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December 20, 2017 logo logo
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Junior DC Plan Administrator
Culver Retirement Services, Inc.
in CO

Benefits Account Manager
Owen-Dunn Insurance Services
in CA

Member Services Representative
Owen-Dunn Insurance Services
in CA

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Beneficiary Designations: Best Practices
"[I]nclude retirement plan beneficiary elections as a part of your employee on-boarding process.... The provisions of your plan document should be written to account for a hierarchy of who is entitled to a beneficiary payout.... The distribution of balances of divorced participants that die before they are able to update their beneficiary can be problematic."
Blue Ridge ESOP Associates


Comprehensive answers to your retirement plan questions.

Sponsored by Wolters Kluwer

Our TAG experts have on average over 25 years of experience so you get your questions answered—quickly. With TAG you also get access to a fully searchable database of over 4000 FAQs, quick reference tools and charts, and daily news. Learn more.

DOL Extends Fiduciary Rule Transition Period as SEC Prepares to Issue Its Own Rule
"[T]he net effect of this review will be elimination of the contract requirement associated with BICE, and perhaps all of the rule requirements deferred during the transition period.... [C]ertain types of products that are designed to avoid compensation conflicts and do not pose special risks to investors, such as 'clean' mutual fund shares, may be targeted for favorable regulatory treatment under a new streamlined PTE."

Navigating Pension and Annuity Payments: General Rule and Taxation Guidelines
76-slide PowerPoint presentation. Topics: [1] sources of distributions (employer contributions, employee deferrals, Roths, after-tax contributions, and rollovers); [2] restrictions on how early and how late distributions can be taken; [3] penalties on early withdrawals; [4] taxation of lump sum distributions; [5] taxation of withdrawals and partial distributions; [6] taxation of annuities and other periodic payments; [7] plan withholding and reporting; and [8] participant reporting.
Venable LLP

The Economy's Impact on Retirement Plans
"Whether the company is outsourcing the investment selection to a fiduciary investment manager or working through a committee, the plan sponsor needs to consider overall exposure to mitigate any downside risk and take advantage of opportunities. Which types of investments may be sensitive to rising interest rates? What is the plan's bond and long-term equity exposure?"

Employers Should Shift Perception of Managed Accounts
"As managed accounts continue to progress in the 401(k) industry, latest research from Cerulli Associates finds this unique investing strategy can see further development in 2018, with the use of proper participant awareness."


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For Participants: A Quick-Start Guide to Your 401(k)
"Aim to save at least 15% of your pre-tax income for retirement annually--including any contribution from your employer. If 15% is too much right now, contribute at least enough to get any match from your employer and aim to save a little bit more each year. Whether you choose your own investments or choose to stick with the default investment option chosen by your employer, the key factor is investing for the future."

The 401(k) That Changed How We Save for Retirement Turns 40
"By the mid-1980s, companies began to see the advantages of abandoning traditional pensions entirely and replacing them with 401(k) plans.... But as 401(k) plans became the primary source of retirement savings for millions of people, problems began to emerge.... The financial services industry, which has reaped a windfall from the growth of 401(k) plans, says many of those problems have been solved."
Chicago Tribune; subscription may be required

Benefits in General

Compensation and Benefits Provisions in the Final Tax Bill
"Recharacterizations of conversions from Traditional to Roth IRAs are no longer permitted.... Without a penalty for an individual mandate, ... it may be less likely that an employee not offered affordable coverage by his or her employer will buy coverage on an exchange and receive a tax subsidy. This may decrease the employer mandate penalty exposure for employers[.]"
Eversheds Sutherland

Comparison of House, Senate and Conference Report Versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) (PDF)
14-page chart, addressing retirement, executive compensation, fringe benefit and health benefit provisions.
Groom Law Group

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

ISS Releases Final FAQs for the 2018 Proxy Season (PDF)
12 pages. "Few new policies are introduced for 2018, but the FAQs update or clarify several outstanding compensation policies and the Pay-for-Performance Mechanics 'white paper' provides detail on the methodology behind ISS' quantitative pay-for-performance test incorporating the new Financial Performance Assessment (FPA). These policies apply to public U.S. companies with annual shareholder meetings on or after February 1, 2018."
FW Cook

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Length of Service Award Plans (LOSAPs)
Starting in 2018, the tax reform bill (if it passes) doubles the $3,000 limit per year to $6,000 per year for a plan to benefit certain volunteers (e.g. volunteer firefighters, fire prevention, EMS, ambulance). I am looking for a language in a plan document for a length-of-service-award plan. Also looking for anyone interested in writing an article for publication regarding this topic.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

How Will Tax Reform Affect Formation of Retirement Plans by Small Businesses?
What do you think about how Congress's H.R. 1, including its changes about how a business's income passes through to owners, how will this affect small-business employers' desire and willingness to create retirement plans?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Write a Check Today for Military Leave Make-Up Contributions?
Do employee military leave make-up contributions have to be made on prospective W-2 pay, or can the employee write a check to the 401(k) account? For example, it's Decemeber 19 today, and the employee wants to contribute $18,000 for 2016 and $18,000 for 2017. She will have 2017 W-2 income after returning from military service. Does the $36,000 contribution need to be made from her remaining 2017 payroll, or can she write a check?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

DB Terminated; Assets Distributed; Oops, Here's Another Account
We terminated our pension plan, and distributed all assets. Somehow we missed a plan participant, who is owed money. How to handle? There are no plan assets remaining, but the owed distribution amount is something we could cover from our corporate operating account. But how to process it? Should we distribute into an IRA for the participant? Also, I am guessing that we need to alert the PGGC.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Withdraw Roth Funds Only, as In-Service Distribution?
Participant wants an in-service distribution. Has traditional 401k, match and Roth. Can he take just his Roth out in as an in-service distribution? He's an HCE.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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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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