Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 17, 2017

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Jobs

Defined Contribution Pension Administrator
Pension Investors Corporation of Orlando, Inc.
in FL

Account Executive / Consultant - Retirement Services
Lockton Insurance Brokers
in CA

Defined Benefit Plan Administrator
Pension Investors Corporation of Orlando, Inc.
in FL

Compensation & Benefit Analyst
Heartland Financial, USA Inc.
in IA

Retirement Services Administrator
Old Point National Bank
in VA

►See 149 Jobs

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Webcasts, Conferences

Legal Issues and Improvement Opportunities in Retirement Plans
October 31, 2017 WEBCAST
Wagner Law Group P.C.

Form 1099 and 945 Reporting: Crossing the Ts on Plan Distributions
November 9, 2017 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

IRA Reporting
December 12, 2017 WEBCAST
Ascensus

►See 154 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1311 Recorded Webcasts


Discussions

New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum


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[Guidance Overview]

Text of PBGC Release 17-7: Pilot Mediation Project Launched to Resolve Certain Termination Liability Collection and Early Warning Program Cases
"PBGC chose Termination Liability Collections cases and Early Warning Program matters for the pilot project as potentially reaping the greatest benefit from mediation.... After one year, PBGC will evaluate the Mediation Pilot's success on multiple metrics, including: Percent of eligible cases opting for mediation, Resolution rate and time to resolution, and Cost savings."
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Advert.]

Find ways to improve your Collection process -- Register today!

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Fulfill your fiduciary duty by attending the Collection Procedures Institute. Learn best practices, trends, legal and legislative updates and network with those who are dealing with the challenges that come with collecting benefit payments.


[Guidance Overview]

New PBGC/Plan Sponsor Pilot Mediation Project for Early Warning Program and Termination Liability Cases
"The Pilot Mediation Project is voluntary and the PBGC will only offer it in certain cases. The PBGC stated that a case will generally not be eligible for the Pilot Mediation Project if [1] the plan sponsor has a minimal ability to pay, [2] there is a pending court proceeding, or [3] there is limited time to act and the plan sponsor has declined to sign a standstill or tolling agreement."
Proskauer's ERISA Practice Center

IRS Issues Model Amendments for Bifurcated Distribution Options (PDF)
"Plan sponsors may limit the extent that bifurcation is available with respect to a participant's accrued benefit. Other limitations may include the number of forms of distribution among which an accrued benefit may be bifurcated or the combinations of forms of distribution that are made available. The model amendments include language that allow for these limitations."
Prudential

Digital Nudges: Next Step in Improving Participant Retirement Savings
"Showing participants the tax incentive of saving in their defined contribution (DC) plan resulted in only an ROI of $1.24 in savings per $1 spent.... Showing participants the matching contributions they will receive had a better ROI of $5.59 in savings, and financial education generated an ROI of $14.58 in savings. However, a simple email nudge showing what amount a participant would accumulate over time or the amount they would get if they took action resulted in an ROI of $1,600."
PLANSPONSOR

401(k) Improvements: Changes Congress Should Consider
"[1] Require the complete suite of 'auto' features ... [2] Require a QDIA in every plan ... [3] Allow a higher Roth 401k contribution limit ... [4] Every party with a signed contract is a fiduciary ... [5] Increase HSA contribution limits ... [6] Outlaw participant loans ... [7] Require electronic notice distribution ... [8] Get all company stock out of 401k plans ... [9] Require use of R6 or similar share classes."
Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants

[Advert.]

SPARK Forum - November 5-7, 2017 -- The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL

Sponsored by SPARK

Join us at the retirement services industry's leading event for top marketing, sales, administration and record keeping professionals. Comprehensive agenda to meet the needs of 401(k) Plan Providers, Financial Advisors and Third Party Administrators.


TIAAA 2017 Lifetime Income Survey (PDF)
Executive summary. "Americans recognize the importance of having a source of monthly income they can't outlive to cover their essential living expenses during retirement ... However, many Americans who are not retired lack access to investment options that can provide guaranteed income for the length of their retirement -- but would like their retirement plans to offer such options."
TIAA

Why Switching from a 403(b) to a 401(k) May Not Be the Best Choice
"This article will discuss a few advantages that an ERISA 403(b) plan has compared to a 401(k) plan; including fewer nondiscrimination testing requirements under the Internal Revenue Code and an opportunity for additional catch-up contributions."
National Tax-Deferred Savings Association [NTSA]

Church Retirement Plans and Retired Ministers May Be Impacted by District Court's Housing Allowance Ruling
"On Oct. 6, 2017, ... Judge Barbara Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin held that Section 107(2) of the Internal Revenue Code violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Code Section 107(2) provides that a minister can exclude from gross income a cash housing allowance provided to the minister as pay for services in the exercise of ministry. The ruling, if upheld, would have a significant impact on ministers who have a portion of their salaries designated as housing allowance, as well as their employing churches. Moreover, it would have a significant impact on church retirement plans and retired ministers who designate a portion of their retirement income as housing allowance excludible from taxable income."[Gaylor v. Mnuchin, No. 16-215 (W.D. Wis. Oct. 6, 2017)]
Ice Miller LLP

The Building and Construction Industry Exemption to Withdrawal Liability
"Withdrawing employers in the 'building and construction industry' ... can be completely exempt from liability, provided three requirements are met ... The term 'building and construction industry' is not expressly defined in ERISA.... Employers that have common ownership must be cautious because withdrawal liability will be triggered if any entity in the same controlled group performs covered work without resuming contributions to the pension plan. Moreover, if withdrawal liability is triggered, any entity in the controlled group could potentially be responsible for paying that liability."
Greensfelder

