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Conversion/Transition Specialist
Acuff & Associates, Inc.
in TN

Senior Pension Administrator - Combo DB/DC Plans
Primark Benefits

Employee Benefits Associate
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
in IL

Relationship Manager
ERISA Services, Inc.
in TN, Telecommute

Retirement Plan Services Manager
in CO

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Webcasts, Conferences

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

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program Workshop
July 17, 2018 in ID
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Role of Pensions in Public Sector Finance
July 24, 2018 WEBCAST
Society of Actuaries

Fiduciary Loan Regulations for 401(k) Plans: Best Practices for Plan Sponsors
August 7, 2018 WEBCAST

New ERISA Regulations for Disability Claims and Appeals
August 13, 2018 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

Plan Corrections: Fixing the Broken Plan Workshop
October 5, 2018 in TN
FIS Relius Education

►See 132 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1399 Recorded Webcasts


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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Umbrella Closing Agreement Program Available to Correct Missed Deadlines

"Financial institutions and providers can still make corrections through the Voluntary Correction Program. However, with the umbrella closing agreement option, there does not have to be a system-wide error. Instead, this allows the financial institution to seek correction across a group of employers. An umbrella closing agreement correction can be more cost-effective and simpler for providers looking to make group corrections."
Butterfield Schechter LLP


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[Guidance Overview]

401(k) Plan Sponsors: Time to Revisit Your Hardship Withdrawal Provisions

"Will a plan be treated as satisfying the regulatory safe harbor if it retains the 6-month suspension period for purposes of making elective deferrals and employee contributions? What happens to participants whose 6-month suspension period has not yet expired when the change to eliminate the suspension period becomes effective? Will a plan be treated as satisfying the regulatory safe harbor if it retains the requirement that a participant must first obtain any available plan loan before taking a hardship withdrawal?"
Verrill Dana LLP

Changes to DOL Late Deferral Remittance Enforcement Procedure

"The threatening tone of the new version of this DOL correspondence is undeniable.... It remains to be seen how the DOL reacts to recipients of the letter who do not proceed with formal VFCP correction of late deferral remittance issues.... [P]lan sponsors now have additional motivation to pursue formal correction of these issues under VFCP in order to avoid potential DOL enforcement actions."
Legacy Retirement Solutions

Is It Time to Address Benefits for Alternative Work Arrangements?

"[T]he percentage of individuals providing services via an alternative work arrangement in the United States rose from 10.7% in February 2005 to 15.9% in late 2015.... 94% of the net job growth in the United States during this time period was attributable to the independent workforce.... As Congress crafts long-term solutions for these issues, it may be that companies that reduced employee benefit costs in the short run via outsourcing and the use of independent workers will have merely traded one set of costs for another."
Thompson Coburn

Creating the Ideal 401(k) Plan, Part 1

"Deferrals would start at 5% and escalate to 10% automatically over 5 years.... As plans become 'healthier,' employers get greater safe harbor protection and lower liability. Measures could include participation and deferral rates -- and ultimately, income replacement ratios.... Default would be TDFs with risk based and managed accounts for those willing to fill out online surveys, along with do-it-yourself options.... Transparent, unbundled pricing with level comp paid by participants paid using flat, fee-per-head charges for participants with account balances over a certain size; ... Focus on financial literacy,"
National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]


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Retire Early or Keep on Working? How to Prepare for Either Choice

"When it comes to the decision of when to retire, there's no one rule of thumb for everyone. In fact, depending on your health care options and savings, you might not be able to retire.... 'Overall, 255,000 Americans, 85 years old and over, were working over the past 12 months,' The Washington Post's Andrew Van Dam reported. 'That's 4.4 percent of Americans that age, up from 2.6 percent in 2006, before the recession. It's the highest number on record.' "
The Washington Post; subscription may be required

District Court Affirms Use of 'Segal Blend' to Calculate Withdrawal Liability

"[The court] upheld the arbitrator's findings that the use of funding assumptions is not required in calculating withdrawal liability and that Manhattan Ford Lincoln, Inc. failed to demonstrate that the actuary's selection of the Segal Blend rate for purposes of that calculation was unreasonable. This decision is consistent with every other decision handed down in similar cases except for one since 1980 when withdrawal liability became part of [ERISA]." [Manhattan Ford Lincoln, Inc. v. UAW Local 259 Pension Fund, No. 17-5076(D.N.J. July 3, 2018)]
Segal Consulting

