Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 9, 2018 logo logo
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Retirement Plan Administrator
Steidle Pension Solutions, LLC
in NJ

Account Manager, Retirement
Healthcare Association of New York State
in NY

Account Executive/Consultant - Retirement Services
Lockton Insurance Brokers
in CA

Senior Pension Administrator
Blue Benefits Consulting, Inc.
in IN, Telecommute

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[Guidance Overview]

Past, Present and Future of the DOL Fiduciary Rule
"[It] appears inevitable that the SEC will become increasingly active in this area.... [T]here is considerable support within many sectors of the industry for adopting a 'best-interest standard' for broker-dealers in advising all of their customers, whether retail or retirement accounts and regardless of the nature of the recommendation.... [R]ecent indications from both the SEC and DOL suggest that both recognize the need to work in concert going forward."
K&L Gates


Signature Awards submission deadline extended to 2/16/18!

Sponsored by Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA]

Don't miss out on recognition for your hard work! Deadline to submit retirement plan education and communication programs: Feb. 16, 2018. Learn more. Winners will be announced at the 71st Annual National Conference May 1-2, 2018, Scottsdale, AZ.

Federal Budget Deal Becomes Law, Includes Retirement Provisions
"The provisions in [H.R. 1892, the 652-page 'Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018'] that affect the retirement industry include: [1] Remove six-month prohibition on contributions to retirement plans after a hardship withdrawal (section 41113) ... [2] Allow QNECs, QMACs and profit-sharing contributions to be included in a hardship withdrawal (section 41114) ... [3] Provide IRS authority to release a levy on property held in retirement plans (section 41104) ... [4] Special disaster-related rules for use of retirement funds for individuals impacted by the California wildfires (section 20102) ... [5] Create a Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans (sections 30421-30424) ... [6] Create new Form 1040SR for individuals over age 65 (section 41106)."
National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

SEC Singles Out Fees, Conflicts in 2018 Exam Priorities
"The SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations [OCIE] ... says that its examiners will be looking closely at how advisors calculate fees and expenses, matching what service agreements with how clients are charged.... Examiners will also scrutinize how firms are dealing with cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings."

FINRA 2018 Annual Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter Makes No Mention of a Fiduciary Duty for Brokers
"It is clear that FINRA intends to spend a significant amount of time ensuring that senior investors are protected. In fact, FINRA indicates that an area of focus will be the 'rollovers of qualified plans into non-qualified accounts [IRAs] for senior investors.' "
Drinker Biddle

Millennials Embrace ESG Option in Bloomberg's 401(k) Plan
"Millennials are the largest identifiable group that has elected to participate in the ESG-focused fund in Bloomberg's $2.5 billion U.S. 401(k) plan ... Just under 1% of the plan's total assets are invested in the Parnassus Core Equity Fund, which focuses on socially conscious U.S. large-cap companies."
Pensions & Investments


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February 2018 Market Volatility Affects 401(k) Trading
"February's trading activity is in sharp contrast to participant actions in January when the majority of trades were from fixed income to equities. In January, only 4 of the 21 trading days saw participants favoring fixed income. All 4 of the trading days so far in February have had more money going to fixed income than equities."
Alight Solutions

Don't Make These 'Rookie Mistakes' When Calculating Service!
"Failing to understand the concept of 'once in, always in' ... Confusing 'break in service' with 'termination of employment' ... Using the wrong eligibility computation period to calculate years of service/breaks in service."
Cammack Retirement Group

CRS Report: Federal Employees' Retirement System -- Summary of Recent Trends (PDF)
20 pages. "This report describes recent trends in the characteristics of annuitants and current employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) as well as the financial status of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF)." [Report 7-5700, Feb. 2, 2018]
Congressional Research Service [CRS]

2017 Pension Plan Report Card
"The major legislative event was tax reform.... With the passage of tax reform, companies will want to analyze the impact of making additional contributions to their plans and receiving higher deductions. Generally, contributions made by September 15, 2018 can be counted for the 2017 plan year and included on the sponsor's 2017 tax filing. With the highest corporate rate dropping from 35% to 21% the cost of each $100,000 of contribution increases $14,000 after the 2017 tax year."
P-Solve LLC

Can I Deduct My IRA Contribution When Covered Under My Employer's Retirement Plan?
"You are eligible to take full deduction for your Traditional IRA contribution if you are not an active participant, or married to an active participant.... [T]he rules that define who is an active participant vary among the types of employer sponsored plans, and may depend on when the contributions are made to the participant's account (under the employer sponsored plan)."
Appleby Retirement Dictionary

Benefits in General

Charles P. Rettig Nominated to Be IRS Commissioner
"During his 35+ year professional career with Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez, PC, Chuck Rettig has represented numerous taxpayers before every administrative level of the [IRS] as well as in matters before the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and various other taxing authorities.... He is a certified specialist in taxation law, estate planning, and trust and probate law."
The White House

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Deadline to Pay Off Loan After Participant's Employment Terminates
Participant is terminating next week and has an unpaid loan from the plan. How long does she have to pay it off now before it is considered taxable to her? I though it was 60 days after date of term, but did the new tax law change that?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Amendment for Early Entry of Soon-To-Be HCE
Calendar year plan eligiblility is 1 YOS, dual entry. Employer hires new non-owner today who will earn $1M in 2018 compensation (i.e., is not an HCE for 2018 but will be an HCE for 2019). Can we safely amend the plan to allow early entry for deferrals and employer contributions for 2018 without any discrimination issues, because the new employee will be a NHCE for 2018? Would we need to again amend to exclude this employee during the first half of 2019 (period prior to the normal 7/1/2019 entry) to avoid discrimination issues?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

ADP Testing for Three Plans in a Controlled Group
I have 3 employers and 3 plans. All are part of a controlled group. One plan is a safe harbor plan since 2011. Each plan has always conducted coverage and ADP/ACP testing on its own; they never considered the controlled group aspect until now. Is there an issue on a controlled group basis if each plan has always passed on an individual basis?
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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2018, 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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