Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 3, 2017

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Employee Benefits Jobs

Client Relationship Account Manager
Pentegra Retirement Services
in OH

Account Manager
Pentegra Retirement Services
in OH

Contributions Associate
Professional Capital Services
in PA

Reconciliation Specialist
RPG Consultants
in CT, NJ, NY, Telecommute

Retirement Planning Consultant - Wichita, Kansas
Transamerica
in KS

Bilingual Retirement Planning Consultant - Dallas, TX
Transamerica
in TX

Retirement Planning Consultant - Saginaw, MI
Transamerica
in MI

Retirement Planning Consultant - Waterloo, IA
Transamerica
in IA

Manager, Retirement Planning Consultant
Transamerica
in IA

Senior Retirement Education Specialist
CUNA Mutual Group
in AL, FL, GA, NC, SC, Telecommute

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Webcasts and Conferences

Mastering New IRC 457(f) Plan Guidance for ERISA Counsel: Structuring Deferred Comp Plans for Nonprofit Entities
April 5, 2017 WEBCAST
Strafford

What's Next for Health Care Reform?
April 7, 2017 WEBCAST
American Benefits Council

Update on the Laws Governing Wellness Programs
April 27, 2017 WEBCAST
Midwest Business Group on Health

Regulation, Self-regulation, and Professionalism and the Future of Financial Advice
May 18, 2017 in CA
Western Pension & Benefits Council - Orange County Chapter

View All Webcasts and Conferences

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Discussions


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IRS Permits Self-Certification for Hardship Withdrawals from Retirement Accounts
"Be careful of inconsistencies such as a medical service invoice for services after a funeral date or an expense for a casualty loss prior to the date of the casualty ... In these circumstances, the agent will ask the employer or the TPA [third-party administrator] for the source documentation. This is where a potential risk exists for the employer and why the IRS has in the past been reluctant to accept self-certification."
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

[Advert.]

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Audio of Supreme Court Oral Argument in Consolidated Church Plan Cases
Available in MP3, Windows Media and RealAudio formats. [Advocate Health v. Stapleton, Nos. 16-74, 16-86, 16-258 (consolidated cases argued Mar. 27, 2017)]
Supreme Court of the United States

DOL, First Bankers Move Closer to Trial Over ESOP Transaction
"A federal judge in New York March 29 denied motions for summary judgment by the department and First Bankers, holding that there were disputed issues of fact that couldn't be resolved at this stage. The issues to be resolved at trial include whether First Bankers failed to investigate the financial adviser's independence, whether it properly reviewed the valuation and if it negotiated the $15.5 million the ESOP paid for Rembar's stock." [Hugler v. First Bankers Trust Services, No. 12-8649, (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 29, 2017)]
Bloomberg BNA

Peabody Energy Cleared in ERISA Challenge to Stock Losses
"The proposed class action argued that Peabody wrongfully kept company stock in its workers' retirement plans during a period in which the company was under investigation for allegedly making misstatements about the effects of climate change on its business prospects. A federal district court refused to hold Peabody liable for these actions under [ERISA], saying that the employees failed to overcome the strict pleading standards set by the U.S. Supreme Court in ERISA cases over employer stock." [Lynn v. Peabody Energy Corp., No. 15-916 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 30, 2017)]
Bloomberg BNA

LIAs: The Pension-Style Retirement Product You Should Know About
"Back in 2014, the Treasury Department started an initiative focused on 'putting the pension back' into 401(k) retirement savings.... Through loosened restrictions and some tax-law changes, the Treasury made it easier to convert funds from retirement savings into plans known as longevity income annuities, or LIAs, that provide guaranteed lifetime income.... As with most financial tools, some people will benefit from an LIA more than others."
MarketWatch

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Rhode Island Treasurer Proposes Bill to Help Municipal Plans Join State Retirement System
"The Healthy Local Pensions, or HELP, bill ... would allow plans to adopt a longer amortization period than the current 20-year period, and would also allow them to gradually move to the [state's Municipal Employees' Retirement System] over several years.... While the 116 municipal plans in the state system have an average funded status of 83%, the pension plans that remain locally administered carry a combined $2.4 billion unfunded liability. Of the 34 locally administered plans, 19 are below 60% funded and 12 are below 40%."
Pensions & Investments

Workers' Retirement Confidence Remains Below Pre-Recession Levels
"60% of workers are very or somewhat confident in having enough, down from 70% in 2007, but up from 52% in 2012. Over the past year, the percentage expressing confidence edged down slightly, from 64% to 60%.... [The survey] was conducted in January, as the U.S. stock market was surging toward a record high. But for workers, the effects of the recession continue to linger thanks in part to housing prices that haven't fully recovered in many markets[.]"
Fidelity

Is 70 the New 65?
"[In] a survey of those age 60 and older ... 20% don't expect to ever retire. While not having enough money ... is the reason why they are planning to delay retirement, 34% of those age 60 and older are unsure how much they will need to retire."
planadviser

[Opinion]

Notes (and a Prediction) on the Supreme Court Argument on Church Plans
"As the current litigation over the scope of the church plan exemption has demonstrated, the original assumption that the exemption should be broadly applied has a questionable foundation, and was not founded on the type of rigorous, extensive research and analysis we would normally assume underlies a significant act of statutory interpretation. And this, as much as any other reason, is why we are in the middle of very contentious and financially significant class action litigation over the scope of the church plan exemption, which has now landed in the Supreme Court."
Stephen Rosenberg, The Wagner Law Group

Benefits in General

Demographic Shifts, Employee Expectations Are Redefining the Workplace
"Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of employees say that having benefits customized to meet their needs is important when considering taking a new job and 72 percent say that having the ability to customize their benefits would increase their loyalty to their current employer. Employees say that benefits customization is even more important than the ability to work from home or remotely. In fact, over three-fourths (76 percent) of Millennials say benefits customization is important for increasing their loyalty to their employers, compared to two-thirds (67 percent) of Boomers."
MetLife

Sixth Circuit Clarifies Exhaustion Requirement in ERISA Suits
"The opinion drew, and then emphasized, a distinction between actions brought to enforce the terms of a plan -- such as a basic wrongful denial claim -- and those claims brought to enforce the statute itself -- wherein, as here, a plaintiff asserts that the terms of a plan violate ERISA itself.... The court's interpretation joined the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits. The Seventh and Eighth Circuits, on the other hand, have held that the exhaustion prerequisite applies even where the plaintiff is asserting statutory rights." [Hitchcock v. Cumberland Univ. 403(b) DC Plan, No. 16-5942 (6th Cir. Mar. 14, 2017)]
Squire Patton Boggs

Discussions on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

How Long Has Electronic Renewal Been an Option for ERPA Renewals?
"I renewed today through Pay.gov and I don't remember that being an option last time I renewed."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

How to Do RMD Calculation When Account Includes Participant Loan?
"An HCE's account value at 12/31 was $1,000, but there was an outstanding loan of $45,000 at the time. Would we calculate the RMD with a $1,000 balance or a $46,000 balance?"
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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2017 BenefitsLink.com, 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 BenefitsLink.com, 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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