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January 2, 2019 logo logo
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Defined Benefit Client Coordinator
The Retirement Plan Company (TRPC)

Retirement Plan Administrator
Bates & Company
in FL

Senior Retirement Analyst
Dart Container
in MI

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Webcasts, Conferences

Keeping Work Places Safe from Violence, Including Domestic Violence and Active Shooters
January 17, 2019 in GA
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Atlanta Chapter

Late Deferral / Loan Deposits and Form 5330
June 6, 2019 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

►See 95 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1461 Recorded Webcasts


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[Official Guidance]

Text of Instructions for IRS Form 8950: Application for VCP Under EPCRS (PDF)

Rev. Jan. 2019. "Modifications have been made to improve the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) by making changes to: [1] Accommodate revisions to the IRS's Voluntary Correction Program (VCP), and [2] Update various references and add other miscellaneous changes."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

Text of 2018 IRS Form 8915A: Qualified 2016 Disaster Retirement Plan Distributions and Repayments (PDF)

"Attach to 2017 Form 1040, 2017 Form 1040A, or 2017 Form 1040NR." [Fillable PDF; may not open correctly in some browsers.]
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Pension Plan OCIO: Is It Right for Your Company? (PDF)

"This paper reviews the primary challenges a plan sponsor faces when managing a [DB plan], and outlines the factors to consider in meeting objectives. It examines three models for running a pension: the internal team, the consultant assist, and the [outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO)]. With the help of a questionnaire, readers can better understand which model would be best for their unique pension need."

Are You Liable for Unfunded Pensions? Don't Ignore Successor Liability, Part 2

"How can buyers protect themselves? [1] Thoroughly investigate potential Title IV liabilities prior to the closing.... [2] With an actuary's help, review the plan's funding notices and status and any available liability estimate from the plan. [3] Investigate the seller's financial situation to assess the likelihood that seller will not pay any pension liability assessment. [4] Consider special purchase agreement provisions ... [5] Be cautious about using ERISA Section 4204 to avoid a withdrawal on the sale."
Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

Defined Benefit Plan Liability with Facility Sales, Restructurings and Cessations

"In certain cases of a facility sale, restructuring or cessation, recently released information by the [PBGC] leaves many unanswered questions about plan sponsor liability for single-employer defined benefit plans."
McDermott Will & Emery


Advanced Pension Conference - Feb. 6-8, 2019

Sponsored by FIS Relius Education

ERISA experts will cover: new QBI deduction and its impact; missing participants and new PBGC program; 403(b) universal availability; Hardship distributions; QDRO; Ask The Experts; and more. 19 CE hours. Early fee ends January 4. Register now.

Text of 2018 Annual Report of the PBGC Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate (PDF)

45 pages. "[Participants and plan sponsors] have observed and still often note long delays ... confusing and contradictory exchanges ... and difficulties when an issue transcends multiple departments within the agency.... [Given] rising premiums and the dwindling premium payer base as sponsors de-risk their defined benefit plans, the agency must be mindful of the resources it uses when pursuing plan sponsors for prolonged periods of time, such as during protracted negotiations in the distress termination process."
Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

As a Grocery Chain Is Dismantled, Investors Recover Their Money, But Worker Pensions Are Short Millions

"For Sun Capital, this process of buying companies, seeking profits and leaving pensions unpaid is a familiar one. Over the past 10 years, it has taken five companies into bankruptcy while leaving behind debts of about $280 million owed to employee pensions.... Much of the tab will be picked up by the government's pension insurer, a federal agency facing its own budget shortfalls."
The Washington Post; subscription may be required

Multiemployer Plan Bailout Outlook for 2019

"The two major takeaways from the work of the Joint Select Committee were: [1] all 8 Democratic members strongly supported some type of loan program but were willing to consider other options in addition to the loan program; [2] a majority of Republican members ... strongly opposed a loan program and preferred a solution that relied on the PBGC to assume a significant portion of the financial crisis[.]"

