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Democrats Win Control of the House of Representatives -- Implications for Retirement Policy

"The change in control will ... bring additional focus to issues of particular concern to Democrats: a solution to the multi-employer plan financial crisis and initiatives to increase low-paid workers' retirement savings.... Congressman Neal taking over at Ways and Means probably adds momentum for some sort of comprehensive retirement policy legislation; Senator Hatch's retirement probably subtracts it.... One issue that may be a catalyst for retirement legislation: the multi-employer plan financial crisis."
October Three Consulting


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IRS and DOL Auditors Focus on Missing Participants (PDF)

"Auditors will likely ask to see a list of all deferred participants and beneficiaries who were beyond the designated normal retirement age during the years under audit.... For participants who are still lost, auditors will want to know what steps sponsors have taken to find them, where they have looked, and how often they have tried to reach those lost. If the plan document contains procedures for dealing with lost participants, sponsors should use those procedures as a starting point."

Coordinating Contributions Across Multiple Defined Contribution Plans

"[W]hile individuals who work two employee jobs at independent companies can receive contributions from each, and employees who have their own side hustle can still create their own self-employed retirement plan with its own overall limit, entrepreneurs who own multiple businesses must be cautious not to run afoul of the controlled group requirements that would require them to aggregate all their businesses together[.]"
Nerd's Eye View

Best Interest and Best Practices, Part 8

"[T]here is not a legal requirement that committee members receive fiduciary training. Instead, it's a best practice and good risk management. But, what should the fiduciary education cover?"

Making Sure 401(k) and 403(b) Fees Are 'Necessary' and 'Reasonable'

"The most effective way to meet this fiduciary requirement is a Request for Proposals (RFP) process, typically run every three-to-five years.... The 401(k) and 403(b) markets are extremely competitive. They are constantly evolving and changing.... [S]omewhere between 5‑10% of plans go out to bid each year. A fraction of those actually make a change in their provider. Most, as a result of the process, achieve service and value advances."
Fiduciary Plan Governance, LLC

Partial Annuitizations: The Go-To Strategy for Pension Risk Transfers

"One current trend is targeting partial annuitization at those retirees and beneficiaries with the lowest monthly benefit. This produces the largest relative reduction in annual per-head PBGC premiums."

A 401(k), Roth IRA Combination May Pay Off for Younger Adults

"[O]ver the long haul, any tax-free growth on Roth IRA (after tax) contributions might have the potential to outperform tax-deferred growth on pre-tax 401K contributions.... [T]his might be the case, especially for millennials who have decades of earnings potential ahead. Because their income will likely rise throughout their career, their tax bill today is also likely to be lower than it will be in retirement."

Arizona Voters Approve Constitutional Amendment Allowing Changes to State Employee Pensions

"The proposition will now allow certain benefits of retirement plans to be adjusted by the state. These changes mean that the old pension system for corrections officer retirees and elected official retirees' will be permanently replaced with a system that adjusts the retirees' cost-of-living benefits in accordance with the economy rather than constantly keeping retiree benefit increases at 4 percent."

2019 PEPRA Compensation Limits

"The 2019 PEPRA compensation limits are $124,180 for Social Security members and $149,016 for non-Social Security members. These limits are the maximum pay that a California public agency can recognize in a defined benefit plan for PEPRA members, i.e. those first hired by a public employer in 2013 or later."
Van Iwaarden Associates

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

A Top Hat Plan Checklist for Employers

"[1] Monitor the group of eligible employees ... [2] Clearly define your eligible group ... [3] Give your plan administrator the power to issue binding determinations ... [4] Require participants to exhaust the ERISA claims procedures ... [5] Specify the court in which lawsuits must be filed ... [6] Limit the period for filing suit ... [7] Comply with special employment tax rule if applicable ... [8] Beware Section 409A."
Thompson Coburn

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Hardship Eligibility: Costs Associated with Purchase of a Principal Residence

I know the IRS defines a hardship as "costs relating to the purchase of a principal residence. What would be included? For example, the cost of a moving van? Closing costs, attorney fees?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Excluding Fringe Benefits from Comp Definition

Are taxable fringe benefits such as premiums for group life insurance in excess of $50,000 excluded from comp? Does it make a difference if the fringe benefits are taxable or non-taxable? Comp definition is 3401(a) excluding reimbursements or other expense allowances, fringe benefits(cash and non-cash), moving expenses, deferred compensation, welfare benefits, unused leave.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Distribution Code for an In-Plan After-Tax to Roth Conversion

A participant would like to do an in-plan conversion of after-tax contributions to Roth. Which code would be used for this distribution?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Participant in a Tax Treaty Country

A participant who is transferred to a country with which the US has a tax treaty (the Netherlands in this case) wants to continue to participate in the 401(k) plan. He would remain employed by the US employer but would pay taxes in the Netherlands under the US/Dutch tax treaty. I am struggling with 415. If the wages have to be includible in gross income for purposes of 415, does the fact that the tax treaty treats the wages as Dutch taxable mean there are no wages for purposes of 415?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

HERO Announces Health and Well-Being Awards Winners
Health Enhancement Research Organization [HERO]

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

EBSA Invites Comments on Proposal Related to Retirement Asset Auto Portability
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Midterm Fallout: The Impact on Retirement Issues
National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

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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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