Retirement Plans Newsletter

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401(k) Retirement Plan Administrator
Alliance Pension Consultants, LLC
in Deerfield IL

Pension Plan Administrator
American Pension Advisors, Ltd.
in Indianapolis IN

401(k) Plan Administrator
Southern Pension Services
in Tampa FL

ERISA Litigation Associate
in New York NY

Conversion Specialist
BlueStar Retirement Services
in Ponte Vedra Beach FL / Telecommute

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Webcasts, Conferences

Advance Your Knowledge of Self-Directed IRAs
March 25, 2019 in DC
Retirement Industry Trust Association [RITA]

Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities Seminar
April 10, 2019 in OR
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

►See 159 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1485 Recorded Webcasts


New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2019-16: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates Applicable for February 2019 (PDF)

"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates used under Section 417(e)(3), and the 24-month average segment rates under Section 430(h)(2) ... In addition, this notice provides guidance as to the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities under Section 417(e)(3)(A)(ii)(II) as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008 and the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate under Section 431(c)(6)(E)(ii)(I)."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


Plan documents software that's profitable right out of the gate!

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Lawmakers Ask GAO to Explore Cybersecurity Issues in Defined Contribution Plans

"Among other questions, the legislators asked the GAO to address what plan sponsors and service providers are doing to protect plan data. Also, in the event of a data breach, what steps should sponsors be required to take to protect plan participants? The lawmakers also asked what the possible legislative or regulatory options are to protect data and account information."
Pensions & Investments

Consumers May Have 'Blind Spot' When It Comes to Retirement Fraud

"Concern about credit card fraud was found to be the most prevalent at 83% of American cardholders. At the same time, however, only 53% of retirement plan savers are concerned about fraud with their workplace retirement plan."
National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

Familiar Retirement Reforms Already in Play in New Congress

"RESA 2019, whose primary sponsors are Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), would make many changes to the retirement saving landscape.... Allow pooled employer plans to encourage offering workplace saving options ... Lifetime income investments -- a solution to outliving retirement savings? ... Will tax incentives motivate employers and savers? ... Proposal to eliminate life expectancy payments to nonspouse beneficiaries remains."

Participants' ERISA Retaliation Claim Dismissed

"A federal district court in Illinois held that participants in a multiemployer pension plan failed to plausibly allege that plan fiduciaries retaliated against them in violation of ERISA Section 510 by refusing to consider their employer's offer to settle its withdrawal liability to the plan.... The district court dismissed the participants' claim as implausible, pointing to the participants' admission that the plan fiduciaries refused to consider the employer's proposal both before and after the participants filed suit." [Campbell v. Whobrey, No. 16-4631 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 14, 2019)]
Proskauer's ERISA Practice Center

DOL Hot on the Trail of Missing ERISA Plan Participants

"[T]he Philadelphia DOL office began targeting defined benefit plans with a high number of terminated vested participants who were not receiving payments, and had not received payouts. In some cases, plan sponsors informed the DOL that plan participants were simply missing.... [M]any participants simply had not known they had money sitting in their former retirement plans.... [T]he Philadelphia DOL was able to recover more than $165 million for these missing ERISA plan participants."
Hall Benefits Law

DOL Monetary Recoveries for Benefit Plans, Participants Increased by 45% in FY 2018

"Of the $1.6 billion recovered, the bulk -- $1.1 billion -- came from enforcement actions. EBSA said it closed 1,329 civil investigations, with 64.7% of these cases resulting in monetary recoveries or other corrective action ... Through its abandoned plan program, EBSA received 910 applications from Qualified Termination Administrators, and closed 843 of them with terminations approved, a significantly higher closure rate than the previous fiscal year.... EBSA received 1,414 applications for its Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP) and Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program (DFVCP), up from 1,303 the year before."
HR Daily Advisor

Editor's Pick 2019 Defined Benefit Plan Compliance Calendar (PDF)

"It's critical to meet these deadlines if you are responsible for administering your company's defined benefit plan. From making quarterly contributions to issuing the annual funding notice to participants, it can feel overwhelming. [This calendar will] help you stay on track[.]"
Watkins Ross

Tricky Timelines If You Miss an RMD

"When a client fails to take a required minimum distribution, you usually want to seek a waiver of the 50% penalty ... using IRS Form 5329. But for what year or years do you file that form? Do you have to file it for every year that has passed since the RMD was missed?"
Natalie Choate, in Morningstar Advisor

Simplifying Retirement Plan Design

"Many retirement plan provisions are still hopelessly complex ... and should probably be eliminated altogether (note that there is proposed legislation that would eliminate some types of RMDs). And 5500s are still way too complicated, along with the withdrawal, rollover, and transfer rules.... Eliminating jargon such as 'vesting schedule,' 'glide path,' 'rollover,' and the like, and removing numbers, particularly percentages, from retirement plan projections (since many participants suffer from math anxiety) can help."
Cammack Retirement Group


This New Social Security Bill Could Make Social Security Even Better

"The [Social Security 2100 Act], which currently has 202 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, includes four benefit enhancements: [1] Uses the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) to adjust benefits for inflation.... [2] Raises the first factor in the benefit formula from 90% to 93%, which would slightly raise replacement rates for all. [3] Increases thresholds for taxation of benefits under the personal income tax ... [4] Increases the special minimum benefit for those with very low earnings."
Alicia Munnell, via MarketWatch

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Payment of Annual Incentive Bonus by March 15

"Payments to an employee within 2-1/2 months after the end of the year in which the payment amount is no longer subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture (vested) qualify as short-term deferrals.... If the plan or agreement is well drafted or another special rule applies, a payment of annual incentive after March 15 will not violate 409A."
Winston & Strawn LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Allocating Deferrals to Catch-Up to Make Room for Profit Sharing Contribution

Safe harbor 401(k) plan for medical practice has 3% SH NEC only to NHCEs. During 2018, physicians over age 50 deferred $24,000 rather than $24,500 due to clerical error by payroll person. Can they designate $6,000 as catch-up, leaving $18,000 to count toward their maximum annual addition of $55,000? Or do they have to count the first $18,500 as regular deferrals before counting any as catch-up? Trying to make room for increased profit sharing.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Having Trouble with ASPPA DC-2 Exam

To date I have successfully passed the ASPPA RFP and DC-1 working toward the QKA designation. However, I am hung up on the DC-2 test. The odd part is I pass the practice test but not so successful on the actual test. I have been through the materials and taken many practice test. Not sure how to proceed at this point. Suggestions?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Form 8955-SSA: Report the Total Balance or Only the Vested Balance?

The instructions for the 2017 and 2018 versions of Form 8955-SSA are not specific -- "For defined contribution plans, enter the value (in whole dollars) of the participant's account." It doesn't seem to address the fact that the account balance and the vested portion of the account balance often are not the same thing. How do you complete that item?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

OneDigital Health and Benefits Acquires Veritas
OneDigital Health and Benefits

National Institute on Retirement Security Names Executive Director
National Institute on Retirement Security

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Georgetown Prevails in ERISA Fee Litigation Case
Proskauer's ERISA Practice Center

Finding the Tax-Rate Tipping Point for Retirees
Michael Kitces, via Financial Planning

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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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