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401(k) Account Manager
ABG Retirement Plan Services
in IL, Telecommute

Retirement Plan Administrator - Cash Balance Plans
Great Lakes Pension Associates, Inc.
in MI

Senior Defined Contribution Administrator
in CA

Associate Client Manager
Jim Hallinan Pension Consulting, LLC
in CT

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Mandates Use of New Mortality Tables for 2018 -- Unless You Don't Want To!
"[In] an altruistic maneuver by the IRS (two words not often read in the same sentence) an option to defer adoption until 2019 was added to the final regulations. The stated reason for this was lack of lead time, though the proposed change has been communicated extensively since the Society of Actuaries released their latest mortality report in 2014."
The Principal Blog


A simple, illustrative guide for pension plan sponsors.

Sponsored by Russell Investments

This practical overview for corporate plan fiduciaries is not only a great reference work -- it's a high level guide that makes an excellent training tool for new board and investment committee members.

Sun Capital Redux: Private Equity Fund Seeks Declaratory Judgment on Controlled Group Liability for Portfolio Company's Pension Liabilities
"A complaint filed by Trilantic Capital Partners ... shows that multiemployer pension funds and the PBGC are continuing to pursue a strategy of asserting controlled group liability claims against private investment funds, and previews some of the facts that private investment funds may try to use to rebut those arguments. The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment holding that Trilantic is not in the 'controlled group' of one of its portfolio companies[.]" [Trilantic Capital Partners IV, LP v. United Food & Comm'l Workers Int'l Union-Ind. Pension Fund; New England Teamsters & Trucking Ind. Pension Fund; Nat'l Retirement Fund; and PBGC, No. 17-7485 (S.D.N.Y., complaint filed Sept. 29, 2017)]
Proskauer Rose LLP

The IRS Employee Plans Work Plan for 2018: A 'Compliance Checklist' for Plan Sponsors, Part Two
"What is remarkable about the Work Plan 'lists' is how common the problems they identify have been over so many years. They are the choke points for plan operations and administration that get plan sponsors into trouble and with a little effort can be avoided. But used as a checklist, the Work Plan can be effective in avoiding or diminishing the worst consequences of an IRS 'inquiry' into your plan's affairs."
Fiduciary Plan Governance, LLC

Trends and Tips: Participant Website Retirement Educational Resources
"Recordkeepers have consistently introduced new resources to participant sites, building out educational centers that cover comprehensive selections of retirement topics. The quality of resources continues to improve, and many leading firms now provide wide selections of excellent resources that communicate information in highly engaging and relatable manners.... Here are [the authors'] top tips for improving a participant site's suite of retirement educational resources[.]"
Corporate Insight

Failure to Log In: The Dirty Little Secret of Many Retirement Plans
"[One] recordkeeper [recently] tested some of their retirement plan communication initiatives on their own employees.... [When the] recordkeeper began their project, they made a surprising discovery: not only had many of their employees not recently logged in to their retirement plan account, but a significant number had NEVER logged in!... How can plan sponsors find out the percentage of their population who have accessed the retirement plan website recently, or ever?"
Cammack Retirement Group


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.

Power Up Your Defined Benefit Plan (PDF)
"Low investment returns will likely pose a challenge to many pension plans in the years to com ... [I]nvestors may need to consider adjustments to their asset allocation strategy in an effort to drive expected returns closer to objectives over the coming market cycle.... This paper discusses ... ideas for potentially maximizing investment outcomes for liability-driven and total-return investors. [The authors] also address incremental changes that can be made for additional savings and to enhance returns."

African-Americans Want More Financial Education from Their Employers
"African-Americans are more likely to say they are behind in saving for retirement, and 41% of survey respondents expressed concerns about making ends meet. Respondents also indicated a greater proclivity to making withdrawals or loans from their 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan compared with the general population -- 24% vs. 14%, respectively.... Meanwhile, African-Americans were nearly half as likely to worry about the cost of health care as others[.]"

