Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 10, 2018

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Webcasts, Conferences

Ethics in a Digital World
November 13, 2018 WEBCAST
American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

ERISA Remedies: Key Enforcement Provisions and Scope of Equitable Relief for Benefit Claims
November 27, 2018 WEBCAST
Strafford

NRS 2018 Compliance Forum
December 6, 2018 in NY
National Regulatory Services [NRS]

20th Annual Best Practices Conference
December 11, 2018 in MA
New England Employee Benefits Council

Using ESOPs to Structure an Acquisition
December 11, 2018 WEBCAST
National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of Draft 2018 Instructions for IRS Form 8955-SSA: Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits (PDF)

"Form 8955-SSA, the designated successor to Schedule SSA (Form 5500), is used to satisfy the reporting requirements of section 6057(a). Form 8955-SSA is a stand-alone reporting form filed with the IRS.... DO NOT file Form 8955-SSA with Form 5500 ... or Form 5500-SF ... Use Form 8955-SSA to report information about separated participants with deferred vested benefits under the plan.... The SSA no longer processes nonstandard pages 2. Report information about separated participants only on page 2 of Form 8955-SSA." [Oct. 9, 2018 draft.]
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of Treasury Department Approval of Application for Reduction of Benefits by Local 805 Pension Fund (PDF)

"In consultation with the [DOL and PBGC], Treasury has determined that the Fund is eligible to reduce benefits under MPRA and that your application satisfies the requirements of ... section 432(e)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, as added by MPRA.... Pursuant to Code section 432(e)(9)(H), no reduction of benefits can take effect before a vote of the participants and beneficiaries of the Plan with respect to the proposed reduction."
U.S. Department of the Treasury

[Guidance Overview]

How to Help a Plan in Need: PBGC Issues Final Regs on Multiemployer Plan Mergers

"The final regulations provide guidance on permissible multiemployer pension plan mergers, and the PBGC's role in such mergers, including [1] general requirements for multiemployer pension plan mergers and transfers (including applicable definitions); [2] rules and requirements (including procedural requirements) for facilitated plan mergers ... and [3] language clarifying that the PBGC may waive the requirement that a plan preserve accrued benefits following a merger in the event of a simultaneous benefit suspension and merger."
Morgan Lewis

Why Auto-Enrollment Matters for Plan Sponsors

"Companies with auto enrollment have more than doubled in the past 10 years, from 15 percent in 2008 to 33 percent in 2018. Over the same time period, average savings among automatically enrolled employees rose from 4 percent to 6.7 percent. Currently, participation in auto-enrollment plans is at 87 percent, while participation in plans without auto-enrollment is only 52 percent."
PlanPILOT

Views of ESG Investing Changing Among Institutional Investors

"Institutional investors in the U.S. continue to view the application of environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles in investing more cautiously than other countries, but the percentage that reject ESG outright shrank dramatically year over year, from 51% to 34% ... Forty-three percent of institutional investors incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their investing, up from 22% in 2013[.]"
planadviser

Plaintiffs' Bar Takes Another Hit in 403(b) Excessive Fee Cases

"The latest blow to these largely cookie cutter cases ... alleged that the plan paid excessive fees for administrative or investment management services, the plan should have consolidated to one recordkeeper (as opposed to two), that certain funds underperformed and that the plan's fiduciaries caused the plan to engage in prohibited transactions.... The court reasoned that the complaint starts with the false premise that just because the plan's fees could have been lower, there must have been some breach of duty." [Davis v. Washington Univ. in St. Louis, No. 17-1641 (E.D. Mo. Sept. 28, 2018)]
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Editor's Pick Employee Contributions to Public Pension Plans (PDF)

12 pages, Oct. 2018. "[N]early all employees of state and local government are required to share in the cost of their retirement benefit. Employee contributions typically are set as a percentage of salary by statute or by the retirement board.... Reforms made in the wake of the 2008‑09 market decline included higher employee contribution rates in many states. This issue brief examines employee contribution plan designs, policies and recent trends."
National Association of State Retirement Administrators [NASRA]

Defined Contribution Financial Wellness Results: Is All Well(ness) and Good?

"Virtually all record keepers offer financial wellness, including 'bundled' services.... Most plans are offering financial wellness and the reported usage numbers are high. The record keepers report that retirement savings is the primary use. Usage is how plan sponsors are measuring success as opposed to fewer sick days, less stress and better engagement."
NEPC

How to Know If You're Really Saving Enough for Retirement

"If you can retire with enough income from both Social Security and your retirement savings to replace between 70% and 80% of your pre-retirement before-tax income, you are likely on track with your retirement savings.... Those with more frugal lifestyles, greater savings, higher working incomes or less (no) debt might find a 60% income replacement ratio works just fine. The tricky part is estimating your potential income so far out in the future."
Financial Finesse

Benefits in General

True-up, Catch-up, What's Up -- for 401(k) Plans, 403(b) Plans, and HSAs

"It's time to take immediate action if: [1] Your plan has a 'true-up' provision and allows flexibility in contribution rates. Issue a specific, targeted communication to encourage workers to increase contributions as needed to obtain the full employer match. [2] Your plan does not currently offer true-up provisions. it is not too late to add them this year -- announce the change with great fanfare, then process the contribution manually after the year ends."
Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA]

Designing Employee Benefits to Address Educational Debt

"[A] small percentage of private-sector employers offer student loan repayment assistance for expenses incurred prior to employment, which is taxable and includible in wages under current law.... There has been interest in finding a way to coordinate student loan repayments with employer contributions to defined contribution plans, such as the 401(k) plan, in order to avoid the immediate inclusion of such contributions in income.... Under tax code Section 127, employers can offer employees educational assistance tax-free up to $5,250 per calendar year pursuant to a written program."
Westminster Consulting

Hidden Costs in Service-Provider Contracts: What You Don't Know May Cost You (PDF)

10 presentation slides. "Know the contract currently in place ... Establish list of needs and objectives ... Seek referrals from other similarly situated employers ... Request sample contract for review ... Perform request for proposal ... Question all assumptions in pricing ... Push service provider on structure."
McDermott Will & Emery

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Minimum Funding Deadline for Florence Disaster Areas?

If a plan sponsor with a calendar year DB plan is located in a covered disaster area for Hurricane Florence, their 5500 filing deadline is January 31, 2019. Is the minimum funding deadline also extended past September 15, 2018?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Adding Participating Employer to a 401(k) Safe Harbor Plan for 2018: Too Late Now?

I have an established 401k plan with a per-payroll safe harbor match. The owner has a controlled group of five companies, of which the largest/main company is the adopting employer. The other four don't participate but we use their census for testing. We've been asked to add one of the other companies as an adopting employer ASAP. Because this is a safe harbor plan, is that prohibited for 2018 because we're already past October 1? (It's a calendar year plan.)
BenefitsLink Message Boards

What Documents Needed to Replace Recordkeeper/Trustee?

My client is replacing their current plan recordkeeper/trustee, in order to switch to another company. What documents do I need to prepare to effectuate that? Just resolutions regarding the plan? Do all participants have to approve it?
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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