Retirement Plans Newsletter

May 18, 2018

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Benefit Communication Specialist
Benefit Communication Insourcing
in AR, CO, GA, NJ, WI

Retirement Operations Specialist
Alerus Financial
in MN

COBRA Account Administrator
Alerus Financial
in MN

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Webcasts, Conferences

Employee Benefit Plans of Tax-Exempt and Governmental Employers 2018
September 24, 2018 in DC
American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group [ALI CLE]

►See 148 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1386 Recorded Webcasts


Discussions

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Participants Challenge Plan's Decision to Switch to New Aon Hewitt Funds

"According to the complaint, the defendants removed a large number of established funds in the plan that were performing well (at Hewitt's urging), and replaced them with an unproven set of newly launched funds from Hewitt that were inappropriate for the plan and had not been adopted by the fiduciaries of any other retirement plans.... [T]he defendants transferred more than one-quarter billion dollars in plan assets (more than 90% of the plan's total assets) into these new and untested funds, and left participants with no other meaningful investment options." [McGinnes v. FirstGroup America, Inc., No. 18-326 (S.D. Ohio, complaint filed May 11, 2018)]
planadviser

[Advert.]

ERISA Litigation Update: New Trends and Significant Changes

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

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.


Survey Highlights Differences Between Worker, Retiree Perceptions About Retirement Income

"[R]etiree confidence in having enough money to cover basic expenses and medical expenses dropped in the latest findings: 80% say they were very/somewhat confident about covering basic expenses this year compared to 85% in 2017. And 70% say they are very/somewhat confident about covering medical expenses this year vs. 77% in 2017.... Meanwhile ... 68% of workers expect income from working to be either a major or a minor source of income in retirement, but just 26% of retirees say that this income is a major or minor source[.]"
HR Daily Advisor

Some Union Retirees Could See Pension Benefits Cut 90%, PBGC Chief Warns

"During the joint House-Senate committee hearing, [PBGC Director Tom Reeder] said the PBGC's multiemployer insurance fund was running a $65 billion deficit with only $2 billion in assets. The program, which covers 10 million participants and their families in 1,400 plans, is projected to go insolvent in 2025 without a legislative fix. It will be soon paying out more in insurance benefits than it is taking in from employers in premiums, Reeder said."
Forbes

Court Denies Plan Sponsor's Motion to Dismiss in Participant Lawsuit Over Continued Plan Investment in Mutual Fund with Ownership Interest in Sponsor's Parent Company

"Plan participants who had sustained major losses as a consequence of investing in Sequoia ... charged [that National Indemnity Company]: [1] failed to prudently manage the plan by offering 'shortsighted' investment options ... and [2] failed to avoid conflicts of interest by selecting an investment option with a close relationship to its parent company.... The allegation that the Sequoia Fund was more expensive and underperformed alternative funds that were not invested in high risk stock ... was sufficient to support the charge that the company's actions benefitted Berkshire Hathaway more than the participants." [Muri v. National Indemnity Co., No. 17-178 (D. Nebr. Feb. 26, 2018)]
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

Benefiting from a Retirement Plan: A Business Owner's Guide to the Best Plan

94 pages. Sixteen brief chapters. Topics include the costs associated with participating employees, design options for defined contribution and defined benefit plans, the SIMPLE IRA alternative, the use of life insurance inside a qualified plan, required minimum distributions (briefly), and a chart of the principal dollar limitations under the Internal Revenue Code. Includes a 10-page glossary of plan-related terms.
Pentegra

Parents Keeping College Savings Separate from Retirement Savings

"After saving for general needs, emergencies and retirement, parents focus on retirement savings. Only 10% plan to tap their retirement savings to help fund their child's college education. Sixty-one percent contribute a set amount on a regular basis. To help fund college savings, 30% have cut back on discretionary spending, and 27% have reduced their household expenses. Their average balance is $18,135, the highest amount in the past five years."
planadviser

Retirement Industry Officials Back Bipartisan Bills to Update ERISA

"J. Mark Iwry, nonresident senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution and a former Treasury official, said that while the electronic communication proposals has a 'great deal of merit,' he questioned whether the bill contains the 'consumer protections we need to get that ready' to mark up. 'I don't think we're ready yet,' he said, adding that there's a path to including 'not too burdensome protections to get there and move electronic communications forward.' "
Credit Union Times

Some Lessons for Corporate 401(k) Plan Sponsors from the Litigation Explosion

"[R]etirement plan sponsors should have a clear rationale for manager and service provider selection; one that is well-reasoned, informed, and revisited from time to time. Additionally, while retirement plan sponsors do not have to use the least expensive possible funds or service providers, fees must be reasonable relative to services provided. This probably means occasional competitive bids for record-keeping services. Ideally, a record-keeper won't have to be replaced but from time to time this may be necessary."
River and Mercantile Solutions

How to Build Your Own Pension with Annuities

"If you have a retirement nest egg, one thing you can do with a portion of your savings is purchase what's known as an immediate annuity. By doing so, you can essentially build your own pension and get a guaranteed income to supplement Social Security for the rest of your life."
CNNMoney

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Financial Stability Board Consults on Compensation Data Reporting to Address Misconduct Risk

"As part of its 2015 workplan to reduce misconduct risk in financial institutions, the Financial Stability Board ... published a public consultation on [May 7] on recommendations for consistent national reporting of data on the use of compensation tools to address misconduct risk. The recommendations are intended to enhance the capacity of financial supervisory authorities to monitor the effectiveness of compensation tools and other mechanisms in promoting good conduct."
Morgan Lewis

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

2019 Estimated Qualified Plan Limits

With the release of the consumer price index last Friday, and based on the current high-3 average -- Feb/March/April -- next year's limits will jump to the next level: $19,000 maximum deferral; $280,000 maximum compensation; $56,000 415 limit. Of course there are 5 months to go.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Private Sector Employer But Most Employees Covered by a Governmental Plan

A private sector employer is looking to establish a qualified plan or plans. In gathering data, we've learned that most of the employees are covered by the state's retirement plan, even though they are employed by a private employer. This is a result of a state law and lobbying by public sector unions. These employees are not unionized. Under Section 410, what do we do with all these employees who are covered by a government plan? They don't meet any of the 410(a) statutory exclusion. Since government plans are generally exempt from 410 (per 410(c)), it doesn't appear that we can permissively aggregate the government plan with a private sector plan for purposes of coverage and benefits testing.
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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 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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