Retirement Plans Newsletter

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Benefits Attorney
The Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l
in VA

Retirement Plan Specialist
Johnson Bank
in WI

Implementation Specialist
BlueStar Retirement Services, Inc.
in FL

Relationship Manager - Operations
Strategic Retirement Partners
in IA, RI, Telecommute

Product Manager
in NY

Managing Attorney - Employee Benefits
in OK

►See 146 Jobs

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Webcasts, Conferences

IRA Excess Contributions and Recharacterizations
September 7, 2017 WEBCAST

Handling IRA Legal Issues
September 12, 2017 WEBCAST

Complex World of RMDs: A Case-Study Approach
September 26, 2017 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

LGBT Issues in the Workplace
September 27, 2017 in IL
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Chicago Downtown Chapter

Is Your Leave Program Compliant? Getting and Staying Ahead in this Constantly Changing Landscape
October 10, 2017 in MA
New England Employee Benefits Council

Tax Treatment of Popular Fringe Benefits
October 10, 2017 in VA
Littler Mendelson

403(b) Plans for 401(k) Administrators
October 16, 2017 in GA
FIS Relius Education

►See 202 Upcoming

►See 1231 Recorded


New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum

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[Guidance Overview]

The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Charting a Course, Avoiding Collisions and Potential Litigation
"Does the creation of this fiduciary duty under the DOL's exemption result in a potential cause of action at all under state law? If so, what state law or duties will be applied if and when a purchaser chooses to attempt to enforce that fiduciary duty in a state court litigation? ... What are the primary areas of concern during the transition period for litigation, particularly class action litigation, involving financial institutions and advisers under the DOL's temporary rule? ... [W]ill the financial institution (or insurer), as well as the insurance agent, face potential claims of fiduciary breach, given that it is unlikely the institution itself has established the requisite relationship of trust and dominance?"
Carlton Fields


Online Learning Course: 401(k) Plan Administration

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Learn more about plan design issues, plan investments, fiduciary responsibility and plan fees, employee communications and investment education, automatic enrollment, participant loans, distributions, and plan amendment and termination.

Excessive Fee Suit Alleges Fiduciary 'Abdication'
"[P]laintiffs (who have clearly never been recordkeepers) allege that, since the [two defined contribution] plans were 'administered in an identical fashion, this fact had "virtually no effect" on the level of services that [Fidelity Management Trust Company] was required to provide to the Plans compared to the services it would have had to provide to a single plan.' Moreover, since the 403(b) plan was frozen to new contributions and participants near the beginning of the class period, they claim that Fidelity only had to process contributions and investment elections for one plan." [Larson v. Allina Health Sys., No. 17-3835 (D. Minn., 310-page complaint filed Aug. 18, 2017)]
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA]

Does Your Investment Policy Statement Have Gaps?
"Here are some red flags: [1] An [investment policy statement (IPS)] that is designed to protect your advisor or vendor.... [2] An IPS that doesn't have a section on fee review.... [3] An IPS that doesn't discuss QDIA or target date fund review.... [4] An IPS that locks you into decisions."

Synthetic Equity and Pension Plan De-risking (PDF)
"Pension plans typically de-risk by buying liability matching bonds and selling equities.... [This] results in a direct tradeoff between the desire to reduce funded status volatility versus maintaining higher expected returns. Derivatives, however, provide plan fiduciaries with additional flexibility versus simply allocating between these two asset types. A derivative strategy [the authors] call 'Synthetic Equity' can be used by pension plans to maintain expected returns and retain equity exposure, yet still reduce funding level volatility."
River and Mercantile Derivatives

Important Facts About 401(k) Plans (PDF)
14 pages. "[1] 401(k) plans are the largest share of DC plan assets, with more than two-thirds of DC plan assets held in 401(k) plans. [2] More than one-third of 401(k) plan participants are younger than 40.... [3] Most 401(k) plan participants receive plan contributions from their employers.... [4] Equities figure prominently in 401(k) plans, and younger 401(k) plan participants are highly engaged in equity investing. [5] 401(k) plan participants have concentrated their assets in lower-cost funds. [6] Fewer than one in five 401(k) plan participants have loans outstanding."
Investment Company Institute [ICI]


Now is a great time to join Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB)

Sponsored by WEB - Worldwide Employee Benefits Network

WEB members represent more than 25 professions and 30 areas of expertise within the pension and benefits industry -- administrators, consultants, attorneys, accountants, investment managers, communications experts and benefits managers. Join today.

Reasons Why Roth Plans Are More Popular with Millennials Than Baby Boomers
"For millennials, Roth plans 'were always there.' That's not the case for baby boomers.... Earlier in a career, income and tax brackets may be lower where the tax benefit is not as strong as a motivator for making contributions to retirement plans.... Constant rumors of future tax hikes make Roth vehicles attractive to those who are OK paying tax now in order to avoid higher tax rates during retirement. Young workers benefit from this as they are most likely in lower tax brackets now than they will be as their careers progress.... The argument of 'getting as much money off the IRS's radar as possible' seems to resonate."
Fiduciary News

600,000 Connecticut Residents Could Join State-Run Retirement Savings Plan
"After a half-year-long delay in gathering enough members to get off the ground, the state's Retirement Security Authority met for the first time [August 24], with the task of setting up a new payroll deduction savings plan for as many as 600,000 residents who do not have traditional plans.... State residents could begin to register for retirement savings accounts in 2019 or 2020."

