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Senior Retirement Plan Administrator
Goldberg, Swedelson & Associates
in CA, Telecommute

Account Representative, Retirement Services
Healthcare Association of New York State
in NY

Employee Benefits Analyst
Polsinelli PC
in MO

Senior Paralegal
Lincoln Financial Group
in PA

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Webcasts, Conferences

Annual Retirement Day
March 6, 2018 WEBCAST
E*TRADE Financial

Understanding Retirement Plan Fees
March 15, 2018 WEBCAST
New England Employee Benefits Council

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[Guidance Overview]

Missing Participants and RMDs: Increased Enforcement, Alleged ERISA Violations, and Limited Guidance Cause Headaches for Plan Fiduciaries
"FAB 2014-01 is helpful guidance for administrators of terminating defined contribution plans, but more guidance is needed ... For example, would an ongoing plan be required to run the searches listed above every year while the participant remained missing? ... Contacting coworkers of missing participants will generally be appropriate only under limited circumstances ... Before benefits are forfeited, attempts to notify participants of the impending forfeiture must be made ... [R]ecords must be maintained that would allow those benefits to be reinstated if the missing participant or beneficiary is later located.... [U]nless the [PBGC] program is also expanded to ongoing defined contribution plans, the value ... to most plan administrators seems limited."
Winston & Strawn LLP


CATTS: An affordable organizational tool built for the TPA

Sponsored by ASC

ASC's Client & Task Tracking System (CATTS) tracks your client and plan data, your tasks and manages work flow in one organized place. CATTS is automatically integrated with ASC's Plan Document, 5500 and Compliance Systems. Learn more!

Ninth Circuit Opinion: Service Provider Is Not an ERISA Fiduciary with Respect to Plan Fees (PDF)
"Indeed, any other outcome would lead to absurd results. If service providers were fiduciaries while negotiating fees, they would have to promise that its fees were no higher than those of any competitor, rather than negotiate at arm's length with an employer. And, an employer who knowingly agreed to a fee structure could nonetheless later sue to lower it, invoking the administrator's fiduciary obligation." [Santomenno v. Transamerica Life Ins. Co., No. 16-56418 (9th Cir. Feb. 23, 2018)]
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Fairytale Ending for Defendants in the First Stable Value Fund Appeal
"Plaintiffs' loyalty theory largely centered on the assertion that Fidelity prioritized its interest in securing wrap insurance over the beneficiaries' interest in higher returns. But by publishing a more conservative benchmark than its peers, Fidelity risked market share as there were 'innumerable options available.' ... What the court did ... essentially gutted the logical core of any argument that a stable value fund is too conservative. Those arguments, the court underscored, impermissibly rely on hindsight." [Ellis v. Fidelity Mgmt. Trust Co., No. 17-1693 (1st Cir. Feb. 21, 2018)]
Mayer Brown

NYU Workers Can't Bring Second Lawsuit Over Retirement Plans
"The second lawsuit, filed about a year after the first, is duplicative and can't move forward, a federal judge ruled. The judge said the second lawsuit was an impermissible attempt to get around her earlier rulings dismissing some of the employees' claims." [Sacerdote v. N.Y. Univ. Sch. of Med., No. 17-8834 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 23, 2018)]
Bloomberg BNA

Loss Aversion and Reframing the Company Match Can Help Employees Save More Money for Retirement
"If it is true the fear of loss motivates people more than the offer of a gain, then the traditional 401k company match framework is designed improperly. Currently, employees are promised a reward for contributing in their 401k plan.... What if, instead of using a carrot, plan sponsors reframe the 'match' in terms of a stick? ... [C]ould the company tell employees they have $1,000 at the beginning of the year and, for every dollar less than $1,000 their 401k contribution is, they will lose a dollar from that $1,000? It's still a match. It's just described as a loss rather than a reward."
Fiduciary News


PSCA's 60th Annual Survey of Profit Sharing and 401(k) Plans

Sponsored by Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA]

Does your plan offer Roth? 63 percent of plans do. Does your plan use automatic escalation to help employees save more? Three-fourths of plans do. Find out what other plans are doing to ensure your plan remains a competitive, best-in-class benefit.

