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Client Service Manager
July Business Services
in Waco TX / Telecommute

401k Administrator
Fast Growing TPA Firm
in CT

401(k) / Pension Administrator
Legacy Retirement Solutions, LLC
in Aston PA

Senior Compensation and Benefits Attorney
Fidelity Investments
in Westlake TX

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Fidelity Lawsuit Could Have Wider Effect on Plan Investment Options (PDF)

"Although Fidelity is called out specifically in this class action regarding its disclosure and potential conflicts pertaining to its practices involving the operation of its proprietary mutual fund platform ... the potential industry implication is wide and deep. Today, all recordkeepers and custodians are subject to the same growth and revenue pressures to maintain service competitiveness and survival; favorable court findings in support of the Plaintiffs could affect the 'open architecture' approach altogether." [Wong v. FMR LLC, No. 19-10335 (D. Mass. complaint filed Feb. 21, 2019)]
Chao & Company, Ltd.


Maximize Your E-Filing Efficiency With ASC's 5500s!

Sponsored by ASC

Filing 5500s has never been quicker or easier. ASC's fully web-based system is compliant with EFAST2 requirements, includes batch "roll forward" & 5558 creation, customized "invite signer" emails, & auto-data sharing with other ASC systems. Learn More!

Plaintiffs Target Fidelity's Mutual Fund Shelf-Space Payments

"Although the 'secret' payments that the lawsuit takes aim at were apparently not made directly by the funds in which the plans invested, but by third party service providers, the lawsuit appears to adopt the theory that by extracting payments from those service providers, Fidelity indirectly exerted fiduciary control over fund expenses, since the cost of the payments would ultimately be passed through to investors." [Wong v. FMR LLC, No. 19-10335 (D. Mass. complaint filed Feb. 21, 2019)]
Groom Law Group

Will SEC's Reg BI Preempt State Fiduciary Rules?

"Opinions vary on the extent to which the SEC rule would raise brokers' obligations to investors. Less controversial is the fact that Reg BI and Nevada's fiduciary rule would create different requirements for brokers. And that is raising the question of whether the SEC's rule, coming from a federal agency, would preempt Nevada's and other state rules governing brokers' standard of conduct."
BenefitsPro; free registration required

Editor's Pick Stretching the Match: Unintended Effects on Plan Contributions (PDF)

12 pages. "When defined contribution plan sponsors stretch the match, they apply an existing dollar match to a higher contribution rate... [C]ontribution rates decline by 25% to 50% when the match is stretched.... Any incentive to obtain the full stretched match is more than offset by a reduction in plan participation rates."

February 2019 Pension Finance Update

"Pension finance enjoyed a second straight good month to start 2019, as both stocks and interest rates moved higher. Both model plans ... improved in February: Plan A gained 2% and is now up 5% for the year, while Plan B gained less than 1% and is ahead almost 2% through the first two months of 2019[.]"
October Three Consulting

Railroad Retirement Board: Retirement, Survivor, Disability, Unemployment, and Sickness Benefits

16 pages. "The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) ... administers retirement, survivor, disability, unemployment, and sickness insurance for railroad workers and their families under the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) and Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA).... This report explains the programs under RRA and RUIA, including how each program is financed, the eligibility rules, and the types of benefits available to railroad workers and family members. It also discusses how railroad retirement relates to the Social Security system." [Report RS22350, March 1, 2019]
Congressional Research Service [CRS]


SPARK Institute Comments on Nevada's Proposed Regs (PDF)

14 pages. "[T]he SPARK Institute believes that the fiduciary standard of care applicable to retirement plans and their participants should be established at the federal level, not the state level.... Second, the SPARK Institute is very concerned that the proposed regulations' definition of 'Investment Advice' would inappropriately extend Nevada's fiduciary standard of care and disclosure obligations to cover a wide range of beneficial conversations that our members routinely have with their customers to educate them and encourage them to save for retirement."
The SPARK Institute

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of EBSA Information Letter: Application of the Authorized Representative Provisions of DOL Benefit Claims Regs (PDF)

"Although a plan may establish reasonable procedures for determining whether an individual has been authorized to act on be half of a claimant, the procedure cannot prevent claimants from choosing for themselves who will act as their representative or preclude them from designating an authorized representative for the initial claim, an appeal of an adverse benefit determination, or both. The plan must include any procedures for designating authorized representatives in the plan's claims procedures and in the plan's summary plan description (SPD) or a separate document that accompanies the SPD." [Feb. 27, 2019 letter to Jonathan Sistare.]
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

An Executive Compensation Primer for the HR Professional

"This article addresses three primary responsibilities of the HR professional: [1] understanding the core elements of a typical key employee compensation package; [2] understanding the primary duties and roles of the HR professional with respect to the design and administration of incentive packages; and [3] being aware of hot topics impacting the provision of executive compensation."
Fisher Phillips

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Handling an HCE's Deferrals for ADP Testing When All is Catch-Up

HCE defers $6,000 for 2018. He's over 50. Employer makes a $55,000 profit sharing contribution for him. Total Annual Additions are $61,000. $6,000 is catch-up. What do I put in the ADP test? $6,000 or $0?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Count Comp Only While a Participant, for Safe Harbor Contribution Allocation?

Plan is Top Heavy and only allocates a 3% nonelective Safe Harbor contribution for the Plan Year. No other employer contributions or forfeitures. The plan excludes compensation while not a participant, so I have allocated a Safe Harbor contribution to a participant based on her partial year compensation. I did so because I thought that Top Heavy minimums were waived if the only contribution was the Safe Harbor. I'm being questioned as to why I did not use full year compensation. Was that wrong?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

SIMPLE IRA Sponsor Wants to Skip Year-End True-Up

Sponsor of SIMPLE IRA has employee who did not elect to defer until mid-year. Then she deferred 7% until the end of the year. Employer pays match up to 3% each pay period. At end of year, the employee had averaged, say, 3.5%, and should receive 3% match on full year compensation. Employer says he doesn't want to pay true-up, that he put it in each pay period and because she chose not to start making deferrals until mid-year, he should not have to pay the additional match. Is that an option in a SIMPLE IRA?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

401(k) Safe Harbor Rules (PDF)
Retirement Management Services, LLC

DOL Is Rejecting Form 5500 Filings from Professional Employer Organizations
NAPEO [National Association of Professional Employer Organizations]

The Phony Retirement Crisis
The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

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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 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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