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

Institutional Retirement Consultant
Unified Trust Company, N.A.
in AR / KS / LA / MO / NE / NM / OK / TX

Director, Corporate Development (Mergers & Acquisitions)
in Dresher PA

Defined Benefits Analyst
Retirement Planning Services

Operations Specialist
Goldleaf Partners
in Minneapolis MN / Baxter MN / Telecommute

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Webcasts, Conferences

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
May 21, 2019 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

►See 169 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1520 Recorded Webcasts


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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Announces Limited Expansion of Its Determination Letter Program, But Questions Remain

"Although it is not entirely clear, it would appear that the one-year review period would be open to any defined benefit plan that has a hybrid benefit formula, even if the plan's hybrid formula applies only to a subset of the plan's participants.... At first glance, the merged plan review procedure appears relatively straight-forward. However, the guidance gives rise to a number of important issues: [1] Are sponsors required to submit merged plans for review? ... [2] Merging pre-approved plans into individually designed plans.... [3] Plan document failures from acquired plans.... [4] Pre-2017 transactions ... [5] Multiple plan mergers."
Proskauer's ERISA Practice Center


ASC CE Webcast: ERISA 403(b) Plans vs. Non-ERISA 403(b) Plans

Sponsored by ASC

Different regulatory rules apply to different types of 403(b) plans. John Griffin, J.D., LL.M. will discuss the differences between 403(b) plans subject to Title I of ERISA and those that are not. Register Now!

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Determination Letter Program Expanded ... to a Limited Extent

"Most small to medium-sized companies use preapproved plan documents for their retirement plans. Nonetheless, there are times (particularly in relation to hybrid plans or the merger of plans) when the document must be more flexible than a preapproved document will permit. In that situation, the ability to obtain a new FDL in limited circumstances is a very welcome change."
Ferenczy Benefits Law Center

IRS Rev. Proc. 2019-20 Expands Determination Letter Program

"Rev. Proc. 2019-20 ... [1] Extends, on a limited basis, the remedial amendment period ... under specified circumstances. [2] Provides special sanction structures that apply to certain plan document failures discovered by the IRS during the review of a statutory hybrid plan or a merged plan submitted for a determination letter."
Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Plaintiffs Get Reprieve in University 403(b) Excessive Fee Case

"The suit was not only one of the first of the university 403(b) excessive fee suits to be filed, the district court decision, in favor of the fiduciary defendants for the University of Pennsylvania Matching Plan, had been cited in a number of these cases, including those that had been settled.... While the decision is surely a victory for plaintiffs, most of the claims were rejected by the appellate court on the same grounds as has the district court... More significantly, the dissent ... raises the specter of the impact that this kind of litigation might have on plan formation and the involvement of individuals as plan fiduciaries." [Sweda v. Univ. of Penn., No. 17-3244 (3d Cir. May 2, 2019)]
National Tax-Deferred Savings Association [NTSA]

The Big Mistake Too Many Retirement Plan Fiduciary Committees Are Making -- and What to Do About It

"[W]hen there is no formal grant of authority to a fiduciary committee from the board or members ... the board or members have retained full-blown fiduciary status, which is not what is intended in most cases.... Fulsome, periodic, properly documented fiduciary training for committee members is non-negotiable.... There should also be a formal vote of the board or LLC members establishing or ratifying the committee, adopting a charter, appointing committee members (ex officio, by name or a combination of the two), and adopting any necessary plan amendments."

Investment Committee Basics

"Your retirement plan's Investment Committee is most likely composed of individuals with extremely busy schedules and a small amount of time dedicated to discussions surrounding your plans investments. So how do you make the most of their limited availability? [Here is] a list of some tips, tricks, and best practices to make sure your Investment Committee meetings run efficiently and effectively."
Conrad Siegel Actuaries

Editor's Pick How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief

11 pages. "The computation process involves three main steps: [1] a summarized measure of lifetime earnings is computed. That measure is called the average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). [2] a benefit formula is applied to the AIME to compute the primary insurance amount (PIA).... [3] an adjustment may be made based on the age at which a beneficiary chooses to begin receiving payments." [Report R43542, updated May 3, 2019]
Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Benefits in General

Editor's Pick The Importance of Retaining and Protecting Employee Benefit Plan Records (PDF)

32 pages. "This advisory describes ERISA and DOL record retention requirements, protecting personally identifiable information, the effect of inadequate records on audit scope and testing and the auditor's report, and the implications to the plan administrator for failure to properly retain records. The advisory also provides suggestions for best practices for record retention and data protection and additional resources."
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants [AICPA]

CalSavers and ERISA: An Analysis of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program (PDF)

"The district court's ultimate substantive conclusion -- California's private sector retirement savings program survives ERISA preemption challenge -- is convincing. However, the court's underlying analysis is unpersuasive in important respects. The better reading of the DOL regulation is that CalSavers is an IRA payroll deposit arrangement. Thus, CalSavers qualifies for the regulatory safe harbor and is not an employee benefit plan governed by ERISA.... The district court's decision confirms [Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co.] as an important watershed in the U.S. Supreme Court's ERISA preemption case law." [Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc. v. The California Secure Choice Ret. Savings Prog. (CalSavers), No. 18-1584 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 28, 2019)]
Prof. Edward Zelinsky, via New York University Review of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

QNEC Needed to Pass ADP -- Triggers Gateway?

Participant does not qualify for a PS (terminated with < 500 hrs). However, plan fails ADP and he's getting a QNEC in lieu of HCE distributions. Does that QNEC trigger a gateway?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

May a Plan Restrict Distributions to Direct-Deposit?

A retirement plan's sponsor would like to amend its ERISA-governed plan to restrict distributions to preclude a check and allow only a direct deposit to a distributee's bank or other financial institution account? Would such a provision be contrary to any required provision of ERISA's title I? Would such a provision tax-disqualify the plan under Internal Revenue Code section 401(a)? Why?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Handling Missed Deferrals After Plan Sponsor Crippled by Ransomware

We have a client who just started their 401(k) at the beginning of the year. They have essentially been shut down for days due to ransomware. They still do not have access to most of their computer functions including payroll. All election forms are electronic. And emails are down. Payroll was manually completed last week (approx 500 employees) and the bare minimum was done to get paychecks out. FICA, Federal and State withholding. As their software handled the employees 401(k) in the past they did not have deferrals taken out of the last payroll. And it appears that they will still be manually required to do payroll for a while (they are not paying the ransom but there are backup issues). FYI, safe harbor plan with standard match, determined on a payroll v payroll basis. No true up. I have not encountered anything like this in the past. Generally you can make up missed deferrals if the participant has enough time to make up what was not deferred. Trying to formulate options. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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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