Retirement Plans Newsletter

August 25, 2017 logo logo
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Team Lead / 401(k) Pension Administrator
Nicholas Pension Consultants
in CA

Administration Department Manager
Dedicated Defined Benefit Services
in CA

Business Analyst
Newport Group
in CA

Retirement Operations Specialist
Alerus Financial
in MN

Document and Design Specialist
OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc
in IN

Plan Administrator
Newport Group
in CA, VA

►See 148 Jobs

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Webcasts, Conferences

Ethics, Fiduciary Duty, Errors and Omissions
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

Form 5500 Update 2016
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

457(b) Plans for the 401(k) Administrator
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

Rehired Employees: How to Safely Work with Boomerangs
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

2017 IRA Online Institute
September 5, 2017 WEBCAST

403(b) Prototype Document Workshop
October 10, 2017 in KS
FIS Relius Education

►See 179 Upcoming

►See 1231 Recorded


New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum

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Why Most Participant Communication Efforts Are Horribly Ineffective, and What to Do About It
"Plan sponsors need to increasingly think outside of the box to reach their employees. Years ago, communications were mailed to employees. However, emails, text messaging, podcasts, and streaming video are much more standard communication vehicles today.... Part of the problem with making the message compelling is that retirement plans are inherently boring.... [F]ocusing on the verbiage within the communication could greatly increase the likelihood that the piece elicits the desired action.... Unlike percentages, dollar amounts are a concept that participants can easily grasp."
Cammack Retirement Group


Online Learning Course: Fiduciary Responsibilities for ERISA Plans

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Understand the requirements of ERISA, including penalties, vesting requirements, fiduciary responsibilities, plans covered by the PBGC, and the roles of the various enforcement agencies.

More 403(b) Plans Offering Target Date Funds as QDIAs
"Target-date funds were offered by 76.9% of [403(b)] plans last year vs. 70.3% in 2015 ... The funds were most popular among the largest plans tracked by the survey -- those with 1,000 or more participants -- with 85.8% offering this option in 2016.... Last year, target retirement/life-cycle funds accounted for 85% of [qualified default investment alternatives (QDIAs)] in plans offering auto enrollment. Balanced funds placed a distant second with 8% of plans."
Pensions & Investments

Text of IRS Publication 4482: 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuities for Participants (PDF)
Revised Aug. 2017. "As a participant in a 403(b) plan, you need to be familiar with the tax rules governing your 403(b) annuity so you can: [1] maximize your retirement benefits, [2] comply with the law, and [3] avoid additional taxes and penalties."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

DOL Again Signals Death of Fiduciary Rule's Arbitration Ban
"A legal challenge to the fiduciary rule's anti-arbitration provision will 'likely be mooted in the near future,' the [DOL] told a federal district court. The statement is the latest indication that the department may be working to undo portions of the Obama-era rule, including the anti-arbitration provision, which is aimed at making it easier for investors to bring class actions against financial advisers" [Thrivent Financial for Lutherans v. Acosta, No. 0:16-3289 (D. Minn.; letter to the court, filed Aug. 23, 2017)]]
Bloomberg BNA

Retirement Plan Investment Lineup Construction for Future Markets
"Most defined contribution plans have investment lineups comprised of an array of mutual funds. Other investment vehicles may include white labeled funds, Collective Investment Trusts, or separate accounts, depending on the plan sponsor's priority, and often influenced by the size of the plan. But mutual funds tend to be the most popular investment vehicle for these plans. One of the concerns for investing in the future is the prediction by some analysts that market returns will decline from their historical averages."
Cammack Retirement Group


How to Draft IRA Beneficiary 'See-Through' Trust Provisions

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

September 9 webinar. Learn the critical aspects of naming a trust as beneficiary of a retirement account and how to avoid some of the most common mistakes. CE Credits. BenefitsLink discount


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Comments to PBGC on Regulatory Planning and Review (PDF)
"We recommend that the PBGC promote a correction program that is similar to correction programs at other agencies of jurisdiction.... The PBGC has revised premium filing procedures and instructions to require reporting of certain undertakings to cash out or annuitize benefits for a specified group of former employees. The Chamber strongly discourages collection of this information ... We encourage the PBGC to move forward with the missing participant program.... In 2016, the PBGC issued a rule lowering the penalty on late payment of premiums.... we again urge the agency to apply the changes as well to any penalty assessments for pre-2016 plan years where the penalty assessment has not yet been resolved."
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Publication 1220: Specifications for Electronic Filing of Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G for Tax Year 2017 (PDF)
150 pages, August 2017 revision date. Includes a "First Time Filers Quick Reference Guide" with information about Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE), which is used to request authorization to file Forms 1097, 1098 Series, 1099 Series, 3921, 3922, 5498 Series, 8027, 8955-SSA, 1042-S, and W-2G electronically through the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) System. Excerpt: "Allow a 45-day processing timeframe prior to the earliest information return due date."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Status of Labor and Employee Benefits Resolutions Under the Congressional Review Act (PDF)
2-page chart identifies and describes each legislative resolution signed into law, and shows the corresponding activity and position of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

How to Guard Employee Benefit Plans from Cyberattacks
"[P]lan fiduciaries should: [1] Examine contracts with outside administrators concerning notification duties in the event of a security breach. [2] Look to state law notification requirements.... Many state requirements go beyond minimizing cybersecurity risks to addressing identity and fraud protection more generally ... Since former employees and their dependents could reside anywhere, make sure to conduct a comprehensive state law analysis to determine a benefits plan's legal requirements following a data breach[.]"
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Human Capital: Enabling Employees to Build Their Resources
"As the cost of health care for active employees continues to outpace wage growth, employers are focusing resources on the well-being of their current workforce. But this places more responsibility on individual employees to identify and finance coverages that provide security after the employment relationship ends. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly important for employers to develop a strategy for identifying programs that can support employees in addressing these needs, but without an increased financial burden on the employer. Here are some ways that employers can address this issue[.]"
Allen Steinberg

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Signals Key Golden Parachute Items for Review on Audit
"In early 2017, the IRS updated its Golden Parachute Payments Guide (Audit Techniques Guide) for the first time since its 2005 issuance. While intended as an internal reference for IRS agents conducting golden parachute examinations, [the Guide] offers valuable insight for both public and private companies, and recipients of golden parachute payments, into how IRS agents are likely to approach golden parachutes when conducting an audit."
McDermott Will & Emery

on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Employer Leaves Affiliated Service Group; Distribution Restrictions?
"A dentist was part of an affiliated service group that sponsors a 401(k) plan (still ongoing). She was paid through her own entity and her staff was paid by a partnership under which she had partial ownership with two other dentists (who were set up in the same vein). In 2016 she sold her interest in the partnership and pulled the staff that had been working at her location from payroll under the partnership to payroll under her entity (former A-Org). Is there a severance of employment here? Can she and her staff take a distribution of deferrals from the 401(k) plan that the partnership sponsors?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Terminating Plan with Unresponsive Beneficiary
"Terminating plan includes a deceased participant's account in the 5-figure range. Beneficiary designation names his spouse, but she isn't responding to requests for distribution instructions. Plan requires distribution within 5 years of the death. Recordkeeper says IRS regs prohibit a force-out of the account of a death beneficiary and that the plan must stay open until the beneficiary decides to withdraw the balance. Is that true?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

ROBS and Bankruptcy
"I have a client who did a ROBS (rollover business start up). His entire retirement savings is now invested in a company that is on the brink of bankruptcy. If the company files for bankruptcy, what happens?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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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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