Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 20, 2017

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Webcasts and Conferences

Sun Life Summit 2017 - Buckle Up: Riding The ACA Rollercoaster
RECORDED
Sun Life Financial

IRA Update 2017
June 21, 2017 WEBCAST
Collin W. Fritz & Associates, Ltd.

Basics of Traditional IRAs - Establishing / Contributions
June 28, 2017 WEBCAST
Collin W. Fritz & Associates, Ltd.

Health Benefits Law Compliance Assistance Seminar
July 26, 2017 in AR
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Form 5500 Workshop
August 21, 2017 in WI
FIS Relius Education

ERISA Workshop
August 22, 2017 in WI
FIS Relius Education

Employee Ownership Management
October 15, 2017 in CA
Beyster Institute

2017 Executive Compensation Conference
November 7, 2017 in NY
Conference Board, The

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Discussions

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New Comments and Topics

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[Official Guidance]

PBGC Monthly Interest Rate Summary, June 2017
Listed and described are rates that change each month (lump sum interest rates under ERISA section 4022 and the spot segment rates used to determine variable-rate premiums), and rates that change each calendar quarter (for annuity valuation under ERISA section 4044, late premium payments and late withdrawal liability payments).
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Advert.]

ASC Special Announcement!

Sponsored by ASC

ASC is excited to announce the IRS approval of 6 new pre-approved 403(b) plans to manage your clients' needs. Contact us today at sales@asc-net.com to request more information and/or sign up with ASC for your 403(b) document needs.


The Importance of Retirement Plan Record Retention: Whose Job Is It Anyway? (PDF)
"The IRS and federal tax regulations require that records be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any internal revenue law. As a result, records for retirement plans should be kept until all benefits have been paid, the trust has been dissolved and sufficient time has passed such that the plan will not be the subject of an audit."
ERISAdiagnostics, Inc.

The Quandary of Publicly Traded Employer Stock in a 401(k) Plan (PDF)
"[In] the wake of a series of high-profile employee lawsuits seeking recovery against Enron, Lehman Brothers, and other employers for losses from 401(k) investments in employer stock, such funds can ... seem a recipe for disaster. This article examines the quandary that employer stock funds pose for plan sponsors, who must navigate ERISA's careful balance of [1] ensuring fair and prompt enforcement of employee rights under employer-provided retirement plans while [2] encouraging employer creation of these plans."
McDermott Will & Emery, via Bloomberg BNA Pension & Benefits Daily

Amazon/Whole Foods Merger Likely to See 401(k) Consolidation
"Amazon's 401(k) plan is the larger of the two plans, with assets of $2.1 billion and approximately 101,000 participants. The Whole Foods 401(k) plan has assets of nearly $800 million and covers approximately 90,000 participants, according to the most recent Form 5500 data.... Whether Amazon decides to merge the plan or keep two separate plans, either strategy should be straightforward and easily achieved, since it's very likely that the companies can show they are operating separate lines of business[.]"
Bloomberg BNA

Mixed But Encouraging Signs for Retirement Saving by Millennials (PDF)
11 pages. "Over 80 percent (81.37 percent) said they are currently saving for retirement ... While over a third of respondents (37.25 percent) say they are saving 5 percent or more -- which is right on track or close to it -- nearly 18 percent (17.65 percent) say they're saving zero, while nearly half (45.1 percent) are saving at inadequate levels. Together, that's 62.75 percent who are saving inadequately."
Pentegra Retirement Services

[Advert.]

The WBC - Regulatory Rollercoaster: Are You Ready for the Ride?

Sponsored by ASPPA and WP&BC

The Western Benefits Conference is the only Annual, Multi-day, Comprehensive Employee Benefits Conference west of the Rockies. Highly interactive sessions, Thought leaders, Practical industry leading ideas, Networking, Valuable CE credits and more!


