Retirement Plans Newsletter

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Retirement & Institutional Services Plan Analyst
in NC, SC

Mid-Level Employee Benefits Attorney (#75180111)
Holland & Hart LLP
in AK, CO, DC, ID, MT, NV, UT, WY

Rollover Education Specialist
John Hancock Retirement Plan Services
in MA

Actuarial Specialist
RPG Consultants
in NY

Recordkeeping Team Manager, OmniPlus
in CT, DC, FL, GA, IL, MA, MI, MN, MO, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TX, VA, WI

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Webcasts, Conferences

403(b) Hot Topics (and that's not an oxymoron)
June 12, 2018 WEBCAST
Western Pension & Benefits Council

Handling the Repurchase Obligation - Legal Issues
August 21, 2018 WEBCAST
National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

Advanced Plan Design Workshop
October 11, 2018 in OR
FIS Relius Education

Advanced Plan Design Workshop
October 18, 2018 in OH
FIS Relius Education

►See 153 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1382 Recorded Webcasts


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[Official Guidance]

Treasury Department Notice of Multiemployer Pension Plan Application to Reduce Benefits: Western States Office and Professional Employees Pension Fund

"The Board of Trustees of the Western States Office and Professional Employees Pension Fund (WSOPE Pension Fund), a multiemployer pension plan, has submitted an application to reduce benefits under the fund in accordance with [MPRA].... [which] has been published on the website of the Department of the Treasury ... [C]omments on the application [are requested] from interested parties, including participants and beneficiaries, employee organizations, and contributing employers of the WSOPE Pension Fund."
U.S. Department of the Treasury


Early Rates End June 18!

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Learn about alternative investment options for your plans specifically related to hedge funds and real estate at Alternative Investment Strategies. Offered in partnership with the Wharton School, limited seats are being offered. Register today.

Fiduciary Implications of Flexible Retirement Income Solutions (PDF)

12 pages. "[This article provides] a Fiduciary Checklist and a Q&A that can help to define prudent practices and processes regarding retirement income investment solutions within DC plans.... Interest in addressing retirement income needs with defined contribution (DC) plans is an evolutionary step in retirement savings.... DC plan sponsors that add retirement income features to their plans are not taking on the same liabilities associated with sponsoring a DB plan.... Meeting ERISA's fiduciary duties can be straightforward and reasonable if done properly and in the best interest of the employee plan participants."
The Wagner Law Group, for Franklin Templeton Investments

Fate of the Fiduciary Rule: Appellate Courts Have Spoken, But What Comes Next? (PDF)

"After a quick review of the portions of the Fiduciary Rule relevant to the Fifth and Tenth Circuit litigation, [the authors] explain what the two recent opinions did, and did not, say. [They] conclude with ... thoughts on the possible impact of these opinions and whether the Fiduciary Rule will proceed through the court system, be re-worked by DOL, face a re-write from the [SEC] or Congress, or be left to the states to resuscitate."
Miller & Chevalier, in The Investment Lawyer

Arizona Court of Appeals Misses with Fraudulent Transfer Opinion for ERISA Contributions

"[T]he Court of Appeals' attempted distinction would mean that if a non-sponsor employer (i.e., a third-party outsider to the plan) made a contribution to an ERISA plan, that contribution could be unwound as a fraudulent transfer, but if the employee herself made a contribution to an ERISA plan, then hands-off.... At best, the Court of Appeals holding in Shah v. Blaloch is at best dubious, and should be the subject of challenges in subsequent cases." [Shah v. Blaloch, No. 1 CA-CV 15-0812 (Az. App. Oct. 12, 2017)]

Ninth Circuit Holds Constructive Notice Sufficient for Successor Withdrawal Liability

"[The Court] suggested how, with some diligence, the asset purchaser could have determined the seller's potential withdrawal liability. This decision is the latest evidence of the strong trend extending the availability of the successor liability doctrine to impose successor withdrawal liability on asset purchasers." [Heavenly Hana LLC v. Hotel Union & Hotel Industry of Hawaii Pension Plan, No. 16-15481 (9th Cir. June 1, 2018)]
Jackson Lewis P.C.


Now is a great time to join Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB)

Sponsored by WEB - Worldwide Employee Benefits Network

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network helps me connect with thought leaders in the Benefits Industry. Join WEB today at

CalSavers Lawsuit Raises Tricky ERISA Questions

"While the court may be addressing a narrow question, its answer is anything but clear.... The [DOL] addressed IRAs provided to workers through employers in a 1975 safe harbor.... But as California and other states began exploring state-administered IRA plans over the past decade, the 1975 safe harbor did not provide enough protection for prospective employers in state-administered plans[.]"

