Retirement Plans Newsletter

May 11, 2018

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Senior Administrator
The Retirement Plan Company
Telecommute

Plan Administrator
Windes
in CA

Experienced Plan Consultant
Randall + Hurley
in MT, WA, Telecommute

401(k) Plan Administrator
RPA
in VA, Telecommute

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Webcasts, Conferences

Current ESOP Events
July 10, 2018 WEBCAST
National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

ERISA 2018: The Evolving World
August 6, 2018 WEBCAST
Practising Law Institute

Is Your Nonqualified Plan Up to Par?
May 22, 2018 WEBCAST
Voya Financial

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Discussions

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2018-53: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates Applicable for May 2018 (PDF)

"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates used under Section 417(e)(3), and the 24-month average segment rates under Section 430(h)(2) ... In addition, this notice provides guidance as to the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities under Section 417(e)(3)(A)(ii)(II) as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008 and the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate under Section 431(c)(6)(E)(ii)(I)."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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May 31 webinar includes tips for avoiding litigation. key issues in defending claims for benefits, and emerging areas of specialized ERISA claims. Discount for BenefitsLink readers.


[Guidance Overview]

Recent Developments Toward a Fiduciary Standard for Brokers

"[The SEC] has a broader statutory authority to regulate brokers than the DOL and was specifically tasked by Congress under the Dodd-Frank Act to determine what standards should apply to brokers and investment advisers. In the end, state and federal regulators and legislators (and perhaps the courts) will have to grapple with the difficult task of providing a clear and practical set of rules that define an investment professional's roles and responsibilities to clients if changes to the current standards are to be effective and efficient."
Womble Bond Dickinson

DOL's Confusing Fiduciary Rule FAB 2018-02

"[DOL has] pledged not to bring an enforcement action against firms for non-exempt prohibited transactions that arise from providing fiduciary investment advice to retirement plans and [IRA] holders when they exercise 'reasonable diligence and act in good faith' in complying with previously existing impartial conduct standards.... DOL's new non-enforcement policy binds only itself and IRS; state regulators and private plaintiffs can potentially seek to bring an action for alleged non-compliance with impartial conduct standards."
planadviser

Defined Benefit Plans Are Showing New Signs of Life

"[T]he number of single-employer DB plans with fewer than 100 participants rose for the third consecutive year in 2015, up 2% from 2012 ... The growth rate was more robust among plans with at least 100 participants, rising by 4% with four consecutive years of growth.... [T]he number of DC plans has not been growing any more rapidly."
Cypen & Cypen

Multiemployer Plan Committee to Examine Financial State of PBGC

"Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans Co-Chairmen Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) ... announced they will convene a hearing on Thursday, May 17, 2018, to examine the state of the [PBGC].... The [sole] witness ... will be Thomas Reeder, Executive Director of the PBGC."
Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans

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DOL Enters Into Fifth Settlement Agreement with an ESOP Trustee -- and It Looks Familiar

"The agreement with Lubbock National Bank (the LNB Agreement) ... is identical to the first process agreement that the DOL entered into in 2014 with GreatBanc Trust Company (the GBTC Agreement). Notably, the LNB Agreement does not contain any of the items that the DOL requested be added to agreements with ESOP trustees that were entered into after the GBTC Agreement."
Holland & Knight

Who Are the Most Trusted 401(k) Plan Providers?

"Study results indicated the top five most trusted retirement plan providers are: Charles Schwab, TIAA, T. Rowe Price, Wells Fargo, Fidelity, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Alight (Aon), [and] Vanguard. Financial institutions in general, however, did not achieve a similar swell of approval ... Just 13 percent of respondents think financial institutions can be trusted to make decisions that are in their best interest."
401K Specialist

CalSTRS Funded Status Declines Following Rate-of-Return Decrease

"CalSTRS' funded status fell to 62.6% on a smoothed actuarial basis as of June 30, 2017, down from 63.7% a year earlier ... [T]he pension plan's unfunded actuarial obligation is up to $107.3 billion as of June 30 from $96.7 billion at the June 30, 2016, valuation."
Pensions & Investments

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

2018 Trends and Developments in Executive Compensation

"Of CEO Pay Ratio disclosures among respondents, roughly 50% of the ratios fell at or below 100:1 ... One-half of respondents reported compensation of the 'Median' employee between $25,000 and $75,000, with an overall median of $65,000.... [A] majority of survey respondents (54%) reported that 2018 target long-term incentive grant values were greater than 2017 values."
Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Split 401(k) to Avoid Audit, Retro to First Day?

Is it permissible to spin-off a portion of a safe harbor 401k plan to an identical safe harbor 401k plan for a calendar plan year after January 1 of the current year with an effective date of January 1, in order to avoid a plan audit for the 2018 plan year? Safe harbor mid-year amendment issues?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Effect of Huge Mid-Year Distribution from Pooled Account

A participant owns 50% of the company and recently retired. The participant wants to take a full distribution. Per the most recent annual report, the account balance is about 44% of the total plan assets. I'm concerned that a full distribution from the pooled account might affect the rest of the participants' account balances negatively. Any concerns or issues with allowing the distribution?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

How Do I Look Up a Top Hat Filing?

Someone in my office claims to have filed a top hat filing for our top hat plan, but she has no record of it. Is there someplace online I can go to look up the filing?
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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