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Defined Contribution Pension Administrator
Pension Investors Corporation of Orlando, Inc.
in FL

Retirement Plan Service Administrator
Hancock Whitney
in AL

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[Official Guidance]

Text of 2018 Instructions for IRS Form CT-1, Employer's Annual Railroad Retirement Tax Return (PDF)

"Use Form CT-1 to report taxes imposed by the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA).... File Form CT-1 if you paid one or more employees compensation subject to tax under RRTA. A payer of sick pay (including a third party) must file Form CT-1 if the sick pay is subject to Tier 1 railroad retirement taxes. Include sick pay payments on lines 8‑11 and, if the withholding threshold is met, line 12 of Form CT-1."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


SALGBA Regional Conference Henderson, NV

Sponsored by SALGBA [State and Local Government Benefits Association]

SALGBA is holding a Regional Conference January 14-16 in Henderson, NV. The conference is being hosted by the State of Nevada. More information please visit

[Guidance Overview]

Tax-Exempt Employers: IRS Issues Relief from Confusing 403(b) Eligibility Requirement Applicable to Part-Time Employees

"403(b) plans that had improperly excluded part-time employees ... will not be considered as having failed to satisfy the universal availability requirement, provided that such plans were consistently administered under the first year and preceding year exclusion conditions.... This relief is extended [by Notice 2018‑95] for the period starting with the first tax year beginning after December 31, 2008, ... and through the last exclusion year that ends before December 31, 2019."
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Editor's Pick A Close Look at ERISA 403(b) Plans, 2015 (PDF)

68 pages. "In 2015, four-fifths of large ERISA 403(b) plans covering nearly three-quarters of large ERISA 403(b) plan participants had employer contributions.... 37 percent [of these plans] had automatic employer contributions, 60 percent had simple matches, and 16 percent had both of these features ... 55 percent of large ERISA 403(b) plans had participant loans outstanding ... The average large ERISA 403(b) plan offered 27 core investment options in 2015[.]"
BrightScope and Investment Company Institute [ICI]

Editor's Pick 2019 Key Administrative Dates and Deadlines for Calendar-Year Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plans (PDF)

This three-page chart includes a descriptive list of the 'key' administrative dates and deadlines for multiemployer defined benefit plans regulated by ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.

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."
Cypen & Cypen


Now is a great time to join Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB)

Sponsored by WEB - Worldwide Employee Benefits Network

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network helps me connect with thought leaders in the Benefits Industry. Join WEB today at

Advisor Best Practices: Providing Fiduciary Education to Plan Sponsors

"Most plan sponsors would benefit from foundational education covering topics such as [1] The fiduciary standards under ERISA and how that translates into specific responsibilities related to overseeing a retirement plan; [2] Bonding requirements; [3] Plan fees and fee disclosure rules; [4] Current service provider relationships and any delegation of fiduciary duties ... [5] Terms of the investment policy statement ... [6] Terms of the plan document; [7] Critical compliance deadlines."
Newport Group

Retirement Plan Update, December 2018

"November was a very bumpy ride.... With a flat discount rate, most plan sponsors with a diversified portfolio may have seen a slight increase in funded status at month's end, but would have seen a bit of volatility intra month."
River and Mercantile Solutions

Addressing Social Security's Solvency While Promoting High Labor Force Participation

"Income and payroll taxes may cause households to retire earlier than maximal society-wide efficiency might favor.... Social Security reforms that seek to encourage longer careers might be able to deliver higher tax revenues with less sacrifice of household utility than would otherwise be the case.... The Social Security benefit formula, through its indexing of past earnings, tends to leave few incentives to work past the early 60s.... [A] case can be made for re-examining the indexing formula."
Michigan Retirement and Disability Research Center, Univ. of Michigan


Why Target-Date Funds Miss the Boat

"Managers of target-date funds tend to focus primarily on attempting to grow nominal (stated value unadjusted for inflation) wealth while also attempting to manage the volatility in the value of the investments in a target-date fund's portfolio. This focus on wealth accumulation occurs during the 'savings phase' of a plan participant's working years. But target-date funds wholly fail to address wealth 'decumulation' ... a participant's 'spending phase' during retirement.... Each process can be long term in nature."
W. Scott Simon, via Morningstar Advisor

Benefits in General

Is Discovery Allowed When a Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim Is Asserted?

