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Webcasts and Conferences

HIPAA Covered Entities: Managing the HIPAA Business Associate Process

IRA Policies and Procedures
August 23, 2017 WEBCAST
Wolters Kluwer

IRA Self Audit Training
August 23, 2017 WEBCAST
Wolters Kluwer

Demystifying Financial Wellness
August 30, 2017 WEBCAST
CAPTRUST Financial Advisors

Fundamentals Series 03: Compensation and HCEs [2017]
September 25, 2017 WEBCAST
FIS Relius Education

403(b) Plans for 401(k) Administrators Workshop
October 9, 2017 in CO
FIS Relius Education

Basics of HIPAA Privacy & Security for Employer-Sponsored Health Plans
October 17, 2017 WEBCAST

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[Guidance Overview]

Major Developments in Fiduciary Rule
"The DOL has submitted to [OMB] a delay in applying the full requirements of the [BICE], and two related prohibited transaction exemptions.... Significantly, the delay leaves the Fiduciary Rule itself in place.... The DOL has issued FAQs [which] note that many providers have already communicated with their customers about the Fiduciary Rule and corresponding changes in services and operations. The DOL expects those communications will frequently be sufficient to function as change notices for purposes of the 408b-2 rules."
FIS Relius


Online Learning Course: 401(k) Plan Structure

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Review considerations for structuring a 401(k) plan. Topics include salary deferral limits and catch-up contributions, matching and profit-sharing contributions, nondiscrimination testing and safe harbors.

IRS Requests Input on Upcoming Presentation on Pre-Approved Plans Opinion Letter Program
"[IRS is] developing a [video] presentation on this topic and would like your input on what to include ... The presentation will cover: [1] Merger of the 'master and prototype' and 'volume submitter' programs; [2] Differences between standardized and non-standardized plans; [3] Opinion letter application period for defined contribution plans; [4] Other changes made by Revenue Procedure 2017-41. [Send an email to the IRS at] by 5 p.m. ET on September 1, 2017 with any suggestions for this presentation."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Interesting Angles on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule, Part 58
"[In newly-issued FAQs, [the DOL] reversed its prior position by responding that [certain] recommendations would not be fiduciary advice.... [T]he 'rules of the road' for recommending increased contributions to plans or IRAs, while avoiding fiduciary status, is to [1] make the recommendation based on an objective measurement, and [2] avoid a concurrent discussion of investments or investment strategies for the plan or IRA."

Many Defined Contribution Plan Sponsors Must Annually 'Notice' Their Participants (PDF)
"As the 2017 plan year is nearing its end, it is important to look ahead at the notices that may need to be provided before the start of the 2018 plan year. The chart [in this article] summarizes the annual notice requirements for each of these notices, including timing, recipients, contents, and method s of delivery. Some plan designs may require multiple notices and some of the notices may be combined or packaged together in one mailing."

Taxpayers' Preferences Between Front-Loaded and Back-Loaded Retirement Savings Plans: The Relative Effects of Economic and Non-Economic Factors
"While archival data show that retirement savers utilize front-loaded plans [e.g., traditional 401(k) plans] to a much greater extent than back-loaded Roth plans (70.6 percent vs. 23.1 percent of defined contribution retirement accounts), the fact that we find a strong preference for back-loaded plans across several experiments and conditions suggests that the greater use of front-loaded plans is an artifact of artificial barriers to participation in back-loaded plans (e.g., income limitations, employer plan offerings, etc.)."
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College


Section 409A: Structuring Compliant Plans and Avoiding Pitfalls

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

This August 22 webinar will help you identify arrangements that are subject to Section 409A, and design and administer these nonqualified deferred compensation plans in a legally compliant manner. CE Credits. BenefitsLink discount

Distributed Ledger Technology and Retirement Savings Infrastructure, Part 1
"[Plan] sponsors and providers have sought to lower costs by leveraging scale ... 'institutionalizing' plan investment ... and simplifying plan design. The movement (among some sponsors) towards explicit pricing (unbundling of investment and administrative services) and lower-cost passive investment strategies is also a response to this pressure. These initiatives are all taking place within the current asset management and plan administration infrastructure ... There is, however, an innovation emerging which some argue will radically change ... current infrastructure and materially reduce both investment and administrative costs across the board: distributed ledger technology (DLT)."
October Three Consulting

Pension Plan Sponsors Would Reap Savings on Longevity Table Delay
"For plan sponsors, a delay could mean lower required plan contributions, reduced variable rate premiums owed to the [PBGC], and an expanded opportunity to offer cheaper lump-sum payouts to employees.... It's uncertain whether the tables will in fact be delayed from their original Jan 1, 2018, effective date. However, the odds that they will have increased after the federal Office of Management and Budget recently designated the IRS rule as 'economically significant.' "
Bloomberg BNA

CFOs Delighted with Pension Risk Transfers (PDF)
"Eighty-three percent of the survey respondents who've executed such a transaction said they are completely satisfied with all aspects of their group annuity purchase, and virtually the same number -- 81 percent -- agreed that plan beneficiaries affected by the transaction are content to receive their pension payments from an insurance company. Eighty-six percent said they believe the arrangement offers those participants greater retirement security in the long run."

