Wins P&I Eddy Award
National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators [NAGDCA]

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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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