Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 6, 2017 logo logo
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Webcasts and Conferences

LLCs And Equity Incentive Plans

Health Law Check-Up: Compliance Program Refresh and Recent Enforcement Trends
von Briesen & Roper, s.c.

CSRA SHRM Mini Conference
June 8, 2017 in GA
SHRM - Central Savannah River Area [CSRA]

Employee Leaves of Absence: Understanding How Various Legal Authorities Work Together - Part 3: State and Local Sick Leave Laws
June 14, 2017 WEBCAST

A New Era in Compensation: Modernizing Base Pay Delivery
June 22, 2017 in DC
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Washington Metropolitan Chapter

Health Savings Accounts & High Deductible Health Plans - Tips for Success
June 27, 2017 WEBCAST
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Dallas Chapter

Win New Clients Using Point-of-Sale Plan Design
August 16, 2017 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

View All Webcasts and Conferences

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New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum

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Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds ERISA Exemption for Church-Affiliated Pension Plans
"[T]he employees needed to persuade the justices that waiving the establishment requirement for affiliate-maintained plans was not simply odd ... but so bizarre that the justices should walk away from a straightforward reading of the language.... Although Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined Kagan's opinion ... she pointedly notes that 'organizations such as petitioners operate for-profit subsidiaries, employ thousands of employees, earn billions of dollars in revenue, and compete in the secular market with companies that must bear the cost of complying with ERISA.... This current reality might prompt Congress to take a different path.' " [Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, No. 16-74 (U.S. June 3, 2017)]


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Church-Affiliated Employers Get Win As SCOTUS Clarifies ERISA Exemption
"The opinion also analyzes the difference between the terms 'establish' and 'maintain' in the context of ERISA plans, concluding that the terms are often used interchangeably. In terms of compliance with ERISA's regulatory scheme, the Court said, it is of more significance which entity maintains a plan than who originally established the plan." [Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, No. 16-74 (U.S. June 3, 2017)]
Fisher Phillips

Unanimous Supreme Court Decision in Favor of 'Church Plan' Defendants But Is More Litigation Coming?
"Although this decision is positive news for church plans, it may not be the end of the church plan litigation. Numerous, large settlements have occurred before and since the Supreme Court took up the consolidated cases ... [S]ome will still settle, albeit likely for lower numbers. In addition, Plaintiffs could still push forward with the cases on the grounds that the entities maintaining the church plans are not 'principal-purpose organizations' controlled by 'a church.' " [Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, No. 16-74 (U.S. June 3, 2017)]
Jackson Lewis P.C.

Supreme Court's 'Church Plan' Decision Leaves Key Issue Undecided
"[T]he Court noted that its ruling did not address a second requirement of the law, that an exempt church plan be maintained by an 'organization' that has administration of the plan as its principal purpose.... In its opinion, the Court noted that this issue and a second issue were not before it, and nothing said in the opinion 'expresses a view of how they should be resolved.' The retirement security of hundreds of thousands of current and former employees of religiously-affiliated hospitals, schools, and social services agencies remains in limbo until these issues are addressed." [Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, No. 16-74 (U.S. June 3, 2017)]
Pension Rights Center

Hybrids: The Next Generation of QDIA
"The PPA specified three main forms that a QDIA could take: balanced funds, target date funds (TDFs) and managed accounts.... Of these three ... the early winner, by a large margin, has been the TDF.... But as time passes, those who were defaulted into QDIAs will grow older, and their needs will change, making the one-size-fits-all approach less effective. That can be expected to create more demand for managed account solutions and ... this opens the door for hybrid solutions."
Russell Investments


Frozen plans are different, and need to be managed differently.

Sponsored by Russell Investments

Thousands of pensions have frozen benefit accruals on the path to plan termination. Many more are considering such a step. The Frozen Plan Handbook is an illustrative guide for sponsors who have frozen -- or are considering freezing -- their pension plan.

Bill Would Repeal Fiduciary Rule, Part of Dodd-Frank
"A bill repealing some of the major provisions of Dodd-Frank and the DOL's fiduciary rule will move to the House floor for a vote this week, something that did not happen in previous sessions for similar legislation. That said, even if the House passes it, its chances in the Senate are bleak."
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA]

The State of Financial Wellness (Unwellness?) in America: Findings from Employee Self-Assessments (PDF)
"Overall, an alarming 57% of employees are very or somewhat stressed about their financial situation.... [T]he top sources of stress cited include both immediate and long-term concerns about their finances: saving for the future (67%), paying monthly bills (57%), and credit card debt (42%).... Employees increasingly look to their employers to help them achieve financial security and wellness."

Pension Finance Watch, May 2017
"Driven by decreasing bond yields, the Willis Towers Watson Pension Index declined by slightly less than a full percent. Investment returns were generally positive, but liability growth had greater influence. The index measures 74.1 after May's -0.9% change."
Willis Towers Watson

Vermont Bill Creates Voluntary Retirement Plan for Small Businesses
"The Vermont General Assembly has passed a bill to create a voluntary public retirement option for small businesses known as the Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan.... The plan will be based on a multiple employer plan model, and open to businesses with 50 employees or fewer that do not offer a retirement plan, as well as to self-employed workers. If an employer adopts the program, auto-enrollment of employees will occur, but employees will have the choice to opt out.... The program will initially be supported by fees that would be paid by the program's participants, but allows for the possibility for employer contributions in the future."
Chief Investment Officer [CIO]

Questions to Ask When Your Company Changes Its 401(k)
"[1] Why are we changing retirement plans? ... [2] How will the new options compare to the old program's funds? ... [3] What kind of 'glitches' can I expect from the switch?... [4] What are the key dates during a 401(k) switch?... [5] Are you going to keep me in the loop during the change process? ... [6] Should I change my beneficiary forms?"
U.S. News & World Report

Benefits in General

Guarding Benefit Plans from Cyberattacks
"[P]lan sponsors [should] take the following protective actions: [1] Develop and implement a framework for addressing cybersecurity issues. [2] Address third-party vendor vulnerabilities that could add risk, especially with regard to the electronic transfer of sensitive data to third parties. [3] Back up sensitive data and store it off-network so that it is segregated. [4] Augment passwords with multifactor authentication to access data systems. [5] Increase investment in security software and systems, and get boards of directors more involved in security matters. [6] Consider purchasing cyberliability insurance."
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

How Do I Count My Performance Share Awards? Let Me Count the Ways
"[T]here are 16 different purposes for which a company must count its performance share awards, some of which are the same, but many of which are different. When a company or compensation committee awards performance shares or performance share units, the number of shares delivered to the participant generally depends upon the degree of satisfaction of the performance goals set forth in the award agreement."
Winston & Strawn LLP

Discussions on
the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Moving from Immediate Vesting to a 6-Year Graded Schedule
"A profit sharing plan currently requires 2 years of service for eligibility for an employee to become a participant, with immediate vesting. The plan sponsor wants to lower the eligibility to 1 year of service and introduce a 6-year graded vesting schedule. All existing participants will remain 100% vested. How to handle existing employees who are not yet participants?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

How Can I Post a Reply or Ask a Question on the Message Boards?
BenefitsLink invites you to register as a user of the message boards, so that you can help your colleagues and show off your expertise by posting a reply to someone's question, or by posting your own question. Each of your posts can include a hypertext link to your firm in the 'signature' line -- or you can even post a message anonymously by using a 'handle' rather than your real name. Registration is easy and it's free! Here are step-by-step instructions, with screen shots.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

PlanCheckr, LLC is Certified for Investment Support Services
Centre for Fiduciary Excellence [CEFEX]

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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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