"[D]iscovery is usually limited in appeals of the denial of ERISA-governed benefits. This is especially true when there is de novo review. But watch out if a breach of fiduciary duty claim is asserted. That same rule (prohibiting discovery) does not apply when a party seeks discovery into purported breaches of fiduciary duty under 29 USC 1132(a)(3)."
Lane Powell PC

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2018-97: Application of Section 83(i) to Stock Options and Restricted Stock Units (PDF)

19 pages. "[This notice provides initial guidance on certain aspects of section 83(i), as enacted by the Tax Cut and Jobs act, specifically:] [1] the application of the requirement in section 83(i)(2)(C)(i)(II) that grants be made to not less than 80% of all employees who provide services to the corporation in the United States, [2] the application of federal income tax withholding to the deferred income related to the qualified stock, and [3] the ability of an employer to opt out of permitting employees to elect the deferred tax treatment even if the requirements under section 83(i) are otherwise met."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Provides Initial Guidance For Private Corporations and Their Employees on New Tax Benefit for Stock Options and Restricted Stock Units

"The [IRS] today issued Notice 2018‑97 offering guidance on a recent tax law change that allows qualified employees of privately-held corporations to defer paying income tax, for up to five years, on the value of qualified stock options and restricted stock units (RSUs) granted to them by their employers."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Editor's Pick 2018 End of Year Plan Sponsor 'To Do' List, Part 4: Executive Comp

"Last chance to correct certain Section 409A document failures discovered in 2018 ... Nonqualified deferred compensation deferral elections should be made on or before December 31, 2018 ... Address impact of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Section 162(m) ... Review whether your equity-based compensation plan has sufficient shares remaining for 2019 awards ... Review Director pay practices and consider separate annual limits on Director equity awards ... Section 6039 information statements due by January 31, 2019."
Snell & Wilmer

Top Trends to Consider in Health Care Executive Pay

"[1] Health care consumerism ... [2] Continued industry consolidation ... [3] Increased public scrutiny on executive compensation ... [4] Shifting talent markets ... [5] High chief executive officer turnover ... [6] Executive talent shortages ... [7] Evolving compensation models."
Willis Towers Watson


New Tool May Address Executives' Concentrated Stock Position Problems

"[R]equiring all executives to hold the majority of their wealth in a single asset may encourage executives to become risk averse in a manner that is contrary to the stockholders' interests.... StockShield establishes and maintains a 'Stock Protection Trust,' designed to limit the downside risk of company stock holdings while preserving their full upside potential.... [U]nlike selling the stock, this strategy is intended to create no downward pressure on the shares."
Winston & Strawn LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Participant Dies in Year of First Required Minimum Distribution

Participant turned 70‑1/2 this year and died in late November. His RBD is 4/1/19. Spouse wants to roll over the entire account now. I believe the RMD must be taken first. Others in my office are sticking to the RBD of 4/1 and she can roll out the entire amount. Who is correct? Cites?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Participating Employer Leaving a Closed MEP: Partial Termination?

I have a plan that's a closed MEP. The participating employers have common ownership but it's not a control group. One of the participating employers is leaving the plan, effective as of the last day of the plan year. Is this considered a partial plan termination? Should the employees who are part of the leaving employer be accelerated to 100% vesting?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

401(a)(17) Compensation Limit for Off-Calendar Year Plan

I inherited a plan that runs 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018. Which year determines max compensation? 2017 or 2018?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Collecting Unpaid Child Support from 401(k) of Deceased Participant

I know that a QDRO can be used to collect back child support from a participant's 401k account. The participant is now deceased and the ex-spouse does not currently have a QDRO for the back child support. Another person (none of the children) is named as the beneficiary under the 401k. Can the ex go get the QDRO now, post-death, and apply it to the 401k plan and require us to hold off paying out to the beneficiary while she goes and tries to get one?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Lois Baker, J.D., President
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager

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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