Retirement Plans Newsletter

December 18, 2017

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Webcasts, Conferences

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program Workshop
January 18, 2018 in CA
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Nontraditional or Alternative Assets Held in IRAs
January 30, 2018 WEBCAST
American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

Implications of Tax Reform for Executive Compensation
January 25, 2018 WEBCAST
American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Statement of Regulatory and Deregulatory Priorities, Along with Fall 2017 Regulatory Agenda
"A major focus of PBGC's current efforts is to finalize rules to simplify and revise the existing missing participants program to help connect more participants with their lost retirement savings. As authorized by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA), the revised program will cover terminating defined contribution plans, defined benefit plans of small professional-service employers that are not covered by title IV of ERISA, and multiemployer plans, in addition to terminating single-employer defined benefit plans." [Also online: Fall 2017 Proposed and Final Rules List; and Fall 2017 Long-Term Actions]
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Advert.]

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Through December 31, 2017 save 25% off International Foundation e-learning courses. The online courses cover health care, retirement and benefits compliance starting under $40! Take advantage of this exclusive offer with promo code SAVE25. View Courses Now.


IRS Releases 2019 Mortality Tables for ERISA Plans
"IRS has now adopted the factors in that update for the 2019 applicable mortality rates, using the same methodology as in 2018 (with MP-2016) and the same '2006' RP-2014 base tables. This should reduce 2019 valuation present values (if not using a plan-specific table) and lump sum factors (as well as factors for other accelerated forms) consistent with the changes shown in the MP-2017 report."
Conduent

Five Trends for Retirement Plan Sponsors to Consider in 2018
"[1] Next generation auto-enrollment techniques ... [2] Locating 'missing' participants ... [3] Large plan sponsors pushing the envelope on 403(b) investment offerings ... [4] Fixed-dollar recordkeeping fees ... [5] Millennials saving as much as everyone else -- or even more."
Cammack Retirement Group

401(k) Investment Options: 10 Tips for a Winning 401(k) Fund Lineup
"[1] Follow your Investment Policy Statement.... [2] Have enough fund options.... [3] Limit fund options.... [4] Don't tilt toward a specific investment style.... [5] Do tilt toward low fee funds.... [6] Be sure to include index funds.... [7] Avoid revenue sharing.... [8] Do seek the cheapest share class available.... [9] Do include target date funds ... [10] Consider the track record -- is there one?"
ForUsAll

Cyber Security Disclosures (PDF)
23 presentation slides. Topics: [1] Background/History; [2] SPARK Data Security Oversight Board (DSOB); [3] Development process; [4] Regulatory environment; [5] Framework flexibility; [6] Third party attestations; [7] Control objectives; [8] How it works; [9] Next steps.
The SPARK Institute

[Advert.]

NTSA Summit Connect with the best!

Sponsored by NTSA

The NTSA Summit is where leaders and innovators come together to make a difference for their clients, the industry, and themselves. It is the only national gathering of professionals in the 403(b) and 457 marketplaces.


Tax Bill Could Cause Problems for Pension Funds Favoring Debt
"Now being refined by the House and Senate, the legislation will likely encourage companies to bring earnings that have been parked overseas back to the U.S. With all that extra cash, firms might borrow less, reducing the supply of investment-grade bonds by as much as 17% next year[.]"
Pensions & Investments

403(b) Sponsors Need More Information on Plan Design, Including How Plan Expenses Are Paid
"Nearly one-third (30.9 percent) of 403(b) plan sponsors are unsure as to whether they use revenue sharing to pay plan expenses ... The PSCA annual survey also found low use of a formal fee policy statement to monitor the reasonableness of plan fees and services, with less than one-third (31.9 percent) of respondents indicating their use. One-fifth (21 percent) are not aware of what a fee policy statement is, according to the survey."
Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA]

Seattle Mayor Proposes City-Sponsored Retirement Savings Plan for Private Employers
"[Former Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess'] 2018 Proposed Budget includes legislation that lays out the path to establishing a Seattle Retirement Savings Plan (SRSP) that will provide Seattle workers with an efficient and cost-effective way to save for retirement for those whose employers that do not offer a workplace retirement savings plan."
Seattle Office of the Mayor

The Mortality Effects of Retirement: Evidence from Social Security Eligibility at Age 62
"Using mortality data that covers the entire U.S. population and includes exact dates of birth and death, we document a robust two percent increase in male mortality immediately after age 62. The change in female mortality is smaller and imprecisely estimated. Additional analysis suggests that the increase in male mortality is connected to retirement from the labor force and associated lifestyle changes."
National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]

Recreate the Certainty of a Pension in a 401(k) World
"[R]etirees that crave certainty may want to consider a fixed return portfolio combined with a variable withdrawal, rather than a fixed annual withdrawal.... The benefit in choosing a variable annual withdrawal (based on a percentage of the portfolio's value at the end of each year) is that you will still have money remaining after 40 years.... The real key is, how much money do you need each year? If withdrawing 4% of the portfolio balance will be sufficient, then a diversified, multi-asset variable return portfolio is very compelling."
Financial Planning

