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Senior Pension Administrator
Scholz & Friends Enlightened Retirement Group, Inc.
in TX

Pension Benefits Subject Matter Expert
Octo Consulting Group
in DC

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Webcasts, Conferences

5500 Update

Plan Data Intelligence ReSource with Benchmarking - A Strategic Tool for Building Your Book of Business

Comparing Different Types of Automatic Enrollment
January 25, 2018 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

403(b) Document Restatement Issues
February 14, 2018 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

RMDs and Plan Distributions
March 22, 2018 WEBCAST

Employee Plans Compliance Resolution Systems: Case Studies from the Darkside
June 12, 2018 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of 2017 Instructions for IRS Form CT-1: Employer's Annual Railroad Retirement Tax Return (PDF)
"Use Form CT-1 to report taxes imposed by the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA). Use Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return, or, if applicable, Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, to report federal income taxes withheld from your employees' wages and other compensation."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


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Reconsidering Revenue Sharing to Pay Retirement Plan Costs
"[P]articipants invested in [a fund which shares revenue] see only net performance ... Part of their performance goes to [the fund] and part goes to the plan's record keeper or other service providers. Is this disclosed to investors? Surprisingly, such disclosure is not required.... [R]evenue sharing ... is easily forgotten about, causing some plan sponsors to neglect assessing reasonableness of fees relative to services provided, and potentially misleading participants about the true cost of plan recordkeeping and administration."
P-Solve LLC

Behavioral Economics and 401(k) Plan Participants
"Listed [in this article] are obstacles that 401k plan participants need to overcome to propel themselves successfully down the road to retirement readiness.... [For] each behavioral economics obstacle a solution [is described] that plan sponsors can employ."
Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants

Government Plan Sponsors Seek Employee Communication from Providers
"While most government employers (53%) offer defined contribution (DC) plans to their employees, only slightly more than half (56%) of those plan sponsors believe they are successful in aiding a worker's retirement savings.... [P]articipation rates in DC plans offered by a government employer are much lower compared to 401(k) plans, with only a 44% participation rate found in government plans compared to 82% in 401(k)."

Proposed Legislation Would Create Multiemployer Pension Loan Program (PDF)
"The proposed Bill would create an agency in the Treasury Department ... [that] would make low interest rate loans to multiemployer defined benefit plans which are in critical and declining status.... The recipient plan would make interest-only payments for 29 years and a final balloon payment of interest and principal the 30th year.... The idea is that the plans receiving loans could earn enough money from plan's asset investments to pay back the loan and stabilize the plan and multiemployer system."
United Actuarial Services, Inc.


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Panel Says Only Cuts to Employee Medical Benefit Can Fix New Jersey Pension Fund
"New Jersey employees' medical benefits are the only budget expense with enough potential savings to fix the state's pension deficit, according to the final report of a panel created by outgoing Gov. Chris Christie. Those benefits are 'substantially more generous and expensive' than those of non-government employees.... Without benefit changes, pension and medical costs will consume 26%, or $10.7 billion, of the budget by 2023, according to the panel. It recommended holding those costs to no more than 15%."
Pensions & Investments

Pensions at a Glance 2017: OECD and G20 Indicators
"[This 167-page report] highlights the pension reforms undertaken by OECD countries over the last two years.... This edition also updates information on the key features of pension provision in OECD countries and provides projections of retirement income for today's workers. It offers indicators covering the design of pension systems, pension entitlements, the demographic and economic context in which pension systems operate, incomes and poverty of older people, the finances of retirement-income systems and private pensions."

Retention Practices: Fiduciary Records Are (Almost) Forever
"[A] fiduciary record is any record relating to: The formulation of an investment policy or investment decision; Any record relating to the hiring, retention, or firing of a plan service provider. These records should include, among other things, reports, service provider sales collateral, prospectuses, and committee minutes."
Fiduciary Plan Governance, LLC


Our Retirement System Is Too Inconsistent Among Americans
"[W]hen you throw together payments from Social Security, defined-benefit pensions, defined-contribution 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts, retirement income in the U.S. looks generous.... Americans' retirement situations vary dramatically depending on where they work, which generation they belong to, how good they've been about contributing to their 401(k)s, what they've chosen to invest that money in, and how they've chosen to withdraw it."

Benefits in General

The Unique Value of Employer-Sponsored Benefits
12 pages. "If workers were left to choose to buy health insurance on their own, we could expect coverage to be a fraction of what it is today. Without employer-sponsored retirement plans the capacity of individuals to meet their financial needs in retirement, already difficult, would become a significantly greater challenge. This report examines these issues."
American Benefits Council

America's Aging Workforce: Opportunities and Challenges (PDF)
53 pages. "This report provides a summary of the landscape of the aging workforce and key findings related to aging workers as well as employers. The report concludes with a vision of how aging employees and their employers can work together to ensure that they both prosper."
Special Committee on Aging, U.S. Senate


Richard Posner, ERISA, and Me (PDF)
"[W]hile Judge Posner caused me a great deal of frustration in oral argument and in reading his opinions, he also accounted for my two best days as a lawyer.... He never failed to vigorously participate in oral argument and challenge both sides with hypothetical questions, and his favorite question from the bench, 'So what?' "
Mark DeBofsky, via American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law

on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Employers Didn't Sign Participation Agreements; Use EPCRS?
I have a situation in which a church defined benefit pension plan has two participating employers that have been making contributions and adopted the plan without an official participation agreement. One plan has been in the plan since spring 2017; the other since the mid-80's. I believe SCP might be able to be used for the first issue, and VCP for the second. Any thoughts?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Plan Filed a Form 5500 in 2016; Puts Non-ERISA Status at Risk?
Client has a Non-ERISA plan, and appears to meet all requirements to remain Non-ERISA. But I've learned that the client filed a Form 5500 for 2016. Does that filing jeopardize the plan's Non-ERISA status?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Pooled Investment Account Can Include Roth Contributions?
Is it acceptable to co-mingle Roth contributions with regular salary deferrals in a single investment account? I think it is, if each source is kept separate when performing the annual accounting -- meaning that the plan would allocate earnings proportionately. Correct? A citation?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Vesting Schedule in Newly Added Profit Sharing Component in 401(k) Plan
Company A wants to add a profit sharing element to the existing 401(k) plan. They want the vesting date for the profit sharing to be different from the employer match piece. The want the vesting date to begin on the effective date of when the profit sharing element is added and exclude all prior years of service. I don't think this is allowed due to Code section 411. Correct?
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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