Should Roth IRA Investment Fees Be Paid Personally, or Deducted from the IRA Account?
"[Rev. Rul. 84-146] allows you to pay trustee fees, annual investment management fees (also called 'wrap fees'), but not brokerage commissions, from non-IRA funds without them being considered an additional contribution to the IRA account. Because Roth IRA assets are not touched, the ability of the account to earn tax-free income is not impaired.... Paying investment fees for traditional, non-Roth IRA accounts which will produce taxable income when distributed is more complex."
Quarles & Brady LLP

Structuring Your Retirement Portfolio for Your Income Needs
"The first aspect of [a] three-pronged approach to generating retirement income is creating a plan.... [Y]our next step should be to determine your portfolio allocation. Lastly, you'll make a plan for withdrawing from your portfolio in retirement. The portfolio allocation step is all about choosing the right mix of investments. Here's a guide for how to approach it."
Charles Schwab

Trump Says 401(k)s Off Limits for Tax Reform, But Top Tax Lawmakers Say They're Under Consideration
"Republicans seeking to reach an agreement on tax reform are considering changes to the popular 401(k) retirement plan, despite President Donald Trump's vow that they would not be touched. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said on Wednesday that certain state and local tax deductions were still under discussion, including a proposal to cap contributions to retirement plans, ahead of the planned rollout of new tax reform legislation next week."
U.S. News & World Report

U.S. Receives 'C' Grade in Global Retirement Study
"In a new global study of retirement systems around the world, the U.S. received an overall grade of 'C,' meaning the country's system has some good features, but also has major risks and/or shortcomings that should be addressed, according to the classification.... Based on the historical data in the report, it appears the U.S. has hovered in the 'C' range since the report's inception in 2009."
National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

OPM Finalizes Long-Desired Change to Postal Worker Pensions
"The U.S. Postal Service will finally see its payments into the federal employee pension account calculated using assumptions from its workforce specifically, rather than the federal workforce as a whole.... A 2017 USPS IG report estimated USPS' FERS liability has been overestimated by $4.1 billion due to a growing gap between the salary of the average postal worker and the salaries of other federal employees, among other factors."
Government Executive

Benefits in General

Statement by Secretary Mnuchin on Assistant Secretary David Kautter's Designation as Acting IRS Commissioner
"Current IRS Commissioner John Koskinen's term expires on November 12, and Kautter's designation as Acting Commissioner will take effect at that time. Kautter joined Treasury as Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy in August 2017. He will continue to carry out his Assistant Secretary duties, including working on tax reform, while serving as Acting Commissioner."
U.S. Department of the Treasury

IRS News Release IR-2017-180: 2018 PTIN Renewal Period Underway for Tax Professionals (PDF)
"The [IRS] today reminded the nation's more than 727,000 federal tax return preparers that they must renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) for 201 [8] All current PTINs will expire Dec. 31, 2017.... For those who have a 2017 PTIN, the renewal process takes a few moments online."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

ADP/ACP Tests Fail Despite Owner's Generosity
We have a calendar year client who failed the ADP and ACP tests for 2016. Unfortunately, we didn't know until we finally received his census on 10/12/17. It is a small plan with just 6 people. In 2015 the owner deferred a little under 6%, and the testing easily passed. He decided to max out deferrals for 2017 and so, deferring at almost 14%, the ADP and ACP tests failed. Is there some way around the give-back and forfeiting of the match? (The NHCEs deferrals averaged 5.31%, which in our experience is not bad. But the employer matches a straight 25%, which is almost unheard of. His argument is that he is being far more generous than most employers, and yet he is penalized for the failed tests. We think the QNEC is way too high, and we are discussing SH for 2018.)
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Amendments to Pre-Approved DC Plans Allowing for SIMPLE IRA Rollovers?
Are pre-approved plan document vendors generally providing sample sponsor amendments to permit rollovers from a qualified plan to a SIMPLE IRA (i.e. PATH Act of 2015)?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Withholding on Distribution of Less than $200 in Roth Earnings
Is 20% tax withholding required for a Roth account distribution when the taxable earnings being distributed are below $200?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Individual Gets 1099s But Should Be Getting W-2s as a Common Law Employee
An independent contractor who receives a 1099 is actually a common law employee under ERISA and should be in the pension plan his company will sponsor. The problem is the definition of compensation in our Volume Submitter document calls for W-2 income of which he has none. How can I include him? Do I have to go to a custom document?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Steven H. Sandell Grant Program
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Dissertation Fellowship Program
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

IRI Honored by ACORD with Implementation Journey Award
Insured Retirement Institute [IRI]

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Lois Baker, J.D., President
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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