Economic and Regulatory Environment May Spur Pension Risk Transfers (PDF)
"Among DB plan sponsors who have not yet purchased an annuity, nearly half said they have discussed the strategy with an outside provider or advisor, and one in five said they expect to purchase a group annuity in the next two years.... Fifty-five percent of survey respondents said that if Washington enacts tax reforms that lower corporate tax rates, their companies will very likely use the tax savings to increase funding of their defined benefit pension plan, and execute either a full or partial liability transfer via a group annuity."


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The Blended Retirement System for the Armed Services: Retention Effects and Continuation Pay Cost Estimates
"Costs are initially higher under the BRS because of service expenditures for [continuous pay (CP)] and Thrift Savings Plan matching contributions, but costs will eventually lower because of the decrease in defined-benefit retirement costs.... The baseline enlisted force is achievable when the CP multiplier is set at or near the floor mandated by Congress. For officers, the floor-level CP multipliers do not maintain baseline retention for any service; CP multipliers close to one year of basic pay for active component personnel are required."
RAND Corporation

Debt Regret Fuels Financial Stress
"[N]on-savers are increasingly challenged by day-to-day financial stresses, compounded especially by credit card debt.... 60 percent of savers and 53 percent of non-savers who have at one time contributed to a 401(k) say their 401(k) is their largest or only source of retirement savings, even though the latter group is not currently contributing. Furthermore, a quarter of non-savers say they are not saving or investing for retirement at all right now."
Charles Schwab

Not Saving More for Retirement? You Should Be Feeling Left Out
"23 percent of all U.S. adults say they've ramped up retirement saving during the past 12 months -- the best showing in six years of polling. And it's younger millennials between ages 18 and 26 who are the most likely (at 30 percent) to say they're saving more.... A strengthening job market and auto-enrollment into company retirement plans have helped millennials get a head start on retirement saving, while older generations have had help fortifying their nest eggs from a steady-as-she-goes economy."


Feeding Frenzy Is Averted as DOL Throws Giant Bone to 225,000 Firms That Dabble in the 401(k) Business
"The [DOL's] new guidance on the fiduciary rule just brought the 90% of advisors who dabble in retirement services out of uncharted territory and onto a more rigorously ruled grid -- one that gives them a much better shot at expanding and elevating their 401(k) practices. The [recent] Conflict of Interest FAQs ... also postpone -- perhaps indefinitely -- the day when those 225,000 advisors become so handicapped by new DOL strictures that the 25,000 advisors who specialize in the 401(k) business will be able to feast on those accounts unchecked[.]"


Public Pensions: A Good Deal for Taxpayers (PDF)
"Pension funds are resilient. Pension funds pose little burden, if any, on taxpayers. Taxpayers' contributions are fully or partially offset by the tax revenues generated by public pension investments in the community and by the local spending of retirees who receive pension checks.... [D]ismantling pensions contributes to income inequality, a sluggish economy, and economic volatility.... [If] governments continue to dismantle public pensions they will inflict $3 trillion in economic damage by 2025."
National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems [NCPERS]

Discussions on
the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Maximum Profit Sharing Plan Contribution for Sole Proprietor
"I am the TPA for a sole proprietor's plan with a small earned income amount. No other employees in the plan. Owner is over 50 and catch-up eligible. Net earned income after Sec. 164(f) deduction is $23,589.75. The 25% PS contribution is $4,717.95. Plan comp is now $18,871.80. What is he eligible to defer? I'm thinking it would be $18,871.80, but our testing software is reporting 402(g) and 415 limit excess amounts. What am I missing?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

'Scrivener's Error' in Document Preparation
"Plan is new comparability design, 3 classes. Adoption Agreement allows allocation for each class to be: [1] a percentage of compensation; [2] a fixed dollar amount; [3] the greater of method 1 or 2. Plan design always was intended to be method 3 (greater of% or $) -- and plan always has used method 3 in operation. When preparing a PPA restatement effective Feb. 1, 2015, we mistakenly checked box 1 instead of box 3. This error was missed when doing the 1/31/2016 year-end valuation, but we've caught it now. Can we simply document the error and correct that page of the Adoption Agreement?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

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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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