Editor's Pick Significant Reforms to State Retirement Systems (PDF)

98 pages. "Since 2009, nearly every state passed meaningful reform to one, or more, of its pension plans. Although the global market crash and recession affected all plans, differing plan designs, budgets, and legal frameworks across the country defied a single solution; instead, each state met its challenges with tailored changes specific to its unique circumstances."
National Association of State Retirement Administrators [NASRA]

Developing a 2019 Retiree Spending and Withdrawal Budget

"[If] you invested significantly in equities in 2018, it is likely that you experienced some investment losses last year. In order to avoid undesirable fluctuations in recurring spending, you may wish to consider some or all of the following actions: [1] Dipping into the Rainy-Day Fund that you previously established with investment gains enjoyed in previous years; [2] Reducing 2019 non-essential non-recurring expenses, or [3] Using the Smoothed Actuarial Budget Benchmark[.]"
Ken Steiner, FSA Retired

Watch These ERISA Cases in 2019

"A number of vexing issues facing ERISA practitioners came to a head in 2018 and are primed to be resolved in the coming year. This article will examine the cases raising these issues, and the impact their resolution in the coming year will have on retirees and the retirement industry."
Cohen Milstein

A Fiduciary Focus: Steps 401(k) Plan Sponsors Should Resolve to Take in 2019

"[1] Outsource fiduciary liability ... [2] Remove all conflict-of-interest fees ... [3] Show employees how to take advantage of market volatility ... [4] Combine health and wealth wellness ... [5] Demonstrate the downside of leakage."
Fiduciary News

Benefits in General

Court Awards Plaintiff's Attorney the Highest Rate Awarded in a Disability Case to Date: $900 per Hour

"[T]he court found that hourly rates of $450 for the associate on the case and $900 for the partner to be reasonable and within the prevailing rates in the market of ERISA attorneys. The court rejected Defendants' argument that [the plaintiff] should not get full fees because a few claims were dismissed early in the case. The court found that the claims arose from the same core of facts such that the work done on the dismissed claims was likely to have aided and overlapped with the successful abuse of discretion claim." [Dimry v. Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Ret. Plan, No. 16-01413 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 22, 2018)]
Kantor & Kantor

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2019-09: Interim Guidance Under Section 4960 -- Tax on Excess Tax-Exempt Organization Executive Compensation (PDF)

92 pages. "Until further guidance is issued, ... taxpayers may base their positions upon a good faith, reasonable interpretation of the statute ... The positions reflected in this notice constitute a good faith, reasonable interpretation of the statute.... [T]his preamble describes certain positions that the Treasury Department and the IRS have concluded are not consistent with a good faith, reasonable interpretation of the statutory language. The Treasury Department and the IRS intend to embody these positions as part of the forthcoming proposed regulations."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Employee Allowed to Roll Over Funds Into Plan Before Eligible

A 401(k) plan permits rollovers for participants only. A recordkeeper permitted an employee to roll over funds before he met the plan's eligibility requirements. Should we do an amendment to permit this employee early participation for rollover purposes? If not, what are the ramifications?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Implementing Student Loan Repayment Benefit under a 401(k) Plan

Employer wants to implement a student loan repayment benefit, often erroneously referred to as a "match" but we know is an employer non-elective contribution. Question is, how much of the "program" needs to be addressed in the plan document vs. a much less formal payroll practice or policy?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Can an Individual Without an EIN Set Up a Retirement Plan?

CPA has come to us at the last minute (of course) with a self-employed consultant who wants to set up a plan. CPA is telling me that he does not have a business, he is being paid directly and to set up the plan under his SSNO. I told her we would not set up the plan with a SSNO. Now CPA is asking me does he have to create an LLC just to sponsor a plan? Any suggestions?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Cash Balance Plan: Apply the General Test Using Average Compensation?

It appears only current year compensation can be used in determining the contribution credit each year. If that's correct, are we forbidden from general testing based on average compensation with a cash balance plan?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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

BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2019, 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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