Oregon Retirement Program for Private-Sector Employees Moves Forward Without ERISA Exemption
"The program will rollout July 1 for large employers that have volunteered to participate, and the rollout will continue in phases. This is similar to the implementation of the California Secure Choice program."
planadviser

California on Track to Start Auto-IRA Program Despite Loss of ERISA Safe Harbor
"California remains on track to implement the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program, a state-sponsored program requiring employers that do not offer workplace savings arrangements to establish an automatic payroll-deduction program to facilitate [IRA] contributions by participating employees.... This article addresses the background on auto-IRAs, the history of Secure Choice, the impact of the auto-IRA safe harbor and its reversal, and the effect on California employers."
Trucker Huss

How New York City's Pension Costs Threaten Its Future (PDF)
12 pages. "Today, pension contributions stand at a near-record 11% of the city's total budget -- and 36% of payroll alone. They consume 17% of city tax revenues, double the average proportion of the 1990s and early 2000s.... New York's annual pension contributions will soon displace social services as the second-largest spending category in the city budget, behind only education, consuming more than 80 cents of every dollar raised by the city's personal income tax."
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

Most State Pension Plans Paper Over Unfunded Liabilities
"State officials can adopt open-ended amortization to reduce the amount the state must contribute to the pension system each year or to improve the appearance, but not the reality, of the state's current funding effort. Regardless of the reason, open-ended amortization exacerbates funding shortfalls, compounding the risk that the state will have insufficient funds to pay its pension obligations to retired state employees."
Phys.org

Text of CBO Answers to Questions from Senate Budget Committee on Funding Estimates for Federal Employee Pensions (PDF)
"Relative to cash estimates over a 10-year projection period ... an accrual measure would give policymakers a more accurate sense of whether proposed changes to deferred compensation would increase or decrease the deficit. That is particularly important when considering modifications to defined benefit pension plans because such plans involve commitments over long periods.... [But cost estimates] can vary substantially depending on the discount rate used for the accrual measure, which may make them less transparent than a cash-based measure. Accrual accounting also depends on decades of projections for future wages and inflation -- which are highly uncertain."
Congressional Budget Office [CBO]

[Opinion]

Interesting Angles on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule, Part 52
"[It] will be virtually impossible for the DOL and SEC to collaborate on the development of a common, or at least compatible, definition of fiduciary advice and standard of care before December 31.... [A] proposed regulation would probably need to be published in early to mid-September.... That seems almost impossible -- partially because of the need for coordination and partially because the SEC hasn't previously proposed guidance on these issues.... As a result, [this author's] view is that the DOL will extend the transition period, perhaps for as much as a year. That would allow time for the two agencies to work together in a thoughtful manner and at a reasonable pace."
FredReish.com

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of EBSA Request for Nominations to the 2018 ERISA Advisory Council
"The terms of five members of the [Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (the ERISA Advisory Council)] expire at the end of this year. The groups or fields they represent are as follows: [1] employee organizations; [2] employers; [3] corporate trust; [4] investment management; and [5] the general public.... [N]otice is hereby given that any person or organization desiring to nominate one or more individuals for appointment to the [ERISA Advisory Council] to represent any of [these] groups or fields ... may submit nominations [which] must be received on or before August 1, 2017."
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Tear Down the Silos Between HSAs and 401(k)s
"HSAs have triple tax advantages. While funds contributed to either an HSA or a traditional 401(k) are excluded from income taxes, HSA contributions, up to annual limits, are also excluded from FICA and FUTA payroll taxes.... [If] you save your health care receipts in a file today, then during retirement you can withdraw HSA funds tax-free against those years-old receipts, which can turn the HSAs into a fund to pay for more than just future health care expenses."
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Discussions on
the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Hiring Company Owner's Step-son as Plan's Financial Advisor
"Husband owns 100% of the company. Wife works at the company and is a co-trustee of the plan. She would like to hire her son from a prior marriage (who has not been adopted by her husband) as the financial advisor for the company's 401(k) plan. Several other unrelated individuals are company employees. He would receive commissions and fees, of course. The plan allows participants to self-direct the investment of their accounts. Assuming the commissions and fees are reasonable, is this allowed?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Mid-Year Change to Compensation Definition Under Safe Harbor Plan
"Client has a safe harbor plan using a nonelective 3% contribution, and wants to amend the plan mid-year to exclude certain compensation categories. Can this be done, with appropriate advance notice of 30 to 90 days?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Court Orders Florida Manufacturer to Repay Profit-Sharing Plan
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

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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