Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 11, 2018

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Jobs

DC / 401(k) Plan Administrator
Improved Funding Techniques, Inc.
in NY

Payroll Account Executive
Alerus Financial
in MN

Retirement Contribution Specialist
Alerus Financial
in MN

Retirement Relationship Manager II
Alerus Financial
in NH

Regional Sales / Retirement Plans
United Retirement Plan Consultants
in VA

►See 140 Jobs

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Webcasts, Conferences

Correcting Elective Deferral Failures
April 24, 2018 WEBCAST
ERISApedia.com

Correcting Elective Deferral Failures
April 25, 2018 WEBCAST
ERISApedia.com

Spending in Retirement and Financial Shocks: Qualitative and Quantitative Evidence
May 2, 2018 WEBCAST
University Conference Services

Using HR Technology to Help You Become a Destination Employer
May 2, 2018 in NC
Hill, Chesson & Woody

Form 5500 Workshop
June 28, 2018 in WI
FIS Relius Education

ERISA Workshop
June 28, 2018 in WI
FIS Relius Education

►See 168 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1360 Recorded Webcasts


Discussions

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The Impact of Managed Accounts and Target Date Funds on Defined Contribution Plans
"This report discusses ways in which professional investment assistance (managed accounts and target date funds) can be effective tools for workers.... Availability and usage of in-plan professional investment assistance is on the rise.... Historical returns are higher on average and less volatile for workers using in-plan professional investment assistance.... Workers using in-plan professional investment assistance have more diversified portfolios.... Savings decisions are better with consistent managed account usage."
Alight; free registration required

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Dallas 5/1 | New York 5/3 Register to learn about the crucial issues and options plan sponsors must consider to help their participants achieve their retirement savings and income goals.


District Court Rejects Request by Franklin Resources to Dismiss ERISA Lawsuit
"[The District Court judge] consolidated the complaint with a similar pending suit against executives of the 401(k) plan. A former Franklin employee and plan participant sued the company and plan executives ... alleging violations of [ERISA] such as charging excessive fees, offering poor-performing proprietary mutual funds and failing to monitor fiduciaries ... The plan had $1.21 billion in assets at year-end 2016, according to the latest Form 5500." [Fernandez v. Franklin Resources, Inc., No. 17-6409 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 6, 2018)]
Pensions & Investments

Buyer of Assets Ruled Liable for Seller's Withdrawal Liability
"[T]he Seventh Circuit explained that the district court should have looked at the impact that the purchase of the target's assets had on the operations of what would have been the target's business, absent the sale.... ManWeb's use of the target's goodwill and reputation to attempt to convince the target's customers to purchase services from ManWeb weighed heavily in favor of a finding of continuity of operations.... The mere fact that ManWeb attempted to capture the target's customers was sufficient to show that there was continuity of customers." [Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Benefit Fund v. ManWeb Services, Inc., No. 16-2840 (7th Cir. Mar. 12, 2018)]
Morgan Lewis

Tips for Handling Combined DB/DC Plan Testing
"All plans must have the same plan year. Plans being aggregated must have the same start and end date. Benefits rights and features may not be available on a discriminatory basis.... The only qualified plans that may be aggregated to comply with Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a)(4) are model SEPs and SIMPLE plans, and they must be the employer's only active plan ... To demonstrate comparability ... all the participants must have an EBAR at least equal to the DB top heavy minimum EBAR.... [E]ach type of plan must comply with Code Section 404 separately."
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA]

Defusing the Pension-Savings Time Bomb (PDF)
"The current environment of low interest rates and investment returns, sluggish wage growth and inadequate private savings is creating a retirement-funding problem.... [S]trategies for employers ... can include: [1] Making lump-sum offers to future retirees.... 43 percent of U.S. firms have offered buyouts to future plan beneficiaries. [2] Shifting obligations for existing retiree groups, or entire plans, to insurance companies."
Aon

Retirement Preparedness of the Boomer Generation, 2018 Update (PDF)
26 pages. "The percentage of Baby Boomers with retirement savings rose to 58 percent, from 54 percent in 2017.... Among Boomers with retirement savings, 43 percent have $250,000 or more saved, as compared to 32 percent having this level of savings in 2017.... 79 percent of Boomers who have a relationship with a financial professional have at least $100,000 saved for retirement, versus only 48 percent of those who do not work with a financial professional.... 80 percent of annuity owners have at least $100,000 saved for retirement, as compared to only 53 percent of non-owners."
Insured Retirement Institute [IRI]

Roth Conversion Cost Averaging and Roth 'Barbell' Strategies
"Although many popular Roth conversion strategies are no longer viable after the elimination of the recharacterization of Roth conversions, the attractiveness of recently reduced tax rates arguably makes Roth conversions even more appealing... with the caveat that it's more important than ever to consider the timing!"
Nerd's Eye View

Benefits in General

Fifth Circuit Joins Sister Circuits by Overruling Default Deferential Standard of Review
"The Fifth Circuit provided several grounds for its decision to overrule [its quarter century-old holding in Pierre v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Company], including the fact that no other circuit agreed with its interpretation of Firestone. It also rejected as misplaced Pierre's reliance on trust law and its analogies to the deference afforded to agency decisions and the factual findings of district courts to support its interpretation of Firestone." [Ariana M. v. Humana Health Plan of Texas, Inc., No. 16-20174 (5th Cir. Mar. 1, 2018)]
Robinson & Cole LLP

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Credit Karma Settles with SEC over Alleged Stock Option Disclosure Failures
"The [SEC] recently instituted a cease-and-desist proceeding against Credit Karma, Inc.... for failing to provide adequate disclosure to its stock option holders pursuant to SEC Rule 701 because Credit Karma did not comply with relevant disclosure requirements for offerings in excess of $5 million.... Credit Karma agreed to a settlement with the SEC and paid a civil penalty of $160,000 -- well above what the disclosures would have cost.... Rule 701 is a safe harbor exemption that excuses certain employee benefit plans, including stock incentive plans, from registering equity offerings and sales under the Securities Act."
DLA Piper

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Union Members as Excluded Class; Participant Becomes Union Member Mid-Year
A plan excludes unions and has a last day of the plan year allocation requirement for profit sharing contributions. An employee enters the plan, but later during the year changes job to a union position. Can the plan require a participant to be an eligible employee on the last day of the year to be eligible for an allocation, or is that limited to employment on last day of the year?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Ability of Spouse to Fund a Fully Deductible IRA If Other Spouse Covered by SEP
Can the other spouse, if not covered by their own employer plan, have his or her own regular IRA, and is it fully deductible?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Splitting a 401(k) Plan to Avoid Audit Requirement -- With a Twist
Plan sponsor wants to split its current safe harbor 401(k) plan (130-ish participants and going up each year) into two identical plans in order to avoid the audit requirement. The split probably could be done by placing certain categories of employees in just one plan. I'm much more comfortable with this than an alphabetical approach. Here's the wrinkle: the employer also sponsor a cash balance plan, which is tested with the 401(k) plan. Does this cause complications for splitting the 401(k) plan?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Lois Baker, J.D., President  loisbaker@benefitslink.com
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2018 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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