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NQ Client Services Manager
Newport Group
in Lake Mary FL / Dallas TX

Retirement Plan Administrator / Consultant
Heartland Consulting Group, Inc.
in Overland Park KS / MO

Sr. Pension Actuarial Consultant
in San Diego CA

Assistant Team Leader
Nova 401(k) Associates
in Houston TX / Dallas TX / Austin TX / Scottsdale AZ / Telecommute

Retirement Specialist
Alerus Financial
in Albert Lea MN / Arden Hills MN / Fargo ND

Benefits Analyst
Directors Guild of America - PPHP
in Los Angeles CA

Marketing Campaign Manager
Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
in San Francisco CA / Telecommute

National Market President
Alerus Financial
in Grand Forks ND / Fargo ND / Minneapolis MN / East Lansing MI

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[Guidance Overview]

Court Ruling on Association Health Plans Leaves Future of DOL MEP Rule in Doubt

"[T]he provisions in the MEP Proposed Rule regarding groups or associations and working owners that qualify as 'employers' who may sponsor or participate in MEPs substantially mirror provisions in the AHP Final Rule ... At the very least, the Court's decision with respect to the AHP Final Rule likely will delay the issuance of any final MEP rule."
Groom Law Group

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[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick IRS 'Issue Snapshot': Preventing the Occurrence of a Nonallocation Year under Section 409(p)

"The rules under IRC Section 409(p) are designed to prevent a group of 'disqualified persons' (DPs) from collectively owning 50% or more of an S corporation's stock ... Since there are no prescribed correction methods to address Section 409(p) violations, prevention methods are important considerations for both ESOP plan design and operation.... This 'Issue Snapshot' explores methods for preventing a Section 409(p) violation including those that were the subject of [Chief Counsel Advice (CCA) memorandum 201747007]."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

19th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey: Three Generations Prepare for Older Age (PDF)

"Seven in 10 workers (72 percent) are looking forward to retirement.... Seventy-six percent of workers believe that people in their generation will have a much harder time achieving financial security in retirement compared with their parents' generation, a sentiment that is shared by Millennials (79 percent) and Generation X (81 percent), but to a lesser extent by Baby Boomers (69 percent). All three generations are already thinking in terms of longer lives."
Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies

Court Orders Additional Briefs in George Washington University ERISA Suit

"The question in the lawsuit, according to a federal judge, is whether the plaintiff has standing to sue, for one, because she signed a settlement agreement with the university, and also, the defendants claim, she has not proved harm in her challenges to investments used in the university's 403(b) plan." [Stanley v. George Washington Univ., No. 18-878 (D.D.C. Mar. 29, 2019)]

Tenth Circuit Finds Service Provider Managing Stable-Value Fund Was Not a Functional Fiduciary Under ERISA

"The Tenth Circuit held that the service provider was not a fiduciary under [ERISA], and therefore could not be held liable for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty. The court also concluded that the participant could not recover on his alternative claim alleging the service provider was a non-fiduciary party in interest that participated in a prohibited transaction because he failed to show the relief he sought was equitable under ERISA." [Teets v. Great-West Life & Annuity Ins. Co., No. 18-1019 (10th Cir. Mar. 27, 2019)]
Thomson Reuters Practical Law


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Editor's Pick Fiduciary Duty Issues with Alternative Investments and Outsourcing (PDF)

32 presentation slides, from ABA EBC 2019 Midwinter Meeting. Topics: [1] Educating fiduciaries: Behind the alternative investment label; Common structures for alternative investments; Plan asset vs. non plan asset vehicles -- basic ERISA rules; Understanding risk and benchmarking; Educating clients sufficiently to invest in alternatives. [2] Outsourced Investment Decision-Maker (OCIO): What it is; Why consider it; Challenges, including selection and monitoring; Contracting.
Employee Benefits Committee [EBC], American Bar Association

Revving Pension Plans' Funding Engines

"[P]lan sponsors of all stripes, even those that are well on their de-risking journey, still need to generate meaningful asset returns, not just to close deficits, but also to fund pension risk transfers and offset ongoing plan administrative expenses. Given increased volatility in global equity markets, relatively high valuations in many market segments, and the late stages of the economic and credit cycles, optimizing the plan's growth engine is more critical, and challenging, than ever. This publication provides a framework for how to do so in the context of the evolving market environment."
Cambridge Associates

GAO Seeks More Guidance on Retirement Benefits That Become Unclaimed Property

"[GAO] released a study recommending three ways the [IRS] and the [DOL] could clarify the handling of transfers of millions of dollars in unclaimed savings from employer retirement plans to states. While the study and recommendations had a narrow focus, they build on an emerging consensus among states and regulators about how to manage the retirement benefits of lost participants."
HR Daily Advisor

Benefits in General

Benefit Plan Class Action Payouts by Large Corporations Top $6 Billion

"[L]arge corporations have paid out $6.2 billion in class-action lawsuits in which employees claimed that the companies acted improperly in the administration of their 401(k) or defined-benefit pension or retiree health plans. That's the total of 201 settlements and verdicts since the beginning of 2000 ... The largest settlement, $480 million, was reached in 2014 in a retiree health benefits suit brought against Daimler AG on behalf of workers at the German company's U.S. truck manufacturing plants."
Good Jobs First

Review of 2018 ERISA Enforcement Actions by EBSA

"Total monetary recoveries increased for the third year in a row, due to historically high recoveries from EBSA's civil enforcement actions. Although civil enforcement recoveries reached a historic high -- the third largest in over a decade -- the trend of increased criminal investigations and decreased civil investigations continued in FY 2018."
Eversheds Sutherland

Editor's Pick Fiduciary Litigation Update (PDF)

32 presentation slides, from ABA EBC 2019 Midwinter Meeting. Topics: [1] Fiduciary burden of proof and loss causation; [2] Fiduciary disclosure claims; [3] Fiduciary status and prescription drug litigation; [4] ESOP litigation; [5] Church plan litigation.
Employee Benefits Committee [EBC], American Bar Association

Press Releases

PSCA Opens Annual 403(b) Benchmarking Survey
PSCA [Plan Sponsor Council of America]

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

House Ways and Means Committee Passes Retirement Legislation
Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives

Legal Privilege Issues Arising in Employee Benefit Matters (PDF)
Employee Benefits Committee [EBC], American Bar Association

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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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