Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 23, 2017

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Jobs

ASC Defined Benefit Software Support Specialist
Actuarial Systems Corporation
Telecommute

401(k) Plan Administrator
EJReynolds, Inc.
in FL

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Webcasts, Conferences

Is an ESOP Right for You? An In-Depth Look at Employee Stock Ownership Plans
October 25, 2017 in NM
National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

Plan Sponsor Compliance
November 9, 2017 WEBCAST
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

See No Policy, Hear No Policy, Speak No Policy: Washington Retirement Update on Tax Reform, Fiduciary Rule, and Lawsuits
November 16, 2017 in CA
Western Pension & Benefits Council - Orange County Chapter

Coverage and Nondiscrimination Testing with Related Employers
November 16, 2017 WEBCAST
ERISApedia.com

►See 137 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1319 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]

Best Practices Arising from the DOL Fiduciary Rule (PDF)
"To date, financial institutions have invested significant time and resources into preparing for compliance.... This article examines the manner in which the fiduciary rule, and in particular the BIC Exemption, affect business best practices regardless of whether any changes are made to the fiduciary rule and related exemptions."
The Wagner Law Group, Via Investments and Wealth Monitor

[Advert.]

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Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

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Deciding Between 3(21) Investment Advisory and 3(38) Investment Management Services (PDF)
"An optimal plan investment lineup should consider not only returns, but also an analysis of factor variables such as return correlation coefficients among the lineup options. A plan sponsor should determine if the necessary staffing, internal expertise, and analytical resources are in place to effectively select and monitor the plan's investment lineup.... This decision checklist provides a series of key questions to consider."
PNC

IRS Says Missed DC Plan Loan Repayments Can Be Repaid in the Following Quarter
"On a regular basis the IRS notes that loans, as long as they are not for the purchase of a primary home, can be repaid in five years and that payments are due at the end of the month for the repayment term of the loan. But should a participant miss a payment, according to [IRS Chief Counsel Advice Memorandum 201736022, released Sept. 8, 2017], they can take care of that payment by the last day of the calendar quarter following the previous quarter in which the payment was due ... They can also refinance a loan -- but it will still be due on the original due date."
planadviser

Assessing Results After Five Years of a QDIA Lifetime Income Strategy under United Technologies Corporation's 401(k) Plan (PDF)
"[In 2012, UTC and DC industry service-providers jointly designed] a retirement income solution for participants enrolled in the company's 401(k) plan and [enbedded] it within the investment glide path of its target date funds.... Known as the Lifetime Income Strategy, UTC's default option provides: [1] guaranteed lifetime retirement income backed by three insurance companies; [2] income 'step-ups' and account growth in response to contributions and investment gains; [3] daily account liquidity, free of surrender charges at all times, even after payouts begin. The Lifetime Income Strategy employs three identical, institutionally-priced and competitively bid variable annuity contracts that offer guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (GLWBs) designed to protect retirement income from: [1] market declines; [2] longevity risk; and [3] sequence of return risk."
Institutional Retirement Income Council [IRIC]

Managing an Overfunded Defined Benefit or Cash Balance Plan
"[One] option for a small, closely held family company, is to add more family members as participants in the plan. Since the plan is already overfunded, additional funding isn't needed, and the money goes back to the family as benefits instead of to the government as taxes.... A profitable option could be to sell the company with the significantly overfunded plan to a company that has an underfunded pension plan. Following acquisition, the pension plans can be merged so the overfunding of one plan compensates for the underfunding of the other. Companies approaching bankruptcy, but with overfunded pension plans have applied this method successfully."
QBI

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Wall Street Furious Over Proposal to Slash 401(k) Limits
"Wall Street pushed back hard on Friday against a report that congressional Republicans are weighing a plan to severely limit the amount of money Americans can contribute to their 401(k)s. The Capitol Hill lawmakers, searching for ways to pay for President Trump's broad proposed tax cuts, are eyeing a $2,400 cap on pre-tax contributions to 401(k) plans ... Currently, the pre-tax limit for such contributions is $18,000 a year."
New York Post

Trump Vows to Leave 401(k) Plans Untouched Through Tax Reform
"President Donald Trump on Monday appeared to distance himself from reports suggesting Republican lawmakers are considering changes to the tax code that, among other things, would retool some U.S. employees' retirement plans. "There will be NO change to your 401(k)," Trump tweeted Monday morning.... [R]eports surfaced last week that House lawmakers were considering lowering that threshold to just $2,400. In theory, that would expose more of Americans' earnings to the [IRS] while helping to offset lost government revenues from Trump's proposal for a significantly lower corporate tax rate and retooled personal income brackets."
U.S. News & World Report