Top 10 Actively Managed Funds in Defined Contribution Plans: Forensic Analysis 2Q 2018

"The AMVR reflects a fund's incremental costs relative to a fund's incremental returns. Therefore, a low AMVR score is the goal.... [A]ll ten of the funds had a R-squared number over 90, most were 95 or greater. As a result, the funds' AER effective annual expense ratios rose dramatically and rendered all but one of the funds as cost-inefficient ... Even the sole surviving cost-efficient fund, Vanguard PRIMECAP Admiral shares failed to score in the optimal range, just slipping in 0.86."
The Prudent Investment Fiduciary Rules

Selecting Socially Responsible Retirement Plan Investments

"Although prior guidance allowed an ESG factor to be an integral part of the economic analysis when considering an investment option and to serve as a tie-breaker, the FAB now walks this back and provides that using an ESG factor would only be appropriate if the ESG factor could be treated as an economic consideration by itself, meaning that a qualified investment professional would treat the factor as an economic consideration under generally accepted investment theories."
Fulcrum Partners LLC

New Jersey Pension Investments Guided by Social, Environmental Values

"The State Investment Council has withdrawn investments from a company that manufactures high-powered firearms, pressured two private-equity firms not to foreclose on Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria last year, and urged Target not to do business with trucking companies that classify their drivers as contractors rather than employees.... [T]he investment council now is working on a formal policy on ... considering environmental, social and governance factors in deciding where to put pension investments."

One Year In, Assessing the Progress of OregonSaves

"In a broad statement marking the first anniversary of the OregonSaves program, State Treasurer Tobias Read suggests the pace of signups is advancing, with an average of more than a thousand people now being registered a week to start contributing."


American Academy of Actuaries Letter to Congress Suggesting Improvements to the Proposed 'Lifetime Income Disclosure Act' (PDF)

"[S]hould Congress take up the Lifetime Income Disclosure Act (S.868, H.R.2055), it could be improved in the following ways: [1] Provide more guidance to the [DOL] with respect to the lifetime income disclosure provisions ... [2] Exempt small employers from providing the income disclosure statement; however, require that they furnish employees with information regarding the DOL website tool and how to access it ... [3] Require that the DOL update its website to align with the legislation.... [4] Direct the DOL to create a better safe harbor that would relieve employers from fiduciary liability for providing retiree income options."
American Academy of Actuaries

Benefits in General

Circuit Split About ERISA Proper Party Defendants and Service of Process May Be Resolved by Supreme Court

"The Colorado Supreme Court's decisions upholding the dismissal of claims against two separate disability plans under ERISA may be under review by the [U.S.] Supreme Court, following submission of the joint petition for a writ of certiorari ... Petitioners asked the Supreme Court to review the following two issues: [1] a Circuit split regarding whether and when an ERISA benefit plan is a proper defendant in a benefit claim; and [2] whether an ERISA plan's agent for service of process must be an actual human or can be a group, corporation or other entity."
Robinson & Cole LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Employer Profit Sharing Contributions Keyed to Student Loan Repayments?

There are some articles floating around related to encouraging younger employees to participate in 401(k) plans while paying down substantial student loan debt, by making an employer contribution (described as a match) to the 401k plan. This is to encourage retirement savings, when younger employees are too saddled with college loan debt to participate in the 401(k) plan. These have been described as an employer contribution conditioned to student loan debt payment, as a flat dollar incentive, or percentage of pay. Has anyone designed such a 401(k) plan provision?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Church Plan Wants to Increase Normal Retirement Age

A non-electing church plan wishes to increase normal retirement age for most participants, effective for already accrued benefits. I know the plan is not subject to IRC section 411(d)(6), so no cutback issue. Any other issues besides potentially upsetting participants?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

401(k) Named Beneficiary Turns Out to Be Daughter, Not Surviving Spouse

My mother's husband of almost 12 years recently died. He had a 401k worth approx. $400k. He was always telling my mom that if he ever died, she would be rich. I assume this means that he truly believed his 401k retirement would go to her. Mom received a call this morning advising her that when her husband set up this 401k account in the early 90s that he listed his oldest daughter as beneficiary, and that my mom would receive nothing. It's my belief that he assumed the 401k would automatically go to my mother when he died, because they were married. My mother is trying to get a meeting with an attorney to start seeing about fighting this. Does she stand any chance?
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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, 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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