Retirement Plans Newsletter

July 5, 2018

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Implementation Consultant
Alliance Benefit Group Of Houston, Inc.
in TX

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Webcasts, Conferences

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program Workshop
July 11, 2018 in WA
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program Workshop
July 12, 2018 in CA
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Retirement and How to Find the Perfect Fit Advisor
July 19, 2018 in GA
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Atlanta Chapter

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Discussions

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[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Request for Comments on Multiemployer Plan Regulations

"(PBGC) intends to request that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) extend approval, under the Paperwork Reduction Act, of collections of information in PBGC's regulations on multiemployer plans ... This notice ... solicits public comment on the collections of information.... [1] Termination of Multiemployer Plans (29 CFR part 4041A).... [2] Notice of Insolvency (29 CFR part 4245).... [3] Duties of Plan Sponsor Following Mass Withdrawal (29 CFR part 4281)."
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

SCOTUS Decision on Stock Options at Railroad Companies: Do the Justices Understand Stock Compensation?

"For Justice Gorsuch, the author of the majority opinion, it didn't seem to matter as much that stock options can be easily exercised and the shares sold for money. Yet in the minority opinion, Justice Breyer elucidates in detail the procedure for cashless exercises and provides data on how a large percentage of employees at railroad companies use this exercise method." [Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. U.S., No. 17-530 (U.S. June 21, 2018)]
myStockOptions.com

Federal Judge Approves $4.7M Settlement of 10-Year ERISA Lawsuit Against SunTrust Banks

"[P]lan participants will each receive a share of the payment from the settlement fund ... Named plaintiffs each receive a case contribution award of $10,000. Class counsel were awarded attorney fees in the amount of $1,583,333.33 and reimbursement of expenses totaling $462,810.18[.]" [In Re SunTrust Banks, Inc. ERISA Litigation, No. 8-3384 (N.D. Ga. June 28, 2018)]
Atlanta Business Chronicle

How The DOL Fiduciary Rule Changed Norms

"[FAB 2018-02] states that prohibited transaction claims will not be brought against advisors who 'are working diligently and in good faith' to satisfy the impartial conduct standards set forth in the DOL rule exemptions.... Because the FAB is still in place, the impartial conduct standards essentially remain in place ... While not as strict as the fiduciary definition set out in the Investment Advisors Act of 1940, the five-part test is still a tough standard on ERISA fiduciaries.... [T]he application of the 1975 rules will most certainly be broader than in the past[.]"
InsuranceNewsNet.com

DOL and Thrivent Ask Judge to Keep Fiduciary Rule Case Open

"The parties agreed that despite an appeals court decision that struck down the fiduciary rule in its entirety, its related litigation hasn't been finally resolved ... Last week, Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn -- the judge in Texas whose ruling upholding the fiduciary rule was reversed by the Fifth Circuit decision -- issued an order asking 'any party seeking further relief in this action' to notify the court of that intent by July 12.... The time hasn't yet run for the potential intervenors ... to seek further review of that denial, the DOL and Thrivent said."
Bloomberg BNA

DB Endgame Strategies

"A number of factors are resulting in improved defined benefit plan funding. And as plans approach 'full funding,' some sponsors are considering plan termination as an option.... [This article reviews]: [1] the factors/moving parts affecting funded status; [2] (very generally) the effect of recent trends in those factors on plan funded status; [3] and the issues presented by different endgame strategies."
October Three Consulting

Tax Wrinkle Spurs Pension Funds to Buy More Treasurys

"S&P 500 companies are contributing to pension plans this year at a pace expected to nearly match 2017's level, which at $63 billion was the most since 2003 ... Last year's contributions were spurred in part by companies anticipating changes in the U.S. tax-code overhaul. That and continued contributions this year have been a boon for the Treasury market because pension funds tend to invest in long-dated bonds to match their long-term liabilities."
The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

Congress Says No Rothification ... for Now

"Congress is looking at round 2 of tax reform, and Rothification has come up again. However, ... Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said that 'the Ways and Means Committee has no plans to revisit the issue of so-called Rothification as part of any 2.0 proposals, and any rumors to the contrary are simply not correct.' "
Slott Report

The Hierarchy of Tax-Preferenced Savings Vehicles

"[T]here is still the foundational tier of savings to provide an emergency fund ... but the key point is to acknowledge that there is a hierarchy of tax-preferenced accounts -- ranging from triple-tax-preferenced accounts to accounts with no tax preferences -- and high-income earners can better limit their tax liabilities and maximize their growth by adhering to this hierarchy!"
Nerd's Eye View

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

403(b) Closing, 401(k) Startup -- Same Employer

403b is terminating in a few months -- Sept. 2018 -- and employer will start a 401k in the same year (2018). Employer wants to move away from universal eligibility for elective deferrals on 403b and add age 21 and 6 months of service requirement. Can any employee roll over 403b balance to 401k even if not yet eligible to make elective deferrals under the 401k due to new eligibility rules? Can the employees' years of service and vesting continue?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Start-Up of Safe Harbor 401(k) Plan; Effect of Existing 457(b) Plan

Employer has no 401(k) plan but has a 457(b) plan covering only the one key employee. This key employee makes elective deferrals to this plan. The employer wants to start a safe harbor 401(k) plan. Could the 401(k) begin on October 1, or would it need to wait until 1/1/2019 due to the 457 plan?
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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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