Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 25, 2019

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Sr. Defined Benefit Plan Administrator
Nyhart
in Indianapolis IN

Client Service Center Associate
Alerus Financial
in Arden Hills MN

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ftwilliam.com, Wolters Kluwer
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Arizona Is Latest State to Attempt an Annuity Sales Rule

"The bill was pushed by Secure Financial Solutions, a registered investment advisor firm doing business in Scottsdale, Ariz., [a] Senate spokesman said. The bill enjoys broad, bipartisan support and could move quickly ... Most significantly, the Arizona bill bans indices that have not been in existence for at least 10 years for use in fixed indexed annuity illustrations."
InsuranceNewsNet.com

[Advert.]

2019 SPARK National Conference -- June 4-5, Falls Church, VA

Sponsored by SPARK

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Editor's Pick Practice Note: Valuing Benefits Payable as a Lump Sum: Current and Emerging Practices (PDF)

48 pages. "When a lump sum is offered in a traditional pension plan, the amount of the lump sum often varies based on market interest rates.... [The IRS] requires the use of an 'annuity substitution' approach for the purpose of valuing certain benefits expected to be paid in lump sum form. This practice note discusses the valuation of these benefits for financial accounting purposes."
Pension Committee, American Academy of Actuaries

Who's Actually Performing Your 401(k) Audit?

"[I]ssues that can arise from having staff auditors perform these important tests can include: ... [1] While looking through the I-9s to prove the date of hire and date of birth for the employees being tested, there are no date of hires on a few of the I-9s ... Notifying the plan sponsor ... could spare them a large fee from ICE if an investigation ever took place.... [2] [Failure] to ask for the expense documentation for the hardship [withdrawal].... [3] Unnoticed by the staff auditor, bonuses and commissions are not eligible plan wages as separately noted on the plan documents."
Pooler CPA Group, LLC

Why Retirees Are Unretiring: Not Just About the Money

"[M]ore than half of workers approaching retirement in the next five years believe they will likely return to work ... The twist on retirement is already peppered into companies' mission statements.... [T]he reasons people go back to work transcend income."
Bankrate

Recession-Proof Your 401(k)

"[1] Don't stop contributing ... [2] Resist the urge to sell ... [3] Never try to time the markets ... [4] Remain diversified ... [5] Don't look at your account balance ... [6] Stick with your plan ... [7] Get help if you need it ... [8] Don't panic -- volatile markets do not last forever."
Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants

[Advert.]

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Winning the Retirement Game: Be Flexible and Have a Plan

"Our inability to predict the future ... hasn't stopped individuals from coming up with approaches that they believe can 'safely' be used to spend down retirement savings which are significantly invested in risky assets. The 4% Rule is a classic example of such an approach.... [Dynamic approaches] require periodic (typically annual) 'actuarial valuations' to keep spending on track and consistent with a retiree's spending goals.... [R]eturns on risky assets will fluctuate from year to year and these fluctuations may increase or decrease how much we can afford to spend."
Ken Steiner, FSA Retired

[Opinion]

ICI Amicus Brief to Supreme Court Supporting Review of Burden of Proof in ERISA Investment Fiduciary Cases (PDF)

33 pages. "This ruling turns on its face the ordinary default rule, applied by the Second, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits, that the plaintiff bears the burden of proving loss causation. The deleterious effect of this ruling is compounded by the First Circuit's conclusion that showing that particular investment options did not perform as well as a set of index funds, selected by the plaintiffs with the benefit of hindsight, suffices 'as a matter of law' to establish losses to the plan." [Putnam Investments, LLC v. Brotherston, No. 18-926 (1st Cir. Oct. 15, 2018; cert. pet. filed Feb. 11, 2019)]
Investment Company Institute [ICI]

[Opinion]

ERIC Letter to EBSA Requesting Guidance to Address Missing and Unresponsive Participant Challenges (PDF)

17 pages. "[P]lan administrators cannot always do 'whatever it takes' to find every last missing participant and nudge every unresponsive participant into payment due to the attendant costs and other challenges. And even though there is no directly applicable guidance, the Department is aggressively pursuing a Terminated Vested Participant Project (TVPP) enforcement initiative and subjecting plan fiduciaries to protracted investigations and, in some cases, findings of ERISA breach, in a manner that appears inconsistent with ERISA's fiduciary standards."
The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC]

[Opinion]

American Academy of Actuaries Comments on Report of the Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings (PDF)

28 pages. "Since the release of the [2016 Report of the Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings], the public policy discussions about retirement security have continued to gain momentum, highlighted by a [GAO] report calling for a comprehensive evaluation of the U.S. retirement system issued in December 2017. The Academy Committees have reviewed the Report in detail and offer comments on the recommendations."
American Academy of Actuaries

Benefits in General

Student Loans: Some Employers Help Workers Pay Them Down

"Such benefits are relatively new and unusual; only 4 percent of employers surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management offer it. But its popularity is increasing, because it helps solve a growing concern for workers about their mounting debt. And it helps employers find and retain people when available workers are scarce."
National Public Radio [NPR]

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

How to Pay Federal Tax Withholding During the Year Rather Than After Year-End?

What's the procedure for an employer to remit federal taxes withheld from a 401(k) distribution during the year? Must the employer enroll with EFTPS and do it electronically, or can a physical form be filed with the payment attached? We realize that Form 945 can be filed at the end of the year with the payment if the total amount withheld throughout the year is less than $2,500, but it's very likely that amount will be exceeded, so we'd like to pay the withheld amount from the current distribution at this time. Also, is there a deadline for when such a payment must be made?
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Lois Baker, J.D., President  loisbaker@benefitslink.com
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

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