Consolidation Hitting Third Party Administrators
"The relatively quiet domain of third party administrators is seeing increased consolidation as owners hit retirement age and plan sponsors demand more robust services.... [As] plan sponsors become savvy about the fees they are paying and their own fiduciary responsibilities, they want additional offerings and more choices. Many smaller TPA firms don't have the resources to compete in the marketplace and still make money, which has fueled a major wave of buy-outs."
Employee Benefit News

DOL Asks for Stay in 'Unnecessary' Fiduciary Rule Challenge
"Thrivent Financial for Lutherans challenged the fiduciary rule Sept. 29 and asked the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis for preliminary relief from a ban on having investors waive their right to bring class-action lawsuits. Government lawyers in an Oct. 13 brief said that request 'is unnecessary and therefore inappropriate here.' "
Pensions & Investments

After Eight-Year Bull Market, Most Working Americans Say Stock Market Is 'Best Place to Grow Retirement Savings'
"America is eight years into one of the longest-running bull markets, and the percentage of working Americans who say the U.S. stock market is now a good place to invest for retirement has increased to 65%, up from 45% a year earlier.... The percentage of workers who say they will 'have enough savings to live on comfortably' throughout retirement increased to 62%, compared to 52% in 2016. In addition, 46% say they will need to work until at least age 70, which is down from 50% last year."
Wells Fargo

Are 457(b) Plan Assets at Risk During an Acquisition?
"If the acquirer is a governmental entity, the 457(b) plan in question will become taxable when no longer subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture under 457(f).... However, if the acquirer is another private tax-exempt institution, there can be some credit risk that arises with the acquisition of the firm by such an entity if the acquirer does not resume responsibility for the assets and liabilities of the 457(b) in an asset acquisition and the entity being acquired does not retain sufficient assets to pay the benefits, since the plan itself is unfunded."
PLANSPONSOR

[Opinion]

The State of Retirement Security in the United States
"For all people age 65 and older, only 8 percent receive income in retirement through a defined contribution plan and the median amount received is $5,400. Even for seniors in the top 20 percent, this source of income accounts for just 12 percent of retirement income (no group receives more than 12 percent)."
National Public Pension Coalition

[Opinion]

The Fallacy of 401(k) Loans
"[E]ven though the stated 401(k) loan interest rate might be 5%, the borrower pays the 5% to themselves, for a net cost of zero. That doesn't mean a 401(k) loan should be considered part of an investment strategy. Indeed, the opportunity cost of not investing the money that would otherwise go into the 401(k), combined with sacrificed tax-deductibility and employer matching, makes it an exceptionally poor investment vehicle. So why do people borrow against their 401(k) plans in the first place?"
Michael Kitces, via Financial Planning

[Opinion]

Mere Disclosure Inadequate for Fiduciary Advice
"The first attack on the rule is underway at the DOL itself, where the rule is currently undergoing 'reconsideration' in an Administration that has made no secret of its hostility. Key aspects of the rule that are being targeted are the contract requirement, which is the provision that makes the rule enforceable for IRA investors, and the requirement that firms avoid or mitigate, rather than simply disclose, conflicts of interest. These are, of course, the very provisions that give the rule its teeth and force industry to change practices that are harmful to investors."
Fiduciary News

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Pay Ratio: The Time Has Come
"The latest guidance emphasizes the fact that many aspects of the rules are designed to provide flexibility in how issuers approach compliance with the pay ratio calculation and disclosure requirements and that there is the ability to use methods that are tailored to fit an issuer's facts and circumstances."
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, via Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Restarting Elective Deferrals After a 6-Month Wait Due to a Hardship Deferral
"So after deferrals stop for 6 months, who is to initiate the re-start of elective deferrals? Seems the plan sponsor would monitor this and automatically re-start upon the expiration of the 6-month period. Or I can see asking the participant to complete a new election. Thoughts?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Qualified Plan Investment in Foreign Ordinaries?
"Can a Qualified Plan invest in foreign ordinaries? Seems to me that it would be an investment not subject to U.S. courts (like American Depositary Receipts) so that the answer is 'no,' but I'm not sure."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

401(k) Residential Loan - OK to Borrow More than the Down Payment?
"What is required proof to obtain a residential loan from a 401(k)? Can $10,000 be borrowed when only $5,000 is used as a down payment?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Determining 415 and 401(a)(17) Limitations When Plan Terminates Mid-Month
"Plan Year ends every Dec. 31. The Section 415 Limitation Year is based on the plan year, so if the plan is terminated, the 415 and 401(a)(17) limits must be calculated pro rata. So, what if the plan terminates as of 3/2/2017? Would the limits be [1] 270,000 x 3/12 and 54,000 x 3/12 for 401(a)(17) and 415, respectively, or [2] 270,000 x 61/365 and 54,000 x 61/365 -- i.e., using the number of elapsed months or instead using the number of elapsed days?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Schedule H - Key in Assets Held, or Attach Page?
"My staff and I are really tired of keying in all the assets held, especially since we see it is a page in the audit report. Does anyone just copy the pages from the audit report and include it that way? Does that work (i.e., not get dinged by the IRS/DOL)? Thanks."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Oak City Consulting is Certified for Fiduciary Excellence
Centre for Fiduciary Excellence [CEFEX]

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2017 BenefitsLink.com, 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 BenefitsLink.com, 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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