Measuring the Adequacy of Retirement Income: A Primer (PDF)
42 pages. "Over the next 30 years, the share of the U.S. population age 65 and older will increase from about 15 percent to almost 22 percent ... [R]esearchers have developed diverse approaches for quantifying the adequacy of retirement income, focusing on different groups of retirees and employing different definitions of income and adequacy.... This report explains the various measures and approaches, providing a framework for further analysis of retirement income."
Congressional Budget Office [CBO]

Evaluating Lump Sum Incentives for Delayed Social Security Claiming
"[This Working Paper evaluates] the potential impact of a Lump Sum reform for delayed Social Security claiming.... [T]he Lump Sum delayed benefit plan does not dramatically change solvency outcomes ... [A]sset projections show that the lowest and middle-income groups accumulate substantially higher nest eggs under the Lump Sum delayed benefit plan.... [T]he Lump Sum reform ... outlined here has positive distributional consequences overall without costing the system more money."
Pension Research Council, The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania

How Have Municipal Bond Markets Reacted to Pension Reform? (PDF)
14 pages. "This brief ... finds that for both state and local governments, higher unfunded pension liabilities as a percentage of government plan sponsor revenues, has a statistically valid relationship to increased municipal bond borrowing rates, relative to Treasuries. This analysis also finds that previous pre-recession findings remain the same. This work ... highlights the need for state and local officials and other stakeholders to continue to analyze both short and long-term costs, holistically, as the decisions and financial management in one priority area can clearly impact the costs in another."
Center for State & Local Government Excellence

[Opinion]

The Defined Contribution Plan System: Can Everyone Win?
"Most benefits professionals would define a 'win' as financial preparation and decision-making skills sufficient to maintain a pre-retirement standard of living.... Others might define 'win' to include a second career, phased retirement, or sacrificing some income for increased periods of leisure. So, can 'everyone' win in the DC system? Yes, we think potentially as much as in a DB system! That's particularly true when one considers that we failed to adequately fund our DB promises -- the unfunded liability for private and public employer plans, income replacement, and retiree medical totals trillions of dollars!"
Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA]

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of Treasury Department Priority Guidance Plan, 2017-2018 (PDF)
28 pages. Starting on page 7 are 23 items relating to Retirement Benefits, followed by 17 items for Executive Compensation, Health Care and Other Benefits, and Employment Taxes.
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Is 'Respondeat Superior' Part of ERISA's Definition of 'Fiduciary'?
"Federal court rulings have been inconsistent ... in applying vicarious liability in the ERISA context... Courts have also stated that, while the common law may be a starting point for analyzing ERISA, it is not the stopping point, and the common law must yield and defer to ERISA if it is inconsistent with the act's language, structure or purpose. There are court actions ... in which the court refused to find respondeat superior liability because ERISA limits liability to named and de facto fiduciaries and expresses no intent to hold a nonfiduciary liable for a fiduciary's breach."
Marcia Wagner, via planadviser

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Executive Compensation in the Banking Industry
"A new wave of increased scrutiny on banking compensation practices has emerged, particularly sales incentive practices at lower levels of the organizations. This has spurned even greater focus on clawbacks and forfeitures of incentive pay when fraud, misconduct and bad risk behavior occurs. In fact, forfeiture policies are the fastest growing risk mitigating design feature we are seeing in response to this new crisis."
Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC

Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Multiple Employer Plan: Problem with Participating Employer
"A multiple employer plan has several participating employers. One of the employers has not had an adoption agreement since the spring of 2017, however. Can this be corrected with an amendment because it's still within the 2017 plan year, or does it need to go through some IRS correction program? Also, one of the adopting employers has merged into another adopting employer. Does the employer need to sign a new participation agreement, or should it be terminated?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Incorrect Tax Language in Domestic Relations Order; Administrator Must Reject It?
"Do you believe that a plan administrator MUST reject a DRO if it contains tax language that is inconsistent with tax law? For example, a DRO provision that distributions to a spouse or former spouse AP shall be taxed to the Participant or, conversely, that distributions to a child or other dependent AP shall be taxed to the AP. If your answer is no, would it change your mind if the plan's QDRO procedures provide [1] the plan administrator will not reject a DRO based on any tax language in it, but [2] the plan administrator will report/withhold taxes as required by law, regardless of any inconsistent provisions in the DRO?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Assignment Issue? Forgoing Match by Receiving Student Loan Assistance
An employer is willing to either provide an employee a matching contribution in the 401(k) plan, or student loan payoff assistance outside the 401(k) plan. Wouldn't this violate the assignment regulations of Treas. Reg. Section 1.401(a)-13 (Assignment or alienation of benefits)? Any thoughts on how this could be acceptable/written in a plan document?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

ASPPA Welcomes Adam C. Pozek as 49th President
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

ASPPA Honors Joan Gucciardi with Eidson Founders Award
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

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Lois Baker, J.D., President  loisbaker@benefitslink.com
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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