Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 19, 2017 logo logo
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Webcasts and Conferences

Plan Loans and In-Service Distributions

The Audit Trilogy, Parts I, II, and III (On-Demand CLE Package)
ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]


Fee Litigation - Fiduciary Lessons for Financial Advisors
June 28, 2017 WEBCAST

Hot Topics in ERISA Litigation
June 28, 2017 in IL
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Chicago Downtown Chapter

Say it Ainít So: Real Life EPCRS Case Studies You Just Canít Make Up!
July 11, 2017 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

Health Benefits Laws Compliance Assistance Seminar
July 12, 2017 in WV
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Beyond the ACA: Health Policy and Sustainable Health Spending
July 18, 2017 WEBCAST
Altarum Institute

Early Retirement Incentives: Navigating the Legal Issues
August 10, 2017 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

Executive Compensation Immersion Program
September 11, 2017 in AZ

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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[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Disaster Relief Number 17-06, In Response to Severe Storms in Arkansas
"[PBGC] is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-Line Winds and Flooding that began on April 26, 2017, in Arkansas.... The disaster area consists of Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Faulkner, Fulton, Jackson, Lawrence, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Washington, and Yell Counties."
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]


Certificate in Benefit Plan Administration

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Last Call - The Certificate in Benefit Plan Administration provides a survey of the core operational areas involved in administering benefit plans such as risk management, human resources, communication and legal/legislative climate.

States Pushing Fiduciary Rule Standards (With Success)
"Nevada surprised industry insiders by quickly debating and passing Senate Bill 383 revising the Nevada Securities Act to stiffen the fiduciary standard. The bill states that any 'broker-dealer, sales representative, investment advisor or representative of an investment advisor shall not violate the fiduciary duty toward a client' imposed in a separate statute. That separate statute imposes the 'duty of a fiduciary' on all financial planners.... Other states, such as New York and California, are considering fiduciary statutes of their own."

What Are the Best Funds for Your 401(k) Plan?
"Whether you are considering an off-the-shelf design to keep costs low, or you prefer a more customized plan (that may cost more), you will need to understand the risks and potential benefits associated with the different approaches to investment offerings.... Here are 14 things to consider when considering which investment options are the best 401(k) funds for your plan."

Allianz Workers Win Class Certification in Suit Over 401(k) In-House Funds
"U.S. District Judge Josephine L. Staton June 15 conditionally granted the plan participants' motion for class certification. Participants sufficiently showed they have standing to continue as a class by producing evidence suggesting that Allianz managed and selected funds for the plan based on whether the funds would benefit the company rather than the participants[.]"
Bloomberg BNA

Who Really Loses When a Multiemployer Pension Plan Fails?
"Employers are not in the driver's seat when it comes to multiemployer pension plans. The trustees are charged with making very unpopular and difficult decisions ... Employees, retirees, and the general public will likely blame the employer for these broken promises.... It is possible to make these multiemployer pension plan participants whole. But, the employer faces a gauntlet of regulations, procedures, and potential confusion on the part of the plan participants."
Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP


Automatic Enrollment: The New Norm for Retirement Benefits?

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

June 20 webinar. There may be a place for automatic enrollment, but not at the cost of jeopardizing your Plan's operational integrity or your fiduciary duty. CE Credits available. BenefitsLink discount

ESOPs: Issues to Consider Before Converting from C-Corp to S-Corp
"S-Corps and C-Corps can generally deduct contributions to the ESOP of up to 25% of qualifying employee payroll annually to repay an ESOP loan used to acquire shares of the company. However, S-Corps must include interest as well as principal, where C-Corps base this contribution amount only on the principal paid.... Dividends paid on a C-Corp ESOP are tax deductible so long as they are used to pay down an ESOP loan, or are passed on to employees. However, S-Corp ESOP dividends are generally not tax-deductible."
Butterfield Schechter LLP

California's Bold DB-to-DC Pension Reform: Five Years In
"San Diegans voted five years ago this month to switch all new city hires, except police, from pensions to 401(k)-style individual investment plans, becoming one of the first big cities to take the plunge.... A union official said offering new hires a 401(k)-style plan rather than a pension is having an impact on recruitment, particularly for middle and upper management and skilled positions such as engineering and surveying. Michael Zucchet, San Diego Municipal Employees Association general manager, said the switch reduces services by contributing to an overall vacancy rate in city positions of about 10 percent, rising to 15 to 20 percent in some positions."