Investment Refresh: Improving Participant Outcomes Through Re-Enrollment (PDF)
"[R]e-enrollment presents two broad categories of challenges. First, as a threshold manner, the terminology is confusing and misleading. Second, even upon overcoming the terminology, plan sponsors become paralyzed by preconceived notions of participants' reactions and fiduciaries' risk. This White Paper addresses the first of those issues by suggesting a change in terminology. It then acknowledges the most common preconceived notions and provides fiduciaries the context, data, and legal support to evolve toward an informed embrace of a re-enrollment's value."
Qualified Plan Advisors

Retirement Plan Best Practices: Plan Monitoring (PDF)
14 pages. "Monitoring your investment menu managers, your plan providers, and plan fees is an important part of your overall fiduciary responsibility. Plan sponsors vary widely in how they monitor their plans. What are best practices, and what standards should you be following in your monitoring practices?"
Arnerich Massena

Employers Enhancing Defined Contribution Plans to Improve Workers' Financial Security
"Nearly three in four respondents (73%) now automatically enroll new participants ... 60% of respondents provide an auto-escalation feature ... Seven in 10 respondents offer Roth features within their 401(k) plans ... One in four employers increased its plan contributions over the past five years ... More than four in 10 respondents (42%) reduced the number of investment options they offer to plan participants over the past three years, and another 41% plan to do so by 2020."
Willis Towers Watson

Millennials and Retirement: Already Falling Short (PDF)
30 pages. "Two-thirds (66.2%) of working Millennials have nothing saved for retirement.... Even though two-thirds (66%) of Millennials work for an employer that offers a retirement plan, only slightly over one-third (34.3%) of Millennials participate in their employer's plan.... Four out of ten (40.2%) of Millennials cited eligibility requirements set by employers, such as working a minimum number of hours, or having a minimum tenure on the job, as a reason for not participating in a plan."
National Institute on Retirement Security [NIRS]

The Power of Working Longer (PDF)
"[D]elaying retirement by 3-6 months has the same impact on the retirement standard of living as saving an additional one-percentage point of labor earnings for 30 years. The relative power of saving more is even lower if the decision to increase saving is made later in the work life. For instance, increasing retirement saving by one percentage point ten years before retirement has the same impact on the sustainable retirement standard of living as working a single month longer."
National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]; purchase required for full document

Senate Democrats Named to Multiemployer Committee
"Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York announced the Senate Democratic members: Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Tina Smith of Minnesota."
Pensions & Investments

House Democratic Appointees to Multiemployer Pensions Committee Named
"Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (California) has appointed: Rep. Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, Ways and Means Ranking Committee Member; Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia, Education and Workforce Committee Ranking Member; Rep. Donald Norcross of New Jersey, Education and Workforce Committee; and Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan, Energy and Commerce Committee."

Benefits in General

Securing Your Organization's Data
"[T]he SEC reported that more than one-half of all cyber-attacks come from employee negligence or intentional malicious efforts from current and former employees ... [1] Develop a Written Information Security Program (WISP) ... [2] Conduct periodic risk assessments ... [3] Analyze cyber security incidents from the past ... [4] Identify the information sharing networks ... [5] Conduct third-party vendor reviews ... [6] Establish data encryption protocols ... [7] Appoint an Information Security Officer tasked with keeping your data protected ... [8] [Keep] all hardware and software up to date."
Cammack Retirement Group

ERISA Advisory Council to Meet March 27
"[T]he 190th open meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (also known as the ERISA Advisory Council) will be held on March 27, 2018 ... from 9:00 a .m. to approximately 3:00 p.m. The purpose of the open meeting is to set and discuss the topics to be addressed by the Council in 2018."
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Tax Reform and Qualified Equity Grants: New Tax Provisions
"[T]he ability to make deferral elections under the new Section 83(i) could be useful in specific situations, such as a private company with a rapidly appreciating stock price and expectations of a liquidity event, but the administrative complexity and broad based grant requirements will limit the usefulness of this election for a majority of companies."
Holland & Hart LLP

So, You Think You Have a Strong Severance Agreement?
"Give time for the employee to evaluate the agreement ... Allow the employee to file charges with government agencies ... Ensure that you are giving the employee something of value."
HR Daily Advisor

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Funding a 'True-Up' for Matching Contributions; Can Employer Fund the 'Lost Earnings'?
A 401k plan is written with a safe harbor match plan year calculation formula. They fund the match per pay period and provide a true-up after year end. They also fund lost earnings on the true-up. For example, if a participant is owed a true-up, they fund it in September (for a calendar year-end plan). They also calculate lost earnings from the last day of the plan year (12/31) to the date they fund the true-up. When asked why they fund lost earnings, we were told "because that's how we've always done it." They feel that since the match does not happen until September, they owe their employees the earnings. They feel that had the employee deferred evenly throughout the year, all their match would have been funded by 12/31. Can lost earnings be funded on the true-up?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
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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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