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Recordkeeping Associate
Leading Retirement Solutions, LLC
in WA

Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Administrator
Oriental Pension Consultants, Inc.
in FL

401(k) Plan Administrator
Compass Retirement Consulting Group
in NH, Telecommute

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[Official Guidance]

Text of SEC Risk Alert to Broker-Dealers, Advisers and Investment Companies on Cybersecurity: Ransomware Alert (PDF)
"Five percent of broker-dealers and 26 percent of advisers and funds ... examined did not conduct periodic risk assessments of critical systems to identify cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, and the potential business consequences.... [T]en percent of the broker-dealers and four percent of investment management firms examined had a significant number of critical and high-risk security patches that were missing important updates. The Division of Investment Management and OCIE have provided [an IM Guidance Update] and information that firms may wish to consider when addressing cybersecurity risks and response capabilities.... [FINRA] has created a webpage with links to cybersecurity-related resources, including a cybersecurity checklist for small firms and a report on cybersecurity practices that highlights effective practices for strengthening cybersecurity programs."
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]


Certificate Series -- Certificate in Strategic Benefits Management

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

This certificate will help you define your objectives for attracting and retaining talent in your organization. Receive tools to measure the effectiveness of your programs—in both return on investment and the impact to your company culture.

How 401(k) Advisers Can Create Effective Financial Wellness Programs
"[T]he U.S. spent more than $670 million on financial education programs in 2013. The hope is that by teaching Americans the importance of savings -- and how to save -- Americans will in fact save. Unfortunately, this is not true.... [P]articipants' confidence in their understanding of the fund played more of a role in their investment decisions than the actual risk profile of the fund."

Military-Member Employees Sue FedEx Over Alleged USERRA Violations
"According to the lawsuit, because thousands of service members employed by FedEx regularly work hours and receive compensation that are not fixed, their compensation has been 'not reasonably certain.' ... The lawsuit claims that since 2002 FedEx and the pension plan defendants have applied a policy for making pension and retirement contributions for periods of qualified military service that did not comply with USERRA, because they did not apply the 12-month look-back formula that USERRA requires."

Trump's 2018 Budget Reportedly Targets Federal Retirement Programs
"According to [one report], Trump's spending plan ... will require federal workers to contribute an additional percentage point to the Federal Employee Retirement System each year until they match the federal contribution, likely within five to six years. The total increase in cost to employees would be around 6 percent at the end of the phase-in period.... The plan also eliminates cost of living adjustments for current and future FERS employees, and it would cut Civil Service Retirement System COLA adjustments by 0.5 percent."
Government Executive

Solving for Data Transparency in the Retirement World
"The migration to super omnibus accounts and the increasingly complex and interdependent retirement marketplace has led to a demand for more transparency, because robust reporting can help the firms involved provide services more effectively.... [ICI's Retirement Plan Reporting(RPR)] solution ... is based on the records of service providers (such as a plan recordkeepers or administrators). RPR contains two main plan-level data sets: plan information and plan investments."
Investment Company Institute [ICI]


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

Sponsored by ASPPA

Keep up to date on the latest rules and regulations with the ERISA Outline Book, THE resource for information on qualified plans. Choose from two great formats; hardcopy or online, including access to a fully searchable and cross-referenced website.

Target Date Fund Design and Decision Drivers
"[D]esigning a glide path based on a representative participant profile is rather like creating one average size shoe to fit an entire population. In most cases, it won't be a good fit. Instead of focusing on a representative participant, ... glide paths should be designed to suit most investors in a plan based on two key principles: [1] Appropriately balancing capital appreciation and principal preservation objectives as a function of time to the target date; [2] Maximizing the sustainability of a participant's retirement investments in the event of market shocks."
MFS Institutional Advisors, Inc.

Puerto Rico Goes to Court Over Failing Public Pension System
"Puerto Rico is seeking help from federal court to restructure the debt of the U.S. territory's public pension system, which is projected to run out of money this year. Gov. Ricardo Rossello said late Sunday that the government has been unable to reach a deal with creditors to whom it owes some $3 billion.... Rossello said retired workers will still receive their pensions, and that the government will dip into its general fund once the pension system itself runs out of money."
ABC News

Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office Evaluates Teacher Pension Funding Bill
"The Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office ... concludes that the measure would change its financing but would leave benefit provisions intact.... The bill would ... accelerate the amortization of the unfunded accrued liabilities ... by: [1] computing the unfunded liabilities using the market value of assets; [2] providing for a fresh start amortization of the unfunded liabilities; and [3] providing a schedule of payments that would amortize the unfunded liabilities over approximately 20 years, based on a schedule of payments increasing at specified rates."
National Tax-Deferred Savings Association [NTSA]

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Controlled Group and Affiliated Service Group Rules for Retirement and Cafeteria Plans (PDF)
"[A] foreign-based corporation (or group of individuals) may have wholly owned subsidiaries in other countries that in turn have wholly owned subsidiaries in the U.S., which are in fact part of a controlled group. Most often, these U.S. controlled groups do not have centralized operations and are not even aware that there are other related entities in the U.S.... Less familiar to many service-type companies are the rules treating affiliated (through ownership) service organizations as a single employer for retirement and cafeteria plan purposes. The ownership thresholds triggering application of these rules are much lower for this type of group than for controlled groups."

Discussions on
the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Do Rules on Truth-In-Lending Notices Apply to 401(k) Loans?
"Is the federal Truth-In-Lending information required to be in loan documents for a 401(k) plan's loan to a participant?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Synthetic GIC Reporting
"Does ASC 820 apply to synthetic GICs? These should be presented at contract value and no longer get the FV disclosures, correct? Are Synthetic GICs fully benefit responsive?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Counting Service for Vesting Purposes After an Acquisition
"Company A acquires 100% of the stock of Company B. Each company maintains its own 401(k) plan. After the acquisition, Employee X is transferred from Company B to Company A, so X begins to participate in Company A's plan and stops participating in Company B's plan. Must Company A's plan provide credit for X's service with Company B, for vesting purposes? If not, would it make a difference if Company B's plan later is merged into Company A's plan?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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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