Retirement Plans Newsletter

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Retirement Plan Administrator
Steidle Pension Solutions, LLC
in NJ

National Associates, Inc. (Farmers National Banc Corp.)
in OH

Regulatory Counsel
Alight Solutions
in IL

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Webcasts, Conferences

Employee Plans-Retirement Plan Distributions and Related Taxes
IRS [Internal Revenue Service]

Your 401(k) Is Not Okay: VCP Corrections for Incorrect Definition of Compensation and Other VCP Trends
October 17, 2017 in CA
Western Pension & Benefits Council - San Diego Chapter

8th Annual Inside Alternatives Conference
October 23, 2017 in CO
Charter Financial Publishing Network Inc.

403(b) Prototype Document
November 14, 2017 in PA
FIS Relius Education

►See 156 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1311 Recorded Webcasts


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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2017-63: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates Applicable for October 2017 (PDF)
"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates used under Section 417(e)(3), and the 24-month average segment rates under Section 430(h)(2) ... In addition, this notice provides guidance as to the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities under Section 417(e)(3)(A)(ii)(II) as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008 and the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate under Section 431(c)(6)(E)(ii)(I)."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


8th Annual Inside Alternatives: October 23-24 | Sheraton Denver Downtown

Sponsored by Financial Advisor Magazine

Learn about alternative ways to protect and grow your clients' principal at the largest alternative investments event designed exclusively for financial advisors, wealth managers and family offices. Receive $50 off registration with coupon code benefitslink

[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Disaster Relief Announcement 17-17 in Response to Wildfires in California
"[PBGC] is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to wildfires that began on October 8, 2017, in California.... The disaster area consists of Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma and Yuba Counties."
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Cybersecurity Threats: What Retirement Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries Need to Know -- and Do (PDF)
"Identify and document who has what responsibilities for strategy implementation within the plan sponsor organization, the fiduciary body, and at third-party service providers ... Entities involved in benefit plan cybersecurity should agree to the frequency and type of testing procedures to be conducted and by whom ... Include ongoing training of staff involved with benefit plans and with direct or indirect access to benefit plan data.... Evaluate service provider controls and security programs ... Determine the level and type of insurance coverage the service provider maintain[.]"
Poyner Spruill LLP, via Journal of Pension Benefits

How Do Consumers Respond When Default Options Push the Envelope? (PDF)
Working paper. "[H]igher defaults increased average contribution rates 60 days after a website visit by 20-50 basis points of pay off of a base of 6.11% of pay.... [T]he highest default (11%) increases the likelihood of not participating by 3.7 percentage points. The evidence suggests that erring on the high side when choosing a default contribution rate is less likely to generate unintended consequences than erring on the low side."
John Beshears, Shlomo Benartzi, Richard T. Mason, and Katherine L. Milkman, via Voya Financial

More Than a Quarter of U.S. Retirees Underestimate Basic Living Expenses in Retirement
"26 percent of retirees said their basic living expenses in retirement were higher than they expected prior to retiring. Another 4 in 10 of retirees underestimated health care and long-term care costs. On average, two-thirds of retirees' expenditures are spent on basic living expenses and health care and long-term care costs."


Things Have Changed Are You Up-To-Date?

Sponsored by ASPPA

Keep up to date on the latest rules and regulations with the ERISA Outline Book, THE resource for information on qualified plans. Choose from two great formats; hardcopy or online, including access to a fully searchable and cross-referenced website.

Who Are the Top 403(b) Providers?
"Small nonprofits ... may struggle to find time to even look for a provider, much less handle tasks associated with a retirement plan. Nonprofits unsure of just how to go about a search may simply contact one of the larger 403(b) providers. The biggest 403(b) players are presented [in this article]."

Another Union Plan Withdraws Its MPRA Benefit Reduction Application
"The Southwest Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Pension Plan out of Austintown, OH was the fifteenth (and last) multiemployer plan to file for benefit suspensions under MPRA. [On Friday, Oct. 13,] a letter popped up on the MPRA website withdrawing that application."

Central States Funding Update after MPRA Benefit Reduction Denial
"[N]egative net cash flow of over $2 billion annually for a fund that likely has about $14 billion left in it now means depletion fairly soon considering that those benefit payouts would continue to grow as revenue sources dry up. Assuming no revenue infusions (federal bailout) the percentage that benefits need to be cut corresponding to the years until asset depletion assuming those cuts would look something like this: 0% - 8 years; 30% - 13 years; 50% - 20 years[.]"


Bad News: Your 401(k) Won't Give You a Decent Retirement
"The rise of the 401(k) would not be much of a problem if these accounts provided an effective way to husband assets for retirement periods that are growing longer, or if Social Security and employer pensions were as secure as they used to be.... Social Security's full retirement age is increasing to as high as 67 (for those born in 1960 or later) from the traditional 65. The change means that those subject to the maximum retirement age who nevertheless retire at 65 will receive 86.7% of their full benefits. In other words, most new retirees are facing a benefit cut, one way or another."
Los Angeles Times

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Instructions for Form W-12: Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Application and Renewal (PDF)
Rev. Oct. 2017. "What's New: ... You will be prompted to submit supporting documentation online. Once you have uploaded your identity proofing documentation, IRS will review it and make a determination.... The address for submitting your application by mail has changed." [Also available: Form W-12, rev. Oct. 2017]
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Eleventh Circuit Opinion: ERISA's Six-Year Statute of Limitations is Subject to Express Waiver (PDF)
"In particular, this interlocutory appeal requires us to determine whether a defendant is capable of expressly waiving the six-year statute of repose contained in ERISA Section 413(1) -- or whether instead, the protection provided by [that section] is so essential, so fundamental, that it (seemingly almost alone among personal rights) is inherently indefeasible and unwaivable. We won't bury the lede. In response to the district court's certified question, we answer yes -- [that section's] statute of repose is subject to express waiver." [Sec'y, U.S. Dept of Labor v. Preston, No. 17-10833 (11th Cir. Oct. 12, 2017)]
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

How the New CEO Pay Ratio Guidance Should Relieve Uncertainty, and Save You Time and Money
"Companies and their counsel, previously wary of using reasonable estimates and statistical sampling, should be comforted by an acknowledgment that the burden of proof in SEC enforcement actions is extremely high.... By not having to 'audit' the accuracy of pay data when they believe in good faith it is an accurate representation of their pay demographics, companies will reduce compliance costs and concern that their systems might not have precise and accurate pay data for all employees.... The guidance on statistical sampling and reasonable estimates may open the eyes of companies that have been reluctant to use these approaches before the guidance was issued."
Willis Towers Watson

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Severance Plan Administrator Abused Discretion
"The Court found that the administrator's interpretation of a severance plan, which resulted in denying the former executive's claim for severance pay, was an abuse of discretion because it directly contradicted the terms of the severance plan." [Langley v. Howard Hughes Mgmt. Co., L.L.C. Separation Benefits Plan, No. 16-20724 and 17-20217 (5th Cir. June 1, 2017; unpub.)]
Baker McKenzie

Treasury Report Recommends Repeal of Pay Ratio Rule
"A Treasury Department report providing recommendations on how to reform the regulation of U.S. capital markets urged Congress to repeal the Dodd-Frank pay ratio rule in discussing elimination of non-material disclosures ... The report also recommended that if Congress determined the disclosure was worthwhile, the regulatory responsibility for pay ratio be moved from the SEC to the Labor Department."
HR Policy Association

Press Releases

NARPP Introduces New Retirement Program Called Icon
National Association of Retirement Plan Participants [NARPP]

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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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