Retirement Plans Newsletter

May 10, 2017

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Webcasts and Conferences

Innovating Benefits Communication: Connecting with your Modern Workforce
May 25, 2017 WEBCAST
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Cleveland Chapter

2nd Annual National Employee Well-Being Conference & Exhibition
July 25, 2017 in VA
World Congress

Aligning Executive Plans with Traditional Employee Plans
August 3, 2017 WEBCAST
RSM US LLP

Economy’s Impact on Retirement Plans
November 2, 2017 WEBCAST
RSM US LLP

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[Official Guidance]

Text of Treasury Department Denial of Automotive Industries Pension Fund Application to Reduce Benefits (PDF)
"Treasury has concluded that several of the key actuarial assumptions used for the cash flow projections in the Application are not reasonable. Specifically, the mortality rate assumption, the assumption regarding the rate at which married participants will elect a joint and survivor benefit, and the assumption regarding the probability of benefit commencement of terminated vested participants are not reasonable under the standards in the regulations. Because the Application uses projections that rely on assumptions that are not reasonable, it fails to demonstrate that the proposed suspension is reasonably estimated to achieve, but not materially exceed, the level that is necessary to avoid insolvency. Accordingly, the proposed suspension does not meet the statutory requirements for approval[.]"
U.S. Department of the Treasury

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2015 PBGC Data Insurance Tables (PDF)
27 pages. "PBGC is now releasing data in groups, as they become available. The first release includes data in the Summary Tables, Claims Tables and Multiemployer Graphical Supplement [showing zone status changes over time, and distribution of administrative expenses]."
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

The June 9 Fiduciary Deadline and Key Issues for Broker-Dealers
"[B]roker-dealers need to develop internal policies, procedures, training and supervision as quickly as possible in order to be in compliance by June 9. The areas of focus should be: [1] Fiduciary education for home office management, supervisory, and sales and marketing personnel.... [2] Fiduciary training for advisors.... [3] Reasonable compensation for broker-dealers and for advisors.... [4] Selection of investments."
Fred Reish, for fi360

DOL's Fiduciary Rule Countdown
"Advisers and financial institutions need to answer any lingering questions about whether their services include providing investment 'recommendations' for direct or indirect compensation.... Advisers and financial institutions who will be providing services as fiduciaries must implement programs to ensure that they: Offer advice that is in the investor's best interest (i.e., prudent based on the investment objectives, risk tolerance, financial circumstances, and needs of the investor); Charge no more than reasonable compensation; and Make no misleading statements."
Spencer Fane

Potential Impact of Trump Tax Reform Plan on Retirement Plans: What's Old Could Be New Again
"While the Trump Administration has stated that the current version of its 2017 Tax Proposal does not reduce pre-tax contributions to 401(k) plans, speculation continues that a later draft may include curtailment of these contributions or other changes with a similar impact.... [T]he 2014 Tax Proposal provides some insight into the types of provisions that ultimately could be included."
Epstein Becker Green, via National Law Review

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Why Your 401(k) Is Vulnerable as Tax Reform Plays Out in Washington
"[A]lthough getting rid of retirement saving deductions could instantly give the government a huge new revenue source, there could be costly consequences for taxpayers. Already the nation is facing a looming retirement crisis because millions of workers aren't saving enough to cover basic needs like food and housing when they can no longer work. Ultimately, if these people need welfare, Medicaid or other aid, taxpayers could be asked to pick up the burden."
Chicago Tribune; subscription may be required

The Basics of Target Date Funds
"Target-date funds can help retirement investors solve a few problems. With so many options on a retirement savings plan menu, it is hard to know what to choose. But selecting good investments is only one part: Investors must also pay attention to overall portfolio diversification and not take on too much risk by being concentrated too heavily in any one area.... That's where target-date funds come in."
Morningstar

The Evolution of Managed Accounts
"As managed account assets climb, these solutions are seeing major shifts in product development, and they can be especially efficient for certain participant demographics."
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Financial Well-Being as a Technology Solution (PDF)
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Society of Actuaries

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PublIc Pension Funded Ratio Regains Ground Lost in Q4, Surges to 72.0% (PDF)
"The strong equity returns in Q1 led public plan asset growth to outpace the rise in pension liability, increasing the estimated funded status of the 100 largest U.S. public pension plans by $78 billion from the end of December 2016 through the end of March 2017 ... During the first quarter, the deficit dropped from $1.392 trillion to $1.314 trillion. As of March 31, the funded ratio stood at 72.0%, up from 70.1% at the end of December."
Milliman

Form 990 Filing Deadline Approaching
"Tax-exempt organizations that do not file can lose their tax-exempt status, which will affect eligibility to offer 403(b) plans."
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Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

To Defer or Not to Defer? Same-Year Deferral Options under Section 409A
"[If] anticipated tax-reform efforts result in lowering individual tax rates, individuals may wish to defer 2017 income into later years.... [D]eferral elections with respect to calendar year compensation ... are generally required to be made by December 31 of the calendar year that precedes the year in which the services for such compensation are first performed. However, under certain circumstances, it is permissible under Section 409A to make an initial deferral election after the calendar year has commenced."
Morgan Lewis

2017 Proxy Analysis: A New Normal Meets a New Reality
"Executive pay practices settled in to a new normal in 2016, characterized by modest pay increases, continued emphasis on performance-oriented compensation, and annual and long-term incentive (LTI) plan design features and metrics consistent with those of recent years.... Overall, CEO compensation levels increased modestly, as base salary and target bonus increased 2% and 3%, respectively, consistent with the rate of increases in 2015.... Target long-term incentive values ... increased 4% in 2016, compared to 9% in 2015."
Willis Towers Watson

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Lois Baker, J.D., President  loisbaker@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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