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Defined Contribution Regulatory Testing / Reporting Specialist
Bank of America
in NJ

Senior Plan Administrator
MGA Consultants
in MD, NC

Defined Benefit Operations Specialist
Charles Schwab
in TX

Paralegal 2 - ERISA
Wells Fargo
in MN

Retirement Plan Administrator
Advanced Benefits Consulting

Team Lead / Retirement Plan Consultant
DWC - The 401K Experts

401(k) / Pension Administrator
Legacy Retirement Solutions
in PA

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Webcasts, Conferences

Legal & Regulatory Update for Retirement Plan Professionals
September 14, 2017 in CA
Western Pension & Benefits Council - Orange County Chapter

Pension De-Risking Glide Paths: Foundations, Considerations, Implementation
September 19, 2017 WEBCAST
Society of Actuaries

After-Tax and Roth Opportunities in 401(k) or 403(b) Plans
November 8, 2017 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

Construction Industry Benefits Conference
November 13, 2017 in CA
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

►See 213 Upcoming

►See 1244 Recorded


New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum

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Employing the Proper Definition of Compensation
"The [DOL] and the [IRS] routinely report common operational failures ... [detected] in the context of retirement plan audits and investigations. One of the operational failures that is always at or near the top of that list concerns plan sponsors failing to employ the correct definition of compensation for purposes of performing necessary compliance testing and/or determining benefit allocations. [This] article is intended to briefly highlight some of the issues that can occur when the incorrect definition of compensation is employed as well as to provide an explanation of some of the differences between the most commonly employed definitions of compensation."
Legacy Retirement Solutions


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.

IRS Addresses Erroneous Approvals for Form 5500/8955-SA Extension Requests
"Approximately 710 of the approvals the IRS Ogden office sent concerning Forms 5558 which had been filed concerning this year's filing date contained erroneous information for the taxpayers who filed them. The notices of approval were dated 2017, but referred to the tax period ending Dec. 31, 2006, and said that the return for which the extension had been requested must be filed by Oct. 15, 2007."
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA]

Interesting Angles on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule, Part 60
"Viewed superficially, the [Tibble v. Edison] decision could be interpreted to mean that plan fiduciaries must always select the cheapest share class. However, that is not correct.... [P]lan committees, and their fiduciary advisers, have two alternatives when evaluating share classes. The first is to select the lowest-cost available share class, for example, an institutional share class.... The second is to select a higher-cost share class (for example, retail shares) where the increased expense can be justified by revenue sharing for operating the plan, for example, for compensation to the recordkeeper and adviser. Both alternatives are legally permissible. However, there are several issues."

White Label Fund Options for DC Plans
"Plan design features such as auto-enrollment and auto-escalation are making a significant impact on saving behavior, just as we have seen target-date funds revolutionize the asset allocation option in most plans. Meanwhile, the core lineup of the vast majority of plans has remained largely unchanged over the past 20 years.... [This article focuses] on reframing the design of actively managed options with an emphasis on fewer, broader investment options to ease participant decision making."
Willis Towers Watson

Employer Stock in a 401(k) Plan
"Even if the employer stock is entirely appropriate from the viewpoint of fiduciary requirements as a plan investment, the employer and the plan are not fully protected from risk of a lawsuit and the negative consequences deriving from such a course of action regardless of the outcome.... Employers that elect to continue offering employer stock in 401(k) plans may find the following initiatives can mitigate these concerns ... Employers that elect to remove their 401(k) plan's employer stock option typically follow an extended process during which they lay the groundwork for such elimination[.]"


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.

Can 403(b) Plans Now Invest in Collective Investment Trusts?
"So why did [the University of California system] decide that it was okay to add CITs to its 403(b) plan? According to [a recent article], the university obtained a private letter ruling from the IRS which is alleged to provide a specific exemption to Cal ... The problem is, no such private letter ruling [can be located by this author], and Cal would not provide a copy of the ruling to the article's author. However, one clue as to what the private letter ruling might contain is the statement in the article that the ruling was 'not recent.' "
Cammack Retirement Group

Aggregate Funded Ratio for U.S. Corporate Pension Plans Decreased in August (PDF)
"The aggregate funded ratio for U.S. corporate pension plans decreased by 0.9 percentage points to end the month of August at 83.2 percent, up 7.3 percentage points over the trailing twelve months ... The monthly change in funding resulted from a 1.8% increase in liability values, which was partially offset by a 0.7% increase in asset values. The aggregate funded ratio remains relatively flat quarter-to-date and is up 1.3 percentage points year-to-date."
Wilshire Associates

DuPont Offers Buyouts to 9,500 Retirees
"DuPont quietly offered about 9,500 of its U.S.retirees a chance to exchange their pensions for a lump-sum buyout or small monthly annuity. The Wilmington-based company made the offer last week, just days before it completed a nearly $150 billion merger with The Dow Chemical Co. ... Pensioners whose plans had vested are eligible for the buyout or annuity and have between Sept. 11 and Oct. 20 to accept the offer. Payments will be made at the end of November or early December[.]"