Expressing Projected Accumulated Savings as Lifetime Retirement Income

"[The Actuarial Lifetime Retirement Income Estimator (ALRIE)] is a more robust tool for retirement plan providers (including [DC] plan sponsors, DC plan administrators and brokerages) who want to give plan participants a better idea of how much lifetime retirement income their account balances may provide."
Ken Steiner, FSA Retired

Considering Custom Investment Options for Your DC Plan (PDF)

12 pages. "This commentary discusses the potential benefits and drawbacks of including nonstandard investment options, particularly white-label funds, in a 401(k) plan.... [D]oes customization provide potential benefits to plan participants that outweigh any additional responsibilities and costs assumed by the plan sponsor?"

Does Your Retirement Plan Pass the 3-Point Check-Up?

"Here are three key issues to consider: [1] The predictability of the growth in your plan.... [2] Liquidity and access to your money.... [3] Taxation of the income you take from your plan."

Three Misleading IRS Forms

"Form 5498 for inherited IRA ... [N]obody has the responsibility to tell the beneficiary about this [RMD] obligation.... Form 5329: Missed RMD 'shortfall' ... if you want a waiver of the penalty, you must ignore the instructions on Form 5329 itself ... file the form along with your explanation of reasonable cause and how you remedied the shortfall and you have a chance at getting an IRS waiver.... Form 1099-R: Where's my QCD? ... [T]he Form 1099-R ... will show a total ... IRA distribution ... with no mention whatsoever that any of it went to a charity, or that there even was a QCD at all."
Natalie Choate, in Morningstar Advisor


The Retirement Revolution: Regulatory Reform to Enable Behavioral Change (PDF)

18 pages. "We need better-targeted tax incentives, easier saving mechanisms, cultural and legal advances that enable longer working lives, laws that better enable long-term care insurance and deferred annuities, a re-formed reverse mortgage market, and help for households in managing their retirement assets and achieving greater security."
The Brookings Institution

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

What Are Creditable Benefits for New York's Wage Parity Act?

"The Act requires a minimum basic wage (cash) of the applicable New York State minimum wage plus additional wages or supplemental wages (i.e., benefits) equal to another $4.09 per hour in NYC or $3.22 per hour in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties ... The goal for agencies is to deliver the WPA package in a way that is tax advantaged.... [which] requires complying not only with the WPA, but also with many other federal and state laws ... [F]or example, if a cell phone plan reimbursement program meets all the standards to be tax qualified under the Internal Revenue Code, it is not a creditable cost towards the WPA Package."

Cybersecurity and Employee Benefit Plans

Podcast with transcript. "Data breaches are occurring with increased frequency in today's digital environment. Benefit plans in particular are uniquely susceptible to cyber-risks because they store large amounts of sensitive employee information and share it with multiple third parties. In this [podcast, the writers] discuss the developing legal framework in the area of cybersecurity and outline practical tips that plan sponsors and record-keepers may use to secure plan data."
Proskauer's ERISA Practice Center

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Reporting Coverage under Inflation Bond using Form 5500-SF

Plan assets at beginning of year are $1,855,000. If the client has a bond with an inflation guard, should I be reporting $185,500 coverage on 10(c)?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Paychecks Not Enough to Support Elected Per-Paycheck Deferral Amounts

A plan allows dollar deferral amounts, e.g., $40, $50. What should be done when an employee doesn't make enough in a particular paycheck to cover the deferral amount? The plan sponsor has been netting them down to $0 in the past.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

VFCP-Required Excise Tax; Pay It to Participants?

We recently helped a plan sponsor complete a VFCP application. The amount of the excise tax was about $30. When an excise tax is less than $100, we've been telling our clients to give it to the plan participants rather than the IRS. We still complete the Form 5330 but we don't file it. San Francisco's EBSA office is telling the plan sponsor to file Form 5330? Thoughts?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Using DocuSign to Get Client Signatures on Form 5500?

Is anyone using DocuSign to get clients to "manually" sign the Form 5500? Using DocuSign is MUCH easier then the whole credential process, and clients seem to be getting more familiar with signing documents this way. Is it acceptable to the DOL?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

61st Annual Survey Questionnaire Open for Participation
PSCA [Plan Sponsor Council of America]

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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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