Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 25, 2019

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Program Manager IV Operations Director
State of Maryland DBM Division of Employee Benefits
in Baltimore MD

Director Sales Consulting - ESOP
Principal Financial Group
in AL / FL / NC / TN

Defined Benefit Retirement Plan Consultant / Actuary
First American Bank
in Elk Grove Village IL

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[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC): A Primer

25 pages. "In FY2018, PBGC insured about 25,000 DB pension plans covering approximately 37 million people. PBGC became the trustee of 58 newly terminated single-employer pension plans and began providing financial assistance to an additional 6 multiemployer pension plans.... At the end of FY2018, PBGC had a total deficit of $51.4 billion, which consisted of a $2.4 billion surplus from the single-employer program and a $53.9 billion deficit from the multiemployer program." [CRS 95-118, updated Mar. 21, 2019]
Congressional Research Service [CRS]

[Advert.]

Fiduciary Protection for Default Investments in 401(k) and Other Retirement Plans

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Apr. 30 webinar. Review basic fiduciary standards and duties, and how ERISA Section 404(c) may relieve fiduciaries of these duties for a participant's directed investment. BenefitsLink discount.


Don't Rely Exclusively on Technology for Best Participant Engagement

"Online tools are great, but make sure that it is not critical for participants to access them in order to be successful in your retirement plan.... Recognize that all the Internet 'bells and whistles' in the world do not make for a successful 401(k) plan, and focusing exclusively on web access can actually hurt your participation and retirement outcomes. A better bet is to focus on your overall messaging and how your participants engage and learn, and ensure that your education, systems, and online tools support your specific situation."
Conrad Siegel Actuaries

Incorporating Behavioral Risk Preferences in Retirement Income Strategy Design

"[T]he effect of using a salary-dependent mortality schedule depends more on an investor's risk aversion than it does on demographic characteristics or the specific withdrawal strategy under consideration. This suggests that behavioral preferences are more likely to drive the choice of a retirement income strategy. [These] findings highlight the need for a comprehensive framework that captures both demographic factors and risk preferences -- as well as the interaction between the two -- when designing retirement income strategies."
T. Rowe Price

Fourth Circuit Opinion: Fiduciary Considerations in Setting an ESOP's Stock Purchase Price (PDF)

"[C]ourts look to the conduct of the trustee and whether it met its fiduciary obligations, not to whether the trustee arrived at a 'fair' value.... [A] trustee must satisfy both parts of the test to benefit from the adequate consideration exception. Assuming arguendo that the purchase was for 'fair market value,' we find no error in the district court's findings that Wilmington failed to prove that the share price was also 'the product of a determination made by the fiduciary in good faith.' " [Brundle v. Wilmington Trust, N.A., Nos. 17-1873, 17-2224, 17-2323, 17-2324, 18-1029 (4th Cir. Mar. 22, 2019)]
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Majority of Independent Workers Actively Save for Retirement

"56% of independent workers are actively saving for retirement (excluding independent workers who identify as already retired). Significantly more traditional workers are actively saving for retirement in comparison (72%). This may be due to the fact that the majority of traditional workers use their employer-sponsored retirement plan (68%) and likely have access to the automatic savings features typically available in those plans, while independent workers are primarily using IRAs (40%). Meanwhile, independent workers are just as likely as traditional workers to feel they are financially prepared for retirement (49% and 47%, respectively)."
T. Rowe Price

Employer-Provided Student Loan Assistance Options Take Several Forms

"The vast student loan debt of Americans who have attended post-secondary educational institutions has received much publicity, prompting lawmakers and employers to seek options to aid those who face such debt. Proposed approaches have included both legislation and options within current employee benefit structures, including retirement plans."
Ascensus

Have Multiple Retirement Accounts? Use Them in This Order

"Where you hold different kinds of investments -- whether in a taxable, tax-deferred, or tax-free account -- and which assets you tap first for retirement income are significant factors that can impact after-tax returns over the long term."
Barron's

Overlooked and Under-Engaged: How the Workplace Forgot an Entire Generation

"Gen X employees [ -- those now aged 38 to 53, who make up a third of the U.S. workforce -- ] not only feel significantly underappreciated at work and engage at lower rates than millennials, they also lag both boomers and millennials in key financial security indicators.... [J]ust 59 percent of Gen X workers are confident in their finances, compared to two-thirds (67 percent) of millennials and 65 percent of boomers.... Gen X [is] the most likely generation to say they will never retire and may remain in the workforce for the next 30 or more years. Nearly one in five (18 percent) Gen X employees do not plan to ever retire[.]"
MetLife

[Opinion]

Government Mandated, State-Run Auto-IRAs Can Cause Real Harm

"If OregonSaves were adopted nationally, 24.2 million workers aged 25-64 would initially be opted-in. Approximately 33% of affected workers carry high-interest credit card debt, with balances averaging nearly $5,500. Around 15% of affected workers struggle to meet basic needs like paying rent or utility bills. Workers in these situations come out ahead by paying down debt or meeting basic needs, and siphoning off 5% of their paycheck will likely worsen their overall financial situation."
Cato Institute

Benefits in General

Modernizing Benefits for Multinational Companies

"Companies need to consider the numerous countries in which they operate; the need to coordinate stakeholders across multiple functions and geographies; variations in social benefits and local regulatory frameworks; and responding to rapidly evolving technology, employee expectations and dynamics.... [T]he quest for modernization is important if companies want to attract, retain and engage the talent necessary for their business success in an increasingly complex and global world.... [A] systematic approach is critical."
Willis Towers Watson

Why Should HR Consider Outsourcing Employee Benefits Administration?

"Outsourcing to multiple vendors allows HR managers to look for the best point solutions to address specific needs for their organization, such as a benefits administration platform. These point solutions are often the provider's core focus, which usually results in a higher level of innovation compared with the 'we can do it all' HR offerings. Integration across vendor platforms is often seamless and allows systems to work together, given the rapid pace of innovation in HR technology, application programming interfaces (APIs), and SaaS-based solutions."
HR Daily Advisor

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Full Vesting Required for Paid-Out Partially Vested Ex-Employee, Due to Subsequent Plan Termination?

Working on the 2018 valuation for a balance forward profit sharing plan, I found out the company was sold in 5/2018 and technically the plan should have been terminated as of that date. A participant who terminated in 2017 was paid out in 3/2018 at 40% vesting. Because he was paid out prior to 5/2018, does he forfeit his non-vested balance at 12/31/2018, or be made 100% vested and paid out the remainder?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

SEP Sponsor Changes from Schedule C (Self-Employment) to S Corp

SEP is sponsored by a Schedule C entity. It has become an S corporation. Can the SEP sponsorship be changed to the new entity? They want to maintain the same eligibility instead of starting over. Also, they would like to continue to maintain the same SEP-IRA accounts.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

DOL Obtains Consent Judgment and Order Protecting Participants and Beneficiaries of Failing MEWA
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

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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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