Participants Approve United Furniture Workers Pension Benefit Cuts
"The pension fund identified 9,595 participants and beneficiaries eligible to vote, and delivered ballots to 9,273 ... Of those, 21% voted to reject the suspension. While only 1,041 ballots were in favor of the reduction, the plan will take effect Sept. 1 because a majority of eligible voters receiving a ballot did not vote to reject it. It is the second MPRA approval and the first one to include a partition, which calls for the [PBGC] to provide financial assistance for a new successor pension plan to be overseen by the pension fund's trustees."
Pensions & Investments

Rhode Island Hospital Pension Seeks OK for 40 Percent Benefit Cuts
"St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island Retirement Plan on Aug. 18 asked a Rhode Island Superior Court judge for permission to enter receivership, which it says would allow for a 'long-term wind-down' of the plan. The plan -- which was 90 percent funded when the hospital was sold to California-based Prospect Medical Holdings Inc. in 2014 -- now has a deficit of more than $43 million and could become insolvent as early as 2026, according to the [123-page] receivership petition filed with the court.... The decision to seek receivership was driven in part by St. Joseph's belief that the pension plan would lose 'church plan' status on or before Dec. 31, 2018, the petition says."
Bloomberg BNA


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For over 20 years, we've helped employers find the best-informed candidates to fill their benefits job openings -- learn more!

Puerto Rico Oversight Board Sues, Wants Governor to Enforce Pension Reforms
"Puerto Rico's Financial Oversight and Management Board filed a lawsuit [August 28] in U.S. District Court in San Juan to enforce parts of its fiscal plan calling for furloughs and pension reforms, following Gov. Ricardo Rossello's refusal to carry out those provisions. The complaint asks the court for an injunction prohibiting the governor from refusing to enforce or comply with the board's fiscal plan."
Pensions & Investments


Pension Action Center Director Cautions ERISA Panel on Electronic Delivery of Pension Documents
"The current system of mailing printed copies of key documents, particularly Summary Plan Descriptions and individual benefit statements, is key for retirees to understand their pensions and make sure they receive what they are owed, said [Jeanne Medeiros, director of the Pension Action Center at the Gerontology Institute, part of UMass Boston's McCormack Graduate School]. For starters, many of them don't have computers to see electronic documents."
The Gerontology Institute Blog, University of Massachusetts Boston


American Benefits Council Letter to PBGC: Recommendations for Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions
"Of all of PBGC's programs, the [Early Warning Program] has perhaps the greatest potential to disrupt the normal operation of the American businesses to which it is applied. Yet the Program operates without any statutory or authorizing regulatory guidance.... [The Council is] very concerned about the recent use of the financial soundness of the plan sponsor as a factor in PBGC's exercise of its enforcement and interpretive authority.... PBGC can and should publish its reports on its financial condition based on the same assumptions that Congress has imposed on private plans."
American Benefits Council

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Disaster Relief Notice TX-2017-09, for Victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas
"Individuals who reside or have a business in Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, and Wharton Counties may qualify for tax relief.... [C]ertain deadlines falling on or after Aug. 23, 2017 and before Jan. 31, 2018, are granted additional time to file through Jan. 31, 2018."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

How to Launch an Employee Compensation, Bonus or Benefits Plan Internationally
"Geographical differentials in remuneration arise out of market forces and laws. Wage rates run highest in rich, developed economies with high standards of living. And employee benefits dovetail with local laws.... Yet in recent decades business drivers have pushed multinationals to align or harmonize certain pay, bonus and benefits offerings internationally ... [T]oday's cross-border project teams and instantaneous internal communications motivate employers to extend certain compensation and benefits offerings across borders."

on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Using Prior Income for Purposes of Proposed DB Plan
"Client has had self-employment consulting income for each year for the past 20 years. Started a business with employees selling widgets, which ran from 2005 through 2010. Owned 100% of both businesses. Looking at starting a defined benefit for 2017. Could it use the SE income in the 2005-2010 years when the controlled group existed, or does the existence of employees during that period mean the plan would need to ignore it?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Wrong Form 5500 Filed; VCP Appropriate?
"A small employer 401(k) plan that allows for employer securities as an investment option has been filing a Form 5500-SF instead of a Form 5500 with a Schedule I. Should they amend the prior year filings? If so, should they go through the voluntary compliance program?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Company with SIMPLE IRA Program Acquires Company with 401(k) Plan
"Company A sponsors a SIMPLE IRA program. Company B sponsors a safe harbor 401(k) plan. Company A acquired 100% of Company B through a stock acquisition in July 2017. Both companies want to maintain their plans as is. I'm aware of the transition rules for coverage testing, but could the separate plans continue as is past the transition period as long as they meet coverage?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

NTSA Mourns Suzanne Baldino Jones
National Tax-Deferred Savings Association [NTSA]

Connect   LinkedIn logo   Twitter logo   Facebook logo, Inc.
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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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