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Senior Benefits Attorney
The Air Line Pilots Association, International
in Herndon VA

Retirement Plan Administrator
Liden, Nestle, Soled & Associates
in Westlake Village CA

Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
Rudd and Wisdom, Inc.
in Austin TX

Sr. Business Systems Analyst
LT Trust Company
in Denver CO / Telecommute

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Webcasts, Conferences

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
March 28, 2019 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Minding Your Qs And Exes: Handling QDROs, QMCSOs And Other Benefits Issues When An Employee Divorces
May 7, 2019 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

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Complaint Alleges That Fidelity Charged Improper Fees

"Plan fiduciaries, regardless of whether they use Fidelity as their record keeper, should take the following steps: [1] Review and analyze investments and fee disclosures for investments (including any footnotes in fine print); [2] Ask their record keepers whether there are any nondisclosed fees similar to infrastructure fees paid by Fidelity; [3] Understand and analyze the employer's/plan sponsor's/fiduciary's own fiduciary obligations; [4] Consider whether additional actions may be appropriate to further the interests of plan participants, including changing the fund line-up or participating in litigation; and [5] Document the above steps."
Husch Blackwell


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U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear USC's Appeal in ERISA Arbitration Case

"The Ninth Circuit's decision held that the dispute falls outside the arbitration agreements that USC employees signed because the parties consented only to arbitrate claims brought on their own behalf and the employees' claims were brought on behalf of the ERISA plans. As a result of the decision, the litigation's discovery phase will continue to proceed in federal court." [Munro v. Univ. of So. Cal., No. 17-55550 (9th Cir. July 24, 2018; cert. denied Feb. 19, 2019)]
Schlichter Bogard & Denton

Legislation Giving Participants More Say in MPRA Benefit Cuts Reintroduced in Senate

"The proposed Pension Accountability Act was introduced by Ohio Sens. Rob Portman, a Republican, and Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, both of whom served on last year's Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans, which expired before a reform package could be approved. The bill amends the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act by making participant votes binding in all situations and only counting returned ballots."
Pensions & Investments

Editor's Pick Multistate Private-Sector Retirement Pact Getting Some Serious Attention

"The basic idea is for interested states to be able to tap into programs already built rather than starting from scratch.... So far, seven states -- including some that have already passed secure choice legislation -- are considering legislative language allowing for such partnerships, and many other private-sector retirement bills being considered this year would allow treasurers or other officials to decide whether collaborating with another state program is the most feasible approach."
Pensions & Investments

There Are No Guarantees if You Self-Insure Your Retirement, Part 2

"[T]he 4% Rule [and] IRS RMD approach (or any other Strategic Withdrawal Plan) don't work with [Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts (QLACs)] ... to provide a reasonable spending budget, as these approaches don't coordinate spending with other sources of retirement income. And while Monte Carlo models ... may be able to incorporate non-linear payment streams and indicate how a QLAC may positively affect the probability of success of meeting a certain spending goal, they will generally not tell you how to adjust your spending budget each year to keep on track."
Ken Steiner, FSA Retired


Is It Ever a Good Idea to Hold Company Stock in a 401(k)?

"At the portfolio level, heavily weighting single stock -- any stock -- has the potential to make that portfolio more volatile than one that's more diffuse.... Employees who invest heavily in company stock have both their human capital and financial capital riding on the fortunes of a single company ... If you're matched on your 401(k) contribution in the form of company stock, it's a best practice to periodically liquidate those holdings and deploy the cash into better-diversified positions within your plan."
Christine Benz, in Morningstar

Benefits in General

Summary Plan Descriptions: You Gotta Provide Them, So Make the Most of Them

"If your participants don't understand the information contained in their SPDs, they may make unsound, and potentially costly, benefits decisions. To determine whether your SPDs have readability issues, you should re-read the SPDs from a participant's viewpoint ... Providing updated SPDs every five or 10 years to former retirement plan participants with vested benefits, retirees receiving benefits, and beneficiaries receiving benefits may seem like an unnecessary cost, given that those individuals won't be affected by most plan changes. To lessen the burden on plan administrators, the ERISA rules include an alternative distribution method for such situations."
Foley & Lardner LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Merging a MEP into a Single Employer Plan

Our company purchased an organization with a MEP last year and we would like to merge the 20 facilities/employer plans into our single employer Plan. Can we handle it like a standard trust-to-trust conversion -- addressing any protected benefits? I heard there are special consideration for MEPs, however I couldn't locate any conversation on unique issues we need to consider.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Excluded Employee Becomes Eligible -- Affects Date of Hire for Participation Purposes?

I have a profit sharing only plan that has union employees excluded. We just learned that all the employees became non-union on 10/1/2018. Does this become their date of hire for eligibility purposes?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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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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