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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Form 4461-B: Application for Approval of Standardized or Nonstandardized Pre-Approved Plans (PDF)

Rev. Nov. 2018. "Use Form 4461-B to apply for approval of a plan submitted by a mass submitter on behalf of an adopting provider, which is based on a plan submitted by the mass submitter.... Only mass submitters may file this form."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Form 4461: Application for Approval of Standardized or Nonstandardized Pre-Approved Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)

Rev. Nov. 2018. "Form 4461 is used to apply for approval of standardized or nonstandardized pre-approved defined contribution plans.... A provider or mass submitter of a pre-approved defined contribution plan may file a Form 4461."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Proposes Hardship Distribution Regs, Including Some Permanent Disaster Relief

"Employers that treat property damage to a principal residence as an eligible hardship even if unrelated to a federally declared disaster must amend their plans to exclude the condition that the loss be of a type deductible based on the current 401(k) regulation, assuming they plan to conform to the revised safe harbor list.... [The proposed disaster] criterion is different from ... earlier announcements ... First, it does not provide relief from documentation protocols, and second, it does not draw in expenses for participants with lineal ascendants or descendants, spouses or dependents who lived or worked in an area impacted by the disaster."

District Court Reaffirms Private Equity Partner Liability for Multiemployer Plan Contributions, Awards Damages and Attorneys Fees (PDF)

18 pages. "The private equity plaintiffs here chose in their calculus of risk and return to structure their business to breach what the First Circuit accurately characterized as 'fine lines' ... governing the circumstances in which withdrawal liability will be imposed upon those who invest in distressed businesses.... Any recalibration of the reasonable expectations of investors in companies with ERISA obligations must come from some source other than courts applying current applicable law.... [T]he Judgment of this court will be amended to include interest in the amount of not less than $2,253,787.76; liquidated damages in the amount of $903,307.80; ... [and] attorneys' fees and costs in the amount of $340,977.58."
[Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters and Trucking Industry Pension Fund, No. 10-10921 (D. Mass. Nov. 26, 2018)]
U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

House Tax Bill Would Make Several Changes to IRAs and Retirement Plans

"A tax bill has emerged from the House Ways and Means Committee, extending certain expiring tax provisions, addressing provisions of 2017 tax reform legislation and several recent disaster events (hurricanes and California wildfires), and proposing additional provisions that would affect tax-advantaged retirement savings arrangements. H.R. 88, titled the 'Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018,' is being reported as having bipartisan support.... The following provisions of this legislation would in some manner impact retirement savings arrangements."


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2018 Small Business 401(k) Fees -- What's Too High?

"[This article includes a summary of fees] for 102 401(k) plans with less than $5 million in assets. More detailed fee information for each plan -- including fees paid by each investment -- [is also provided]. A new data point for this study is per-head 401(k) provider fees. Employers should consider this information when benchmarking their 401(k) fees because plan administration services -- generally related to participant recordkeeping and Third-Party Administration (TPA) -- scale with participant count, not assets."
Employee Fiduciary

Year-End Considerations for Retirement Plans, Part 1: Closing Out 2018

"[1] The IRS Required Amendment list ... [2] Qualified 2016 disaster distributions ... [3] Safe harbor 401(k) plans ... [4] Claims and appeals rules regarding disability benefits.... [5] Participant notices."
Morgan Lewis

Minimum Distribution Problems: Why They Exist and What Can Be Done

"While many retirees manage to take their RMDs from account balances of the employer from which they retire, it is less likely that they will remember to do so from the employer at which they worked in their 20s.... Plan sponsors should carefully review a list of current and former employees to determine who has not taken their RMD ... [T]he retirement plan should be amended to state that RMDs will be automatically distributed to employees who do not respond within a certain timeframe."
401K Specialist

Ten Investment Actions for Defined Benefit Plans in 2019

"[1] Avoid surprises.... [2] Reduce uncompensated risks.... [3] Make every dollar work harder.... [4] Concentrate your equity bets.... [5] Be a bond market trendsetter.... [6] Revisit financial management strategies.... [7] Stay informed about the changing annuity marketplace.... [8] Focus on value-for-fees rather than the fees themselves.... [9] Consider your governance structure.... [10] Maintain your defined benefit plan if it's the right fit for your company."
Willis Towers Watson

Making Charitable Donations of Stock Instead of Cash After Tax Reform

"If you're charitably inclined and hold meaningful amounts of appreciated stock, such as shares acquired from a stock option exercise, restricted stock/RSU vesting, or ESPP purchase, donating stock instead of cash can be a smart tax-planning move.... [S]tock donations can reduce your taxes by giving you total deductions that exceed your new increased standard deduction amount."

Editor's Pick End-of-Year Tax Planning for IRAs, QCDs, FSAs, and 529As

"[W]hile it often takes consistent planning through the year to make the most of [tax-advantaged] accounts, the end of the year provides the opportunity to make a number of last-minute changes, not only in order optimize contributions and distributions, but potentially to avoid any unnecessary and preventable costs as well."
Nerd's Eye View


Multiemployer Pensions: Waiting for the Bailout

"[W]hat is being proposed is a partial bailout, and plan participants in failing plans need to realize that the alternative to a partial bailout is not a full bailout but getting a hell of a lot less than that partial bailout. Even if they managed to get a few top-ups for a few years from a congenial Congress and President (no matter the party), eventually the money situation will be that it will not be sustainable. So it won't be sustained. There are those where surviving just a couple more years will be good enough. But for the pension plan as a whole... they need something more long-term."

Benefits in General

2018 Year End Checklist for Plan Administrators (PDF)

"[This] checklist addresses plan amendments, notices and other considerations for qualified retirement plans, welfare plans, and stock-based and performance-based plans. A chart showing benefit and contribution limits for 2019 is [included]."
Williams Mullen

Pitfalls to Avoid When Negotiating Service Provider Agreements

"[1] Scope of services to be provided ... [2] Compensation and fee disclosures ... [3] Limitation of liability and indemnification applicable to both parties ... [4] Termination provision."
Compliance Dashboard

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Lowering Normal Retirement Age under Non-Qualified Plan

Our nonqualified plan allows participants to take a lump sum distribution or elect a 10-year payout at a Normal Retirement age of 59‑1/2. Our industry competitors seem to have a Normal Retirement Age of 55 in their NQ plans. We're considering lowering the age but we're concerned about complying with 409A. Does it make any sense to consider lowering the age, or is there too much risk of 409A violations?
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Press Releases

PBGC Announces Leadership Appointments
PBGC [Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation]

Health Care Without Walls: A Roadmap for Reinventing U.S. Health Care
Network for Excellence in Health Innovation [NEHI]

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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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