[Opinion]

How Merrill Lynch Breached the RIA Fiduciary Citadel
"In decades of competing against wirehouse brokers owners, registered investment advisors have always found comfort in one thought: Morgan Stanley, UBS, Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo may blur meanings and provide pseudo-advice offerings but they'll never really try to out-RIA RIAs by going to greater lengths to remove conflicts and put client interests first.... Now it is becoming apparent that RIAs in the 401(k) field may need to defend against the Bank of America wealth manager as it mobilizes an ever-growing army of DOL-rule-compliant advisors as a zealously converted fiduciary player."
RIABiz

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL Regulatory Agenda, Fall 2017
EBSA Items in Proposed or Final Rule stage: [1] Request for Information on Fiduciary Rule and Prohibited Transaction Exemptions; [2] Revision of Form 5500 Series and Implementing Related Regulations Under ERISA; [3] Definition of 'Employer' Under Section 3(5) of ERISA -- Association Health Plans; [4] Delay or Amend Final Rule Amending Claims Procedure Regulation; [5] Amendment of Abandoned Plan Program; [6] Electronic Filing of Apprenticeship & Training Notices, and Top Hat Plan Statements; [7] Adoption of Amended and Restated Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program; [8] Interim Final Regulations; Religious Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the ACA; [9] Interim Final Regulations; Moral Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the ACA. Also online: Fall 2017 Long-term Actions, which includes 5 items from EBSA.]
U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

[Official Guidance]

Text of Treasury Department Regulatory Agenda, Fall 2017
Over 30 IRS proposed and final regulation items related to employee benefit plans and executive comp, including Determination of governmental plan status; collectively bargained welfare benefit funds; use of lump sum payments to replace lifetime income being received by retirees under defined benefit pension plans and lump sum payments after a restriction period; excise tax on high cost employer-sponsored health coverage; expatriate health plans, expatriate health plan issuers and qualified expatriates; definition of church plan; enrollment as an EA and EA and ERPA user fees; update to minimum present value requirements for defined benefit plan distributions; application of section 409A to nonqualified deferred compensation plans; application of normal retirement age regulations to governmental plans; nondiscrimination relief for closed defined benefit plans. [Also online: Fall 2017 Long-term Actions.]
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Sixth Circuit Declines to Adopt 'Substantial Compliance' Test for Requirements of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order
"[T]he Sixth Circuit determined that a divorce decree suffices as a qualified domestic relations order ('QDRO') that clearly specifies the decedent's daughter as the life insurance beneficiary under ERISA, and it affirmed the district court's order requiring Sun Life to pay the life insurance proceeds to her.... The court illustrated what is meant by 'clearly specified.' " [Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada v. Jackson, No. 17-3120 (6th Cir. Dec. 13, 2017)]
Roberts Bartolic

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Merger of Plans: One is Top-Heavy But Other Is Not
Two calendar year plans with unrelated employers, Company A and Company B with corresponding 401(k) plans, Plan A and Plan B. Plan A will be top-heavy for 2018. Plan B will not be top-heavy in 2018. Assume Company A sells its stock to Company B on January 1, 2018. All participants in Plan A are merged into Plan B on January 1, 2018. Thus, Plan A no longer exists after January 1, 2018. Will Plan B need to re-determine its top-heavy status for 2018 by including the 12/31/2017 data from Plan A? Do the Plan A participants get any top-heavy minimums for 2018? Or how is this handled?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Make-Whole Payment to HCE for Tax on Excess Contributions?
Plan fails ADP testing for 2016 plan year. Company distributes HCEs' excess contributions in February 2017. Excess contributions are subject to tax in year of distribution (2017). Company provides a make-whole payment to HCEs to account for the tax owed on the distributed excess contribution. (Idea being that if the plan had passed ADP testing, the excess contributions would have stayed in the plan and would not have been subject to tax.) Payment to the HCEs is made outside of the plan -- structured as a bonus essentially. Anyone see a problem with this?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Handling Excess Annual Additions Under Pick-Up-Only Governmental Plan
A governmental 401(a) plan has pick-up contributions only. Employees can elect different percentages to contribute based on the type of pay (e.g., up to 30% on payroll, up to 100% on bonus). If a participant goes over the 415 limit and has excess annual additions, does the plan distribute the excess to the participant?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

'Retirement' When Moving from One Employer to Another in a Controlled Group?
Suppose I have a one person defined benefit plan. The owner is in the 55-62 age zone. If he wanted to draw his pension but not terminate the plan could he stop working for Company X and start working for a newly formed Company Y? Company Y does not enter into any kind of joinder or participation agreement regarding the plan of Company X. In other words, is retirement on a controlled group basis, or can it be viewed purely from the standpoint of the plan sponsor?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
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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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