Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 11, 2018

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Webcasts, Conferences

Navigating DOL Investigations - Strategies from the Trenches in a Changing World
RECORDED
American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

Disaster Relief for Retirement Plans
RECORDED
IRS [Internal Revenue Service]

Excel 401(k): The Advisors' Conference
October 28, 2018 in NV
Rekon Intelligence

DOL and ESOPs
December 4, 2018 WEBCAST
National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

Avoiding Employee and Fringe Benefit Landmines
December 13, 2018 in VA
Littler

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[Official Guidance]

Social Security Announces 2.8 Percent Benefit Increase for 2019

"The 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 62 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2019. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2018.... [T]he maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $132,900 from $128,400."
U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA]

[Advert.]

Institute for Apprenticeship, Training and Education Program

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Effective trust fund management & best practices in apprenticeship programs. This premier conference will help you effectively manage your program as you discuss key topics from recruitment and retention to adult learning and fiduciary responsibility.


[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Request for OMB Approval of Modification to Reportable Event Submissions

"PBGC is proposing in this renewal request that all reportable events filings include controlled group information, company financial statements, and the plan's actuarial valuation report. Currently there are five reportable events where some or all of that information isn't required.... The additional information is needed to help PBGC determine a sponsor's ability to continue to maintain a pension plan."
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

VCP Submissions Must be Electronic Beginning April 1, 2019

"The move to electronic filing streamlines the VCP submission process and eliminates postage and handling costs. However, plan administrators and their consultants will only have the unique tracking ID to demonstrate that they filed."
Cheiron

Retirement Plan Providers: Defining a Growth Strategy (PDF)

"A [Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)] strategy provides a flexible, scalable way to improve operational efficiency, reduce key person or talent risk, maintain agility and, most importantly, improve your bottom line.... [1] What are the gaps between our firm's growth strategy and our ability to deliver? ... [2] What operational tasks or business processes do not add value or allow us to differentiate our offering? ... [3] How can we reduce the cost and risk of our operations? ... [4] How can we improve the efficiency and profitability of servicing our business?"
FIS

Professional Firm Retirement Plans and the New QBI Tax Deduction

"The combined effect of the retirement plan and QBI deductions can be astonishing. Let's take the example of Rachel, a 50 year old married partner in a successful LLC. Her share of the firm's profits is $376,000. If she maximizes her 401(k) deferral and the firm maximizes her profit sharing contribution (total of $61,000 with catchup), her taxable income has dropped to $315,000. She's entitled to the $61,000 deduction and, in addition, she can now deduct the entire 20% of QBI."
Van Iwaarden Associates

[Advert.]

SPARK Forum - November 4-6, 2018 -- The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL

Sponsored by SPARK

Join us at the retirement services industry's leading event for top marketing, sales, administration and record keeping professionals. Comprehensive agenda includes topics of interest to Record Keepers, 401(k) Plan Providers, Financial Advisors and Cyber Security Professionals.


Dudenhoeffer Standard Thwarted Imprudence Claims But Didn't Apply to Disloyalty Claims

"In practice, the [Dudenhoeffer] requirement that proposed alternative actions be so clearly beneficial that no prudent fiduciary could conclude they would do more harm than good, coupled with judicial speculation that any negative disclosure might produce a more harmful overreaction in the market, have made the pleading standard a nearly insurmountable obstacle. Reading these cases, one wonders whether any alternative available to a fiduciary with damaging inside information could be undertaken without risking greater harm by 'spooking the market.' "
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

When Should You Terminate a Defined Benefit Plan?

"[D]eciding when to terminate a defined benefit plan is not unlike deciding when to invest in the stock market -- timing is critical.... [S]electing the optimal time to terminate a defined benefit plan is a challenging task, in large part because of ... [1] Delay due to approval by two federal agencies ... [2] Uncertain level of benefit liability ... [3] Impact of economic and political climate on asset values ... [4] Ability of plan sponsor to absorb the financial impact of a plan termination."
Thompson Coburn

Possible Retirement Savings Legislation in Lame Duck Session

"In addition to the (in some cases broad) bipartisan support for many of these proposals, two factors increase the possibility of such action. First, Senator Hatch is retiring at the end of the current Congress ... RESA has been one of his top legislative priorities, and he will no doubt feel some urgency to try to get it (or something like it) passed this year. Second, Congress is currently considering what to do about the multiemployer plan financial crisis."
October Three Consulting

The $210 Billion Risk in 401(k) Plans

"Annual defaults on loans taken against investors' 401(k)s threaten to reduce the wealth in U.S. retirement accounts by about $210 billion when the lost savings are compounded over employees' careers ... The projected future loss amounts to about 2.7% of the $7.8 trillion currently in 401(k)-style retirement accounts."
The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

Teamsters Local 805 Benefit Reduction Approved by Treasury Department

"It is the second application for the local. At the time of the original application in March 2017, Local 805 had $51.7 million in assets and 2,065 participants, and was projected to be insolvent within six years."
Pensions & Investments

Benefits in General

Form 5500s and the Proposal to Publicly Disclose Operational Noncompliance

"The [AICPA's] Proposed SAS would require auditors to disclose findings of noncompliance in the Report on Specific Plan Provisions Relating to the Financial Statements unless the findings are clearly inconsequential. This Report would form part of the official audit report that is attached to the Form 5500 and publicly available on the DOL's EFAST2 website. Public disclosure of operational noncompliance would present many issues for employers."
Winston & Strawn LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Contribution to Plan of 'Lost Earnings' - How to Report on Form 5500-SF?

An employer has late deferral deposits in 2016 and deposits the lost earnings on all late 2016 deposits in 2017. I am reporting the total of late deferrals on the 2016 & 2017 Form 5500-SF on line 10a. Question: Do you show the "lost earnings" deposit in 2017 as earnings on the Form 5500-SF, OR do you show it as an employer contribution?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

'Meaningful Benefits' under Code Section 401(a)(26)

We are the actuaries on a plan the IRS is reviewing to see if the plan meets 401(a)(26) meaningful benefits. The IRS actuary is taking the position that meaningful benefits are determined by taking the end of year total accrued benefit, dividing it by years of credited service and then dividing by testing compensation. The actuary then compared this result to see if it meets the "0.5% meaningful test." Using the accrued benefit seems contrary to our understanding of 401(a)(26). All information we have on this points to using just the annual credit (as an annuity) and dividing by testing pay. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Also, has anyone else seen this interpretation by the IRS?
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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