Retirement Plans Newsletter

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in NJ, NY

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Estate & Pension Advisory Board
in NJ

Retirement Plan Compliance Analyst QKA
Newport Group
in AL, AZ, CA, FL, IA, IL, IN, KS, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NY, OH, PA, TX, VA, WI, Telecommute

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National TPA
in AZ, CA, CO, GA, IL, NC, OH, TX

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Webcasts, Conferences

Fringe Benefits and Payroll Compliance Virtual Boot Camp
October 18, 2017 WEBCAST

Bold New Approaches to Social Security Reform in the 21st Century
October 19, 2017 in DC

Fiduciary Institute
November 6, 2017 in DC
American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

►See 165 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1303 Recorded Webcasts


New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

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IRS Issues Final Regs on Updated Mortality Tables
"The regulation does contain a provision allowing plan sponsors to 'opt out' of the change in mortality basis for the 2018 plan year, if the plan sponsor determines the change 'would be administratively impracticable or would result in an adverse business impact that is greater than de minimis' ... [M]inimum lump sum calculations of participant benefits must reflect new mortality regardless of this election. The PBGC may need to issue a technical update to confirm how this option would impact PBGC variable premium determinations."
Findley Davies | BPS&M


Phased Retirement Programs: Exploring the Issues

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Oct. 27 webinar. Learn practical and legal advice for implementing a phased retirement program. Identify the situations in which phased retirement may be beneficial, structure arrangements in such a way as to avoid the practical and legal pitfalls.

Fee Litigation Sets Sights on Corporate Retirement Plans
"Currently, there are more than 20 different financial institutions facing lawsuits challenging these in-house 401(k) investments.... [O]nly two were defeated at the motion to dismiss stage. The remainder are either pending, have had their motions to dismiss denied, or have engaged in multi-million-dollar settlements."
Willis Towers Watson

Rothification of DC Plans 'A Stupid Idea,' Ex-Labor Official Says
"Losing the flexibility to be taxed now or later narrows investor choices, and at worst may discourage middle-class earners from saving for retirement ... Deferring taxes on retirement income until the withdrawal is a major part of the discussion as it involves a host of variables, overall family income, age, hardships, life events, Social Security, inheritance, future tax rates and tax brackets."
Advisor News

IRS Reveals FY 2018 Compliance Priorities
"The IRS says planned topics include ... [1] qualification requirements for defined contribution church plans; [2] the application of new regulations regarding qualified nonelective and qualified matching contributions; [3] the availability of single-sum distribution options; [4] the use of all three segment rates to credit interest in a cash balance plan; and [5] the treatment of excess contributions in simplified employee pension (SEP) plans."

S&P 1500 Pension Funded Status Increased by One Percent in September
"The estimated aggregate funding level of pension plans sponsored by S&P 1500 companies increased by one percent to 83% funded status in September 2017, as a result of an increase in discount rates and supported by positive equity markets. As of September 30, 2017, the estimated aggregate deficit of $392 billion represents a decrease of $40 billion as compared to the deficit measured at the end of August 2017. The aggregate deficit is down $16 billion from the $408 billion measured at the end of 2016[.]"


Reforms, Regulations & Retirement Realities

Sponsored by ASPPA

This October the nation's retirement industry elite will converge at ASPPA Annual, in our nation's capital, with insights from industry insiders, regulators, pundits and the nation's leading voices. Join us!

St. Joseph's Nurses Get Initial OK for $42M ERISA Settlement
"Nurses with New Jersey's St. Joseph's Healthcare System won preliminary court approval for a $42 million settlement of claims that the system underfunded their pension plan -- a deal that was reached after the U.S. Supreme Court said church-affiliated entities are exempt from [ERISA]."
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, via Trial

Protect Your Social Security Benefits After Data Breaches
"The most secure action a person can take is to create their own 'my Social Security' account.... Social Security uses information in your credit file to verify your identity. If the file is frozen because of a security freeze, the agency can't find what it needs to ask questions to confirm that you are who you say you are. The agency uses what it calls an 'identity services provider.' Want to guess who that is? Equifax currently has the $4.3 million contract for one year to verify people's identities."
The Washington Post; subscription may be required

How a 40-Year-Old Bill Is Key to This Local Pension Lawsuit in California
"In his suit against the county, George Luke, a resident of Santa Rosa since 1975, argues that the county did not follow the rules when it significantly boosted public employee retirement benefits in 2002 and 2003. He claims the Board of Supervisors did not hire its own actuary to make cost projections. It did not publicly disclose those costs at least two weeks before the increases were approved and a public hearing was never noticed.... Because they did not follow the law, 'the action is void,' Luke argues. 'It's like it never happened.' ... [T]hose enhanced benefits ... are expected to eat up nearly $50 million a year in additional expenses from the county budget between now and 2030."

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Pay Ratio Disclosure Is 'On Schedule': SEC Issues Additional Guidance
"In testimony last week before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, [SEC] Chair Jay Clayton advised that the pay ratio disclosure rule 'will continue to be implemented on schedule.' To that end, the SEC and the Staff of the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance recently issued new guidance to assist companies in preparing their pay ratio disclosure as the compliance date approaches."
Drinker Biddle

So, You Think You Don't Need to Worry About Your Clawback Policy Because the SEC Has Not Issued Final Rules?
"Less than 24 hours after news of the data breach at Equifax was reported, we saw politicians and the media demanding compensation clawbacks.... [T]he board of Equifax [is expected] to announce soon its decision on whether to claw back compensation from key executives, particularly the former CEO and former chief security officer, who have both left the company since the news. While we wait to hear from the board, let's look at what might happen if a company does not claw back compensation."
Winston & Strawn LLP

Employee Reaction Is U.S. Employers' Biggest Challenge with Pay Ratio Disclosure
"One half of U.S. companies say their biggest challenge in complying with the forthcoming pay ratio disclosure rule is forecasting how their employees will react ... The poll also found nearly half of respondents haven't considered how, or if, they will communicate the pay ratio even though employees' reaction to the disclosure is their greatest concern."
Willis Towers Watson

on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

What Code to Use for a Qualified Hurricane Distribution?
"If a participant takes a Qualified Hurricane Distribution, which distribution code must be used. Because the 10% penalty is waived for Qualified Hurricane Distributions, would it be Code 2 if the participant is under 59 1/2? Thank you."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Some Participants Didn't Get Allocation of Profit Sharing Contribution
"A 401(k)/Profit Sharing Plan has made a number of profit sharing contributions over the years. Unfortunately, it was recently discovered that several eligible employees were not given a profit sharing contribution. The sponsor is now deciding between VCP vs. SCP under EPCRS based on recommendations provided. [1] What do you call these missed contributions (plus earnings) once made? Are they QNECs? [2] Are these missed contributions 100% vested once deposited into the plan? I assume so, if they are QNECs."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

One Plan > $250,000 But Other Plan Is Not. Form 5500 Required for Other Plan?
"Employer had a 401(k)/Profit Sharing Plan, and for 2016 they put in a Cash Balance Plan. The assets are: Profit Sharing: $375,000; Cash Balance: $100,000 (all receivable). Because the assets between the two plans are greater than $250k, is a 5500 required to be filed for the Cash Balance as well? I'm actually not seeing the $250,000 requirement in the instructions directly, so I just wanted to be sure."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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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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