Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 15, 2019

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Jobs

Pension Plan Administrator
American Pension Advisors, Ltd.
in Indianapolis IN

Retirement Services Manager
Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System
in Sacramento CA

DC Plan Administrator
Northeast Professional Planning Group, Inc.
in Red Bank NJ / NY

Retirement Distributions Supervisor
Alerus Financial
in Arden Hills MN

Defined Benefit Administrator
TPA firm in Phoenix, AZ
in Phoenix AZ

DB Combo Cash Balance Consultant
Loren D. Stark Company
in Houston TX / Telecommute

Retirement Plan Administrator
Steidle Pension Solutions, LLC
in Lebanon NJ

Plan Administrator
Benefit Associates, Inc.
in Huntington Beach CA / Ballston Lake NY

Retirement Plan Analyst II
Retirement Plan Solutions, Inc.
Telecommute

Associate Fund Counsel
Central Pension Fund of the IUOE
in Washington DC

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[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick Updated Chart: State Fiduciary and Best Interest Developments

"[The authors] are still waiting for finalization of the Nevada rules on the fiduciary duty for broker-dealers and investment advisors and the effective date of the New York rules on the sale of annuities and life insurance. In the meantime, though, Maryland and Massachusetts have stepped in with new developments. The Maryland action is an about-face."
Drinker Biddle

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California's State-Mandated Retirement Program Survives Preemption Challenge

"While many plan providers are worried that state-run programs will dash employer interest in qualified plans, ... the opposite may be true. Companies that cannot afford to make contributions on behalf of their employees may find the state-run plans to be an economical alternative, as none of these programs currently permits employer contributions."
FIS Relius

Reviewing Target Date Funds Is Now Top Priority for Plan Sponsors

"Costs and fees rank high among the concerns of the consultants and their clients, but other issues such as target-date fund glidepaths have emerged as topping to-do lists, especially in areas that focus on decumulation ... [O]ne question asked: What are the most important factors in evaluating and selecting investment default strategies? Glidepath structure placed first (82% of responses), followed by fees (56%) and probability of meeting retirement income objectives (47%). Multiple answers were permitted. In the previous survey, fees finished first (83%), followed by glidepath structure (82%) and probability of meeting retirement income objectives (65%)."
Pensions & Investments

Fee Disparity Linked to Size of Defined Contribution Plans

"In 2017, participants in a defined contribution plan with fewer than 1,000 participants paid a median 0.6% of assets in total fees, while those with more than 15,000 paid only 0.4% ... While asset-based fee arrangements -- those that charge a percentage of plan assets -- might initially be advantageous to plan sponsors, they can quickly become expensive as the plans grow."
Pensions & Investments

Two Alternatives in the End-State

"Many plan sponsors find themselves in the fortunate position of approaching the end of their plan's glidepath.... Two primary 'in-plan' hibernation alternatives have emerged: completion and 'custom credit' programs. [1] [A completion program] ... typically retains traditional active managers against published benchmarks and adds a completion manager who uses U.S. Treasuries and interest rate derivatives to keep plan-wide exposures on target across interest rate and yield curve movements. [2] 'Custom credit' ... uses investment grade credit securities and seeks to hedge the market exposures of a liability without relying on published bond indices.... [This article] provides some guidance around when one may be preferred over the other."
NISA Investment Advisors; free registration required

Will RESA Succeed This Time?

"Since 2016, multiple versions of [the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA)] have been championed by high-profile lawmakers (both past and present). This legislation has offered many innovative ideas to expand retirement savings opportunities and has served as a model for other retirement reform bills. RESA 2019 has now been introduced ... just one day before the House Ways and Means Committee gave unanimous approval to nearly identical legislation, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 ... With this apparent unanimity in the Senate and House, hopes are high that 2019 may be a year for major retirement savings enhancement."
Ascensus

2019 Report on State Retirement Systems: Funding Levels and Asset Allocation (PDF)

11 pages. "Wilshire estimates that the aggregate funded ratio was 72.2% at fiscal year-end 2018, which represents an increase of 1.7% from the end of FY 2017 creating two consecutive years of aggregate funded ratio increases.... Wilshire estimates that the aggregate Total Pension Liability (TPL) increased to $4,278 billion as of fiscal year 2018, up over three percentage points from $4,141 as of fiscal year end 2017. Despite the increase in aggregate TPL, the aggregate shortfall is estimated to have decreased by $33 billion to $1,190 billion from $1,223."
Wilshire Associates

Crunching the Numbers on Pension Lump Sums, Part 2

"For a retiree, or someone close to retirement, the decision to take a lump sum or a life annuity form of payment from a pension plan is a classic example of ... the decision of how much of one's assets should be allocated to the less-risky floor portfolio to fund essential expenses and how much should be allocated to the more-risky upside portfolio to fund non-essential expenses."
Ken Steiner, FSA Retired

[Opinion]

The Cost-Efficiency Standard: Streamlining the ERISA 401(k)/403(b) Litigation Process

"[In] some of the recent dismissals involving 401(k)/403(b) actions, it seems that the courts involved have based their decisions on irrelevant, corollary issues, while totally losing sight of ERISA's stated purpose -- protection of a plan's participants.... If the goal of 401(k) and 403(b) plans is truly to protect and promote the 'best interests' of plan participants as they work toward 'retirement readiness,' the cost-efficiency of a plan's investment options should be of primary concern."
The Prudent Investment Fiduciary Rules

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

No QDRO Entered Despite Property Settlement; Does Estate of 'Alternate Payee' Have a Valid Claim?

Meeting with an ex-wife tomorrow. She is a plan participant, age 65, retired. She and ex-husband divorced 10 years ago, both pro se. Judgment provided for division of her retirement account, but no QDRO was drafted. Husband died recently. Daughter of the couple is designated as the sole beneficiary. Estate is seeking to recover portion of the ex-wife's retirement account based upon divorce judgment. Valid claim?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Can Active Employee Contribute Unused Vacation Time to 403(b)?

An active employee participating in a 403(b)(9) church plan wants to defer his unused vacation time to the plan. I know there is a provision (Rev. Rul. 2009-31) that allows for active employees to have their unused PTO contributed to a 401(k), but I did not find such a provision for 403(b)s. The only thing I could find in respect to unused PTO being contributed to a 403(b) is via a post-severance contribution (IRS Pub. 4482). Does anyone know if a 403(b) plan can allow an active employee to contribute (either via deferral or arrangement with employer for a non-elective contribution) unused vacation and sick pay to the 403(b) plan?
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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

2019 Enrolled Actuaries Meeting 'Blue Book': Questions to the PBGC and Summary of Responses (PDF)
Enrolled Actuaries Meeting and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

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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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