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May 25, 2017 logo logo
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Webcasts and Conferences

Evaluating Target Date Funds
Multnomah Group

Healthcare Hot Topic of the Month
June 7, 2017 WEBCAST
University Conference Services

'Retiree Liabilities for Dummies' -- Solutions for Managing Pension, Healthcare and Life Obligations
June 20, 2017 WEBCAST
University Conference Services

Employee Benefit Plans for Partnerships
June 29, 2017 WEBCAST
ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

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[Guidance Overview]

DOL Confirms June 9 Applicability Date of the Fiduciary Rule and Exemptions
"While the June 9th applicability date is firm, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the date on which the transition period ends, January 1, 2018, could be delayed.... [It] seems clear that Secretary Acosta is committed to the mandated review, to getting additional public input, and to giving affected businesses sufficient time to react to any changes that may be made."
The Wagner Law Group


ASC – Efficient and Cost Effective Retirement Systems

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Small Firm? Large Corporation? ASC is the ideal systems provider for all your TPA needs. Plan documents, 5500s, recordkeeping or compliance systems -- ASC has it all! Interested in learning more? Contact us!

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Signals the Fiduciary Rule Will Become Final
"[D]uring the transition period from June 9th until January 1st, the only conditions for BIC Exemption are: [1] Investment advice is in the 'best interest' of the retirement investor, meaning that it is both prudent and the advice is based on the interest of the investor rather than the adviser. [2] No more than reasonable compensation is charged. [3] No misleading statements are made about the transaction, compensation or conflicts of interest."
Kilpatrick Townsend

[Guidance Overview]

No Delay of June 9 Applicability Date; Additional Guidance Issued on Fiduciary Rule
"Secretary Acosta's article states that although courts have upheld the fiduciary rule as consistent with Congress's delegated authority, the rule as-written may not align with President Trump's deregulatory goals. Consequently, he indicates that the DOL has concluded that it is necessary to seek additional public input on the entire rule. And, importantly, he specifically invites the [SEC] to move forward in its own rule-making, in light of its critical expertise in this area."
McGuireWoods LLP

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Announces No Claims Against Fiduciaries During Phased Implementation Period, Addresses Transition Issues
"FAB 2017-02 provides that during a phased implementation period ending on January 1, 2018, the DOL will not: [1] Pursue claims against fiduciaries who are working diligently and in good faith to comply with the fiduciary rule and related exemptions. [2] Treat fiduciaries as being in violation of the fiduciary rule or related exemptions.... Q&A 11 [of the Conflict of Interest FAQs] clarifies that parties do not need to come into full compliance with the impartial conduct standards until 11:59 pm on June 9, 2017, addressing concerns from financial institutions who wish to test new compliance systems over the weekend to reduce the risk of disrupting ongoing advisory services."
Thomson Reuters Practical Law

No More Delays for the DOL's Fiduciary Rule
"Employers should press their retirement plan advisors for a fiduciary compliance strategy by June 9, 2017. The procedures and agreements reached in the coming months may set the standard for future plan operations, even if the fiduciary rule is eventually restricted."
Holland & Hart LLP


Online Learning Course: Fiduciary Responsibilities for ERISA Plans

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Get the information you need to understand the requirements of ERISA, including penalties, vesting requirements, fiduciary responsibilities, plans covered by the PBGC, and the roles of the various enforcement agencies.

Princeton Joins List of Schools Sued Over Retirement Plans
"Like many other schools, Princeton is accused of failing to effectively negotiate for lower plan fees; choosing high-fee investment options that consistently underperformed their benchmarks; overpaying for record-keeping services by using multiple plan record keepers; and offering a TIAA-affiliated fixed-income fund that unreasonably restricted investors' options."
Bloomberg BNA

Is Your Retirement Plan Ready for a DOL Investigation?
"By adhering to a best practice of proactive and preventive retirement plan administration, plan sponsors will be better prepared for an agency or auditor review. This article looks at a few areas where a plan may be vulnerable, should the DOL come knocking."

