Retirement Plans Newsletter

September 19, 2017 logo logo
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Webcasts, Conferences

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program and Abandoned Plan Program Workshop
September 25, 2017 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Benefits Briefing 2017
November 9, 2017 in CA
Trucker Huss

►See 189 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1264 Recorded Webcasts


New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum

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New Concerns for Employers and HR Departments Post-Equifax Cyber Breach
"Recent high-profile breaches, including the Equifax hack, have placed plan fiduciaries on notice that the risk of a cyber-attack is real. To combat this risk, ... plan fiduciaries [should take specific] steps to protect plan assets from cyber-attacks ... Plan fiduciaries should document any measures taken to improve data security, including all interactions with service providers and any changes implemented as a result of such interactions. Plan sponsors should also consider communicating security tips to plan participants."
Holland & Hart LLP


Certificate in Retirement Plans

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Last Chance - The Certificate in Retirement Plans provides an overview of defined benefit and defined contribution plans, Social Security, basic investment principles, qualified plans, and 401(k) plans and the legal and regulatory environment surrounding retirement plans today.

Review Your 401(k) Providers Regularly: Here's How
"Start with your investment advisor ... The recordkeeper RFP/RFI ... RFP/RFI evaluation ... The last step -- Conversion ... [T]he vast majority of 401k plans have December 31 year-ends and most plan sponsors like to convert to new providers effective with the new plan year beginning January [1] If your plan year ends December 31, there are good reasons not to run with the crowd: ..."
Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants

Ted Talks! The Benna401k Comes Alive
"[Three designs] eliminate the complexity and the cost of the traditional 401k. They remove the requirement to have a plan document, to have a summary plan description, to have to file 5500 form, to have all this paperwork when employees terminate. All that disappears.... The easiest, Model One, has absolutely no rules.... [It] could be offered to all employees. All employees to be given the opportunity to make contributions via payroll deduction. It could have an employer contribution, either match or otherwise, but it doesn't have to. It has absolute total flexibility.... There is technically no plan in Model One, so there isn't a plan sponsor. The amount that the employee can get a tax break is less than what they can get with the standard 401k.... The closest [example] is what the states are moving into doing with the mandated payroll deduction IRA programs."
Fiduciary News

Gucci Sued Over 401(k) Plan Fees, Transamerica Funds
"The lawsuit challenges Gucci's relationship with its 401(k) service provider, Transamerica Retirement Solutions LLC. Gucci allowed Transamerica to fill its $96.5 million plan with expensive, proprietary funds that earned fees for Transamerica at the expense of plan participants, according to the complaint filed Sept. 15 in a federal court in New Jersey. Gucci also failed to rein in the revenue-sharing payments that Transamerica received in connection with the plan, the lawsuit alleges."
Bloomberg BNA

States May Be Enacting Their Own Fiduciary Duty Rules: Are You Covered Under Your E&O Policy?
"With full implementation of the DOL Fiduciary Duty Rule pushed back to July 1, 2019, questions linger as to whether the Rule will survive at all and, if so, to what extent. Now, state agencies and lawmakers are stepping into the breach to enact their own fiduciary duty rules for the financial services industry."
Briggs and Morgan, via Lexology


Form 5500 Reporting Update

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Oct. 2 webinar. Navigating the maze of changes with Form 5500 can leave you lost. Learn what and when to file, as well as some recent changes that may impact your filings. Discount for BenefitsLink readers.

Are Robo-Advisors Fiduciaries? (PDF)
23 pages. "This paper addresses whether robo-advisors are 'fiduciaries.' The simple answer is 'yes.' As registered investment advisers, robo-advisors are deemed to be 'fiduciaries' that owe a fiduciary duty of loyalty to their customers and can be liable for breach of fiduciary duty.... Merely labeling robo-advisors as 'fiduciaries' does not signify what fiduciary standard of care they are subject to, which should be of most interest to investors and regulators[.]"
Melanie L. Fein, via SSRN

CBO Cost Estimate for H.R. 2823, Affordable Retirement Advice for Savers Act
"H.R. 2823 would repeal regulations that are commonly referred to as the 'fiduciary rule.'... The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates that the bill would have a negligible effect on revenues for the period between 2017 and 2027.... CBO and JCT estimate that enacting H.R. 2823 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits by more than $5 billion in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028."
Congressional Budget Office [CBO]

Pension Risk Strategies Accelerate with Changing Dynamics
"80% of plan sponsors have accelerated funding, largely due to increasing [PBGC] fees and the prospect of lower corporate taxes ... A majority of respondents say they now have a dynamic de-risking investment strategy in place and are moving forward with risk transfer projects ... Almost 60% of respondents claim they are considering plan termination within the next ten years. In the 2017 survey findings, about 59% indicated their timeline to consider termination was 10 years or less, whereas the 2015 survey results revealed only about 46% made such considerations."

The Government's Next Target: Your 401(k)?
"Proposed tax hits on 401(k) contributions could cut into the U.S. economy ... But staving off these changes and closing the retirement shortfall gap could actually ignite growth[.]"
Institutional Investor

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

More Hurricane Relief and Expansion of DOL Relief for Irma Victims
"Leave donation program was extended [by IRS] to assist victims of Hurricane Irma ... [The DOL] extended the Harvey guidance to victims of Hurricane Irma ... Deposit of payroll deductions ... Blackout notice requirement relief ... ERISA plan claim procedure deadlines and COBRA election deadlines."
Winstead PC

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Support for Say-on-Pay Remains Strong
"Average support for say-on-pay resolutions reached 91% during this just completed proxy season, up slightly from 90% in 2016, with an accompanying decline in the failure rate to 1% from last year's 2%. In fact, 93% of companies received more than 70% support in 2017 for their say-on-pay resolutions."
Willis Towers Watson

on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

FICA Replacement Plan: Vesting Schedule Permitted?
"We recently took over a FICA Replacement plan. The plan has a 7% employee contribution and a 13% employer contribution. The employer contribution account has a vesting schedule that begins at year 5 with 50% vesting. I was under the impression that at least 7.5% had to be 100% vested. Is a vesting schedule permitted?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Failure to Stop Deducting 401(k) Deferrals
"An employee submitted an election to stop making 401(k) contributions shortly before her hardship distribution. Payroll continued to withhold the 401(k) and did stop it until about 2 months later. How to correct?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Mid-Year Change from a Safe Harbor QNEC Plan to a Safe Harbor Matching Plan
"A plan is a safe harbor 401(k) using a QNEC. The plan sponsor wants to change the plan mid year to become a safe harbor that uses matching contributions rather than a QNEC. Is that possible? It would seem to reduce the amount of the required QNEC. Notice 2016-16 indicates that changing types of safe harbor plans mid-year is prohibited and uses the example going from a traditional 401(k) to a QACA 401(k)."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Audit-Related Fees Payable from Plan Assets?
"Client's plan is being audited by IRS. We provide support services to the client/plan in connection with the audit and charge a fee. Is that fee eligible to be paid from plan assets?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
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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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