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[Official Guidance]

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

"Use 2018 Form 8915A if you were adversely affected by a 2016 disaster listed in Table 1 ... and you received a distribution that qualifies for favorable tax treatment.... Qualified 2016 disaster distributions can't be made in 2018. Only repayments of qualified 2016 disaster distributions can be made in 2018. You will use 2018 Form 8915A only if you are making the repayments over 3 years."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


ASC's CE Webcast Series: Part 2

Sponsored by ASC

Discover the unique aspects of the 401(k) plans which are imperative to retirement plan practitioners. Part 2 includes limitations on contributions, compensation definitions, determining "highly compensated employees" and much more. Register Now!

[Official Guidance]

Text of 2018 IRS Form 8606: Nondeductible IRAs (PDF)

"Complete this part only if one or more of the following apply. [1] You made nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA for 2018. [2] You took distributions from a traditional, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA in 2018 and you made nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA in 2018 or an earlier year.... [3] You converted part, but not all, of your traditional, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs to Roth IRAs in 2018 and you made nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA in 2018 or an earlier year."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Second Circuit Affirms District Court's Equitable Remedy in Xerox Case

"[T]he Second Circuit upheld the district court's decisions to: [1] Apply the equitable remedy of reforming the plan, calculating benefits as if the plaintiffs were newly hired. [2] Award the plaintiffs prejudgment interest at the federal prime rate." [Frommert v. Conkright, Nos. 17-114, 17-738 (2d Cir. Jan. 14, 2019)]
Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Proposed Legislation Would Promote Student Loan Repayment Retirement Benefits

"[T]he Student Loan Act would open the door for student loan repayments to be treated as elective deferrals under an employer's plan and to qualify for corresponding matching contributions (rather than the special non-elective contributions described in [PLR 201833012]). In addition, the Student Loan Act would clarify nondiscrimination testing requirements for student loan repayment benefits and address how student loan repayment benefits may be provided under not only traditional 401(k) plans, but also under safe harbor 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans and SIMPLE plans."
McDermott Will & Emery

Fees Remain the Focus for DC Plan Sponsors

"More than 75% of sponsors calculated their DC plan fees within the past 12 months in 2018, although that is down from a high of 93% in 2013. Participants paid all investment management fees in more than three-quarters of plans, and nearly always paid a share of them. But the survey revealed a significant drop in the percentage of plans in which participants paid all administrative fees, from 63% in 2017 to 33% in 2018. Finally, slightly more than half of plan sponsors are likely or very likely to conduct a fee study in 2019."

#10YearChallenge for 403(b) Plans

"The restatement deadline is an opportunity to retroactively restate the plan document (generally, to January 1, 2010) to correct any defects in the terms of the plan documents, such as missed plan amendments. It is also the last chance for tax-exempt employers with individually designed plan documents to restate onto a pre-approved document, as the IRS does not now, and does not intend to, issue approval letters for individually designed 403(b) plans"
E is for ERISA

$60M Deal Gets Green Light in SSM Health 'Church Plan' Suit

"If approved, the settlement would require SSM Health to commit to fully funding its retirement plan for 10 years. The deal would also force SSM Health to pay $15 million to the plan each year from 2019 to 2022, bringing the hospital system's total settlement-imposed plan contributions to $60 million."
Cohen Milstein

DOL Reiterates That ERISA Preempts State Laws Requiring Written Consent for Wage Withholding

"The DOL has made available an information letter confirming that state laws requiring written consent before amounts are withheld from employees' wages are preempted under ERISA ... The letter was issued to an insurers' association that asked whether ERISA preempts state laws that prohibit employers from adopting and implementing automatic enrollment arrangements."
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

PBGC to Pay Pension Benefits for Employees and Retirees at Sears and Kmart

"[PBGC] is taking steps to assume responsibility for Sears Holdings Corporation's two defined benefit pension plans, which cover about 90,000 people.... Sears filed for Chapter 11 protection on October 15, 2018. PBGC is stepping in to become responsible for the company's two pension plans because it is clear that Sears' continuation of the plans is no longer possible.... PBGC estimates that the Sears' plans are underfunded by $1.4 billion leaving them 64 percent funded."
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

PBGC Inspector General Report: Evaluation of the Early Warning Program (PDF)

21 pages. "We made 3 recommendations to management: ... [1] evaluate the effectiveness of current EWP initiation communication procedures and update as necessary to ensure companies are sufficiently informed about the program, [2] implement controls to ensure close out letters are provided, and [3] update their system to accurately report EWP case inventory.... Management agreed with the recommendations and agreed to take corrective action as identified in the report."
Office of Inspector General, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]


PBGC Advocate's Report Highlights Issues Important to Retirees

"Making omitted participant claims to PBGC ... has historically been a difficult, complicated process for omitted participants and for the organizations that advocate for them.... [O]ver the past five years, the PBGC has made significant progress in streamlining the claims process for omitted participants. The 2018 report describes how all omitted participant claims have now been consolidated in a single PBGC office, which will make the claims process less daunting for retirees trying to obtain their benefits."
Pension Rights Center

Benefits in General

More Pay? Nah. Employees Prefer Benefits

"By a four-to-one margin (80 percent to 20 percent), workers would choose a job with benefits over an identical job that offered 30% more salary with no benefits ... Employed adults estimated that their benefits represented 40% of their total compensation package ... The Bureau of Labor Statistics, though, states that benefits average 31.7 percent of a compensation package."

Press Releases

Mercer's Neil Lloyd Appointed EBRI Research Committee Chair
EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute]

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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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