Retirement Account Loan Strategies
"[T]hings you should do before submitting your loan request[:] [1] Model the loan to make sure it doesn't put too much of a strain on your current cash flow.... [2] Compare this to your budget and adjust spending as needed. [3] Run a retirement projection to see if you are on track to reach your retirement goals. If not, determine what changes you can make now to get on track."
Financial Finesse

Why Do People Move from One IRA Sponsor to Another?
"9 percent of all IRA owners transferred their IRA assets to another firm within the last 24 months. Most of these transfers were conducted by working Americans rather than those retired (82 percent vs. 18 percent).... [Y]ounger IRA owners (ages 40-44) are more likely to move their assets than those ages 45 or older (29 percent vs. 11 percent).... [T]he top two reasons people give for selecting another company to manage their retirement assets are relationships and recommendations."


Do We Need a 'Harmonized' Fiduciary Standard?
"This legal requirement that the interests of one's principal must come before those of one's clients clashes directly with the legal requirement that the interests of one's clients must come before those of fiduciaries such as registered investment advisors subject to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. This has always been ground zero -- the precise point where the rubber meets the road -- in the fiduciary wars of the last decade."
Morningstar Advisor

Benefits in General

Comprehensive FAQs for Employers on Hurricanes and Other Workplace Disasters
"This list of frequently asked questions was originally prepared ... in response to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. It has been updated several times over the course of the past 12 years, most recently in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey striking Texas and Louisiana in August 2017, and in anticipation of Hurricane Irma striking Florida in September 2017. This article addresses many employment-related issues facing employers in the wake of hurricane-related disasters; ... in addition to federal laws, [it covers] certain state laws, especially those in the Gulf Coast area."
Fisher Phillips

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Get Ready for the Pay Ratio Disclosure Rule (PDF)
"[C]ompanies should be working on the assumption that pay ratio disclosure will be required for 2018 proxy statements.... While it is still possible that the SEC could delay the implementation date for pay ratio disclosure, there have been no public announcements from the SEC that this is under consideration. In addition, it does not seem likely that the SEC would take action on the pay ratio requirement before any of the currently vacant commissioner positions are filled."
Mayer Brown

Executive Compensation Priorities, Fall 2017
"Preparations for CEO pay ratio disclosures should be underway.... Check equity plans and bonus plans to determine whether shareholder reapproval is necessary.... Review the performance metrics and targets used for 2017 annual and long-term grants to determine whether changes should be made for 2018 grants.... Review compliance with Section 409A of the IRC.... Ensure that 'top hat' plans continue to be limited to a select group of management or highly compensated employees."
Morgan Lewis

on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Amount Available for Hardship Distribution Following a Loan
"Plan allows loans and hardship distribution only from employee deferrals (no gains). Employee contributes $10,000, balance is $12,000. Then receives a loan for 50% vested balance ($6,000 total). In the employee's situation, he would qualify for up to $10,000. But I believe the employee can receive no more than $6,000 as a hardship distribution. Agree?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

WEPs and Governmental Defined Contribution Plans
"Does anyone know how Social Security's Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) would apply to a governmental defined contribution plan? For example, some governmental agencies have done away with DB plans as their Social Security replacement plan, and moved new hires into DC plans. Some of these new hires have Social Security earnings from prior jobs and are wondering how or if the WEP would apply to them."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Hardship Distribution for an Alternate Payee?
"Can an alternate payee (ex-spouse) request a hardship distribution from a plan? The plan document is silent. The AP first wanted a loan, which obviously cannot be done because payments cannot be made via payroll deduction."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Section 4979 Excise Tax on Excess Contributions Due to ADP Failure
"Does the IRC section 4979 excise tax on excess contributions apply only for one year or does it instead apply for each subsequent year until the ADP failure is corrected? I find lots of commentary saying a 6% excise tax on excess contributions into an Individual Retirement Account applies every year until correction, but I've found nothing suggesting this is the case for the 4979 excise tax."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

NAPA Announces the Retirement Industry’s Top DC Wholesalers
National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

Connect   LinkedIn logo   Twitter logo   Facebook logo, Inc.
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Lois Baker, J.D., President
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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