Some Plan Sponsors Think They Have Fiduciary Liability Insurance, But Don't
"READ your policy -- Don't take your risk manager's word for it. Fiduciary liability insurance (whether as a rider to another policy or a stand-alone policy) is specifically identified as such and the plan's covered fiduciaries are named as insured under the policy.... Keep a copy of the policy in your plan's permanent file and make certain that it is renewed regularly."
Cammack Retirement Group

Are You Being Too Frugal During Retirement? The Actuarial Budget Benchmark Can Help You Decide
"Now researchers are telling us that many retirees are being 'overly cautious' with their investment and spending strategies. [A] recent analysis ... shows, among other things, 'adults become less optimistic about future economic growth and financial health as they age and 'perhaps as a reaction to declining financial optimism, the average adult 60 years or older will trim their spending by about 2.5 percent every year, or by about 20 percent over a 10-year period.' "
Ken Steiner, FSA Retired


Best Interest Standard Will Benefit Target Date Fund Beneficiaries (PDF)
"The Hippocratic Oath of TDFs should be 'First, lose no beneficiary's money' ... Under a Best Interest Standard, fiduciaries will shop for prudence because it is best for beneficiaries, especially for doing no harm. This will improve the current situation for beneficiaries. The current data shows that the top 10 TDF managers are not the most prudent.... Target date funds should be bought, not sold. With $1.5 trillion in TDFs, the stakes are much higher today than they were in 2008 when TDFs were $150 billion[.]"
Target Date Solutions


The Big Squeeze: Big Bucks Paid to Alternative Investment Managers While Pension Deficits Get Worse
"[A] select few hedge fund and private equity titans have greatly benefitted from this shift into alternative assets, amassing extraordinary wealth, while U.S. public pension funds keep sinking deeper into a pension albatross, failing to deliver on these and other investments. Still, despite this reality, US pensions are rushing to invest more into alternatives, fearing a big downturn ahead.... The problem isn't paying fees when risk-adjusted performance is met. The problem is paying big fees for subpar or average returns in a low-return environment over a long period as your pension deficit gets worse."
Pension Pulse

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Severance Plans and ERISA
"[Y]ou may want to make your severance plan subject to ERISA.... [I]ncentive plans generally would become subject to ERISA as an employee pension benefit plan, while severance plans generally would be subject to ERISA as employee welfare benefit plans. In fact, ERISA contains numerous advantages for the employer/plan sponsor[.]"
Winston & Strawn LLP

Discussions on
the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Which of These Participant Loan Errors Become Reportable Prohibited Transactions?
"[1] The terms of a written loan program satisy DOL and IRS rules, but operational errors occur: [a] a loan is made in excess of $50,000; [b] a loan is set up with semi-annual payments; [c] a loan's payment schedule is compliant but the first payment is not started on time, by mistake, and yet the problem is discovered and corrected before the end of the default period. [2] The written loan program does NOT satisfy DOL rules because loans are permitted made up to 50% of the vested balance of NHCEs but up to 100% of the vested balance of HCEs. [3] A loan is made that complies with IRS rules but the terms of the plan do not permit such loans; the error is corrected under EPCRS."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Partial Termination: How to Handle Accounts That Were Partially Vested and Already Distributed?
"A plan sponsor lost a large contract last year, which caused the dismissal of more than 20% of the workforce on Oct. 1, 2016. We know that a partial plan termination has occurred and that fulling vesting is required for those "affected." One participant terminated voluntarily in March 2016, took a full distribution of the vested portion of his account. The non-vested portion was forfeited and used to reduce the employer's 2017 contribution. Does the non-vested portion of the account become 100% vested and need to be restored?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Safe Harbor Non-Elective Contribution Still Not Made; How to Fix?
"We recently took over a safe harbor non-elective plan. Accountant called to tell me client did not make the 2015 or 2016 safe harbor contribution because 'no one told them how much to contribute.' Then asks if the plan is 'out of compliance.' If the SH contribution for both years is actually made ASAP, is there still a problem?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

DOL, PBGC Partnership Recovers Almost $1.5M for Participants in two Chicago-based Pension Benefit Plans
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

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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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