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Disaster Relief Notice AR-2017-01, for Victims of Severe Storms in Arkansas
"Victims of the Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding that took place beginning on April 26, 2017 in parts of Arkansas may qualify for tax relief from the [IRS].... Individuals who reside or have a business in Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Faulkner, Fulton, Jackson, Lawrence, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Washington, and Yell Counties may qualify for tax relief."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

2017 Retirement Health Care Costs Data Report (PDF)
"[A] 66-year-old couple retiring this year will require 59% of their Social Security benefits to cover total retirement health care costs. A 55-year-old couple will need 92% of benefits, and 45-year-old couple, 122%.... [A] 65-year-old couple will pay $404,253 ($607,662 in future dollars) for total lifetime health care costs.... [In] ten years, a 55-year-old couple will pay 25% more for the same coverage. In two decades, equivalent insurance will cost a 45-year-old couple over $635,000."

2017 Employee Benefits Report (PDF)
40 pages. "Nearly one-third of organizations increased their overall benefits offerings in the last 12 months, with health (22%) and wellness (24%) benefits being the most likely ones to experience growth ... Organizations that had reduced their benefits package were most likely to have decreased health care benefits (57%). Another one-quarter (24%) decreased wellness benefits ... Most organizations offer retirement plans to help employees save and plan for their financial future. [Defined contribution] plans were the most common, with 90% offering a traditional 401(k) or similar plan and 55% offering a Roth 401(k) or similar plan. Three-quarters of organizations (76%) provided an employer match for their 401(k) plans while 40% matched Roth 401(k) contributions."
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Discussions on
the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Employer-Paid 403(b) Plan Fees
"If an employer begins to pay the related 403(b) fees, does that employer involvement cause the plan to fall under ERISA status to shift the plan from being exempt from ERISA to being regulated by ERISA?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Withhold on Death Benefit Paid to Charitable Not-for-Profit Org?
"I've got a participant who died at age 69 back in December 2016. Her beneficiary designation form says to pay her account balance to a charitable NFP. She was not married at the date of death. Should any withholding be taken from the payment?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Mandatory Employee Contributions to Private College's Money Purchase Plan
"Non-profit organization, non-governmental (a private college) has a qualified money purchase plan under which, as a condition of employment, the employee MUST contribute 5% of pay. Employer then matches anywhere from 5 to 10% of pay, depending upon service, etc. But the SPD and the plan audit notes for the Form 5500 indicate these mandatory contributions are pre-tax. Aren't they supposed to be after-tax?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

What Information Do You Use to Evaluate Investment Funds?
"When a retirement plan's fiduciary (whether it's the plan's sponsor/administrator, a section 3(38) manager, or a section 3(21) advisor) evaluates investment funds to consider which should be added to or removed from a plan's menu for participant-directed investment, which sources of information should the fiduciary use? Does a fiduciary look at the Beta, R2, Sharpe Ratio, Standard Deviation? How does these measures aid, or distract from, one's analysis? Does the fiduciary use Morningstar? Lipper? Bloomberg? Litman Gregory? Zacks? Zephyr? Others? Which sources do you like, and why?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

How to Notify IRS of a Duplicate Filing of the Form 8955-SSA
"I recently made a duplicate 8955-SSA filing on the IRS' FIRE system by mistake. The message the system gives is " ... If your file was submitted in error (it was a duplicate filing), this file will not be passed forward to SSA, however you must notify IRS to close the file." But I can't find any instructions as to how to notify the IRS. Could anybody help?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

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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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