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July 19, 2017 logo logo
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Webcasts and Conferences

PEO Transition: Time to Take Control of Your Business Destiny
July 25, 2017 WEBCAST
ABD Insurance & Financial Services

Reference Based Pricing Plans
July 26, 2017 WEBCAST

Transforming the Participant Experience: Trends and Strategic Solutions
August 8, 2017 WEBCAST
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.

Documenting Your EBP Audit: What You Need to Know
August 9, 2017 WEBCAST

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Interesting Angles on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule, Part 55
"In effect, the DOL is asking questions about two alternatives. The first is whether 'insurance intermediaries,' such as IMOs, should be allowed to serve as 'financial institutions,' which would allow independent insurance agents to use the Best Interest Contract Exemption.... The second question is whether to continue to include fixed indexed annuities, along with fixed rate and variable annuities, under the 84-24 exemption.... It is likely that one or both of those solutions will be permitted when the rules are revised by the current leadership at the DOL."


ASC's Pre-Approved 403(b) Plan Document Program is Available Now!

Sponsored by ASC

Meet your clients' document requirements with 5 new 403(b) plan types available on ASC's DGEM system. ASC's Document Generation and Management (DGEM) system offers a unique approach in managing your plan document needs with ease. Learn more!

Fidelity Wins Stable Value Lawsuit
"The prudence claim in this case ... seems to boil down to a complaint about where on the risk frontier this particular investment fund was located.... The duty of loyalty claim is more curious.... In 2009, obviously, the market was suffering from what economists might call a supply shock, and Fidelity made a decision to lock down capacity rather than chase returns. That any of that is analyzable as an ERISA duty of loyalty issue seems like a stretch." [Ellis v. Fidelity Management Trust Co., No. 15-14128 (D. Mass. June 19, 2017)]
October Three Consulting

The 401(k) Match Is Back, and It's Getting Bigger
"Company matches in 401(k)s are on track to hit 4.7 percent of employee salaries this year, up from 3.9 percent in 2015 and way up compared to 3 percent in 2009[.]"
The Washington Post; subscription may be required

The Small Business Retirement Savings Challenge (PDF)
"91% of small employers without a plan would be at least somewhat more likely to start a plan if the cap on the current tax credit for starting a plan were increased to $5,000 ... and adjusted to cover all initial costs.... 86% of small employers with a plan would be at least somewhat more likely to offer automatic enrollment if they were eligible for a $500 credit for doing so[.]"
LPL Financial

Oregon State-Run Retirement Plan Requires Employer Action Beginning November 15, 2017
"Following completion of the initial pilot program, OregonSaves is scheduled to roll out in phases, starting with the largest employers. The first mandatory registration deadline is November 15, 2017 and applies to organizations with 100 or more employees in Oregon ... In July, these employers should expect to receive general information about the program from the state. In October, the state plans to send instructions on how to either register with the program or certify exemption. Payroll deductions for these employers will begin in January 2018.
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP


The Advisor's Guide to the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Sponsored by The National Underwriter Company

Authored by ERISA experts at The Wagner Law Group, this Guide delivers a powerful combination of expert explanations and legal analysis along with vital Q&As that provide reliable, direct answers to vital questions before they arise. BENLINK for 10% discount.

Discount Rates for Social Security or Pension Decisions
"[T]he fact that the proper discount rate is the investor's expected rate of return, means that the 'right' discount rate will vary from one person to the next, based on their investment approach and risk tolerance. For those who are more inclined towards aggressive investments, a higher discount rate may be used, while those who are conservative will use a lower discount rate of interest ... [I]nvestors must still be cautious to pick a discount rate that is actually realistic to the portfolio in the first place -- otherwise, an unrealistically high discount rate will lead to decisions that turn out to be less-than-optimal after the fact, when the money-in-hand doesn't actually produce the expected results!"
Nerd's Eye View

Should You Use a Robo Advisor for Retirement Investing?
"A robo advisor may be a good fit for your IRA or taxable investments if you want to automate your investing and don't want to be involved in day-to-day decision making. Robo advisors generally aim to perform in line with the market, rather than trying to beat it, in order to capture market gains. If you want to make more customized decisions about your investments or try to beat the market, you might want to work with an investment professional."
U.S. News & World Report

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
"Which employers can sponsor a 'church plan,' and which employees can such a plan cover?"
S. Derrin Watson, on BenefitsLink


Four Ways to Cut Fat 401(k) Retirement Fees
"Most Americans are paying too much when it comes to retirement fund management.... What's the best way to avoid these fees? [1] Always work with a 'no-load' fund company.... [2] Don't go with 'house' funds.... [3] Always read your fund disclosures.... [4] Make a move if you're getting gouged."
John Wasik in Forbes

Benefits in General


American Benefits Council Letter to Senate Finance Committee: Successful Employer-Sponsored Benefits System Depends on Smart, Forward-Thinking Tax Policy
"[T]he tax incentives for health and retirement plans are typically scored as the largest income tax expenditures in the federal budget ... [T]he tax 'expenditure' for employer-provided health plans -- attributable to the exclusion of employer contributions from individuals' income and payroll tax -- is a relative bargain compared to the enormous federal expenditures on the Medicare and Medicaid programs, even though employer plans offer far superior coverage.... Second, the tax 'expenditure' for employer-provided retirement plans is not actually an expenditure at all -- it is a tax deferral."
American Benefits Council

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Public Company Summer/Fall To-Do List: 5 Steps Toward CEO Pay Ratio Disclosure
"[1] Form a team.... [2] Determine the message and audience.... [3] [G]ather, and process the data necessary to determine the median employee and the median employee's compensation.... [4] Decide how and where in the proxy statement to present the CEO Pay Ratio disclosure and prepare a mockup of the disclosure.... [5] Determine the corporate governance process and an appropriate timeline for completing the process."
Latham & Watkins

Discussions on
the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Unreduced Early Retirement Provision Causes a Prohibited Forfeiture?
"Suppose a plan allows for an unreduced early retirement benefit at age 55. Normal Retirement Date is age 65. The plan was frozen a couple of years ago. A participating employee (whose benefit is not high enough to run into the section 415 limit) has turned 55. The plan does not allow for in-service distributions. If he waits until age 65 to retire, it seems there has been some benefit left on the table -- so has an impermissible forfeiture of benefits occurred? Is the plan required to offered in-service distributions at 55? Does it make a difference if a participant is no longer employed?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Florida 'Documentary Stamp Tax' on 401(k) Loans?
"News to me: Florida collects a 'documentary stamp tax' on 401(k) loans. Is there a 1099 involved? Or any other tax form? Is the amount reduced from the loan proceeds, or taken on top of the loan, like a fee? How is it remitted to the State of Florida? A form and a check? Online?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Loans to Terminated Participants?
"Does ERISA permit a new plan loan to a participant after termination of employment? The participant still has an account balance in the 401(k) plan."
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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