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Pension Actuarial Consultant
in Deerfield IL

Retirement Plan Consultant
First American Bank
in Elk Grove Village IL

Regional Vice President, Retirement Plan Sales
in Pittsburgh PA

401(k) Pension Administrator / Compliance Testing
Legacy Retirement Solutions, LLC
in Aston PA

IRA Expert
Ed Slott and Company, LLC

DC Administrator
United Benefit Pensions Inc.
in Melville NY

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Webcasts, Conferences

Regular Rate Regulations and Keeping Benefits out of the Calculations
May 9, 2019 WEBCAST
ERIC [ERISA Industry Committee]

May 2019 Policy Forum
May 9, 2019 WEBCAST
EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute]

Next Generation of Technology Buyers
May 21, 2019 in TX
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Dallas Chapter

Post-Retirement Distributions!
June 20, 2019 WEBCAST
ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries [ACOPA]

Plan Document Issues Relating to Amendments and Restatements
August 14, 2019 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

►See 173 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1520 Recorded Webcasts


New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Request for Comments on Proposed Revisions to Filing Process for Form 5500-EZ

"The IRS is soliciting comments concerning the Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan.... The Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF are currently filed electronically through the web-based EFAST2 system. The Form 5500-EZ is currently filed on paper with the IRS or by answering a subset of questions on the Form 5500-SF, which is then filed electronically through EFAST2. The IRS plans to make the Form 5500-EZ available on the EFAST2 system for direct electronic filing instead of using Form 5500-SF. The Form 5500-EZ will also be subsumed under the OMB number for the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF ... as a separate collection. The Form 5500-EZ would still be available to be filed on paper with the IRS."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


Legal Analytics help ERISA Litigators Win

Sponsored by Lex Machina

Lex Machina enables you to predict the outcomes of your litigation strategy by analyzing the behavior of courts, judges, lawyers and parties. Gain insights into ERISA case timing, resolutions, damages, remedies, and findings.

[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Request for OMB Approval: Request for Coverage Determination

"The proposed form and instructions would be used by a plan sponsor or plan administrator to request a coverage determination and would be suitable for all types of requests.... PBGC received comments from three commenters about this collection of information.... After consideration of these recommendations, PBGC made some changes to the form and instructions.... The comments and PBGC's rationale for its decisions are discussed in the supporting statement submitted to OMB for this information collection. PBGC is requesting that OMB approve of the collection for three years."
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Guidance Overview]

Recap of Change to Retirement Plan Rollover Rules for Plan Loan Offsets

"[T]he extended rollover window applies only to plan loan offset distributions that are qualified plan loan offsets distributions -- that is, plan loan offset distributions that occur either by reason of termination of the plan or the participant's failure to satisfy the loan repayment terms because of his or her severance from employment. If a plan loan offset distribution occurs for any other reason, the 60-day rollover window applies."
Verrill Dana, LLP

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Cracks Open Determination Letter Program for Merged Plans and Hybrid (Cash Balance) Plans

"The transition period for coverage testing ends on the same date by which the plan merger must take place to file for a determination letter under this program. Under the coverage rules, the transition period would be cut short by a significant coverage change under the plan -- so a merger date that would allow the plan sponsor to request a determination letter under this program may cut the transition period short if benefit formula changes for either of the pre-merger groups are made effective on that date."

[Guidance Overview]

New Opportunity for Certain Retirement Plans to Obtain IRS Determination Letters

"[C]ertain merged plans resulting from a merger or acquisition of an unrelated entity may be filed at any time on an ongoing basis, beginning September 1, 2019.... Assuming calendar year plans, [1] Mergers or acquisitions that occurred in 2017, with plans merged in 2017 or 2018, can be filed no later than December 31, 2019. [2] Mergers or acquisitions that occurred in 2018, with plans merged in 2018 or 2019, can be filed no later than December 31, 2020."
Husch Blackwell


2019 SPARK National Conference -- June 4-5, Falls Church, VA

Sponsored by SPARK

The retirement services industry's leading event for top marketing, sales, administration and record keeping professionals. Comprehensive agenda is designed to meet the needs of 401(k) Plan Providers, Financial Advisors and Record Keepers.

[Guidance Overview]

Overpayments ... If It Comes Back, It's Yours

"EPCRS Section 6.02(5)(c) allows a plan that has made an Overpayment to a participant in an amount that is less than $100 to let the participant go on his/her merry way.... [For amounts of $100 or more] a plan sponsor has to take 'reasonable steps' to have the Overpayment returned to the plan, adjusted for interest.... The next alternative ... allows the plan sponsor or another person to contribute the difference to the plan, making the plan whole.... [E]arnings are at the plan's earnings rate from the date of the distribution to the date of the correction of the Overpayment."
Ferenczy Benefits Law Center

Say Hello to the Expanded IRS Self-Correction Program

"In most cases, demographic and employer eligibility failures remain unavailable for SCP correction.... If [the] loan correction also requires a submission under the [DOL's] Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP) because, for example, the sponsor did not properly administer loan repayments, a no-action letter for a loan default failure corrected under VCP (not SCP) is still required by the DOL before it will issue its own VFCP no-action letter."
AllThingsERISA at FisherBroyles

Your Retirement Plan: An Awesome Recruiting Tool ... and an Awesome Responsibility

"Four of five employees indicate they want benefits and perks more than a pay raise, and a 401(k) ranks in the top five requested benefits, ... The quality of your 401(k) offering is essential. It is important to have the highest quality best practices when it comes to fiduciary governance, record-keeping, compliance, administration, investments, participant education, and reasonable fees and expenses. It is also important to understand the fiduciary responsibilities and oversight that is required to follow best practices."

Critical Topics to Teach 401(k) Plan Sponsors: Fiduciary Education Curriculum, Part 1

"[1] Understanding their own fiduciary liability ... [2] Identifying the roles and responsibilities of key persons ... [3] Having a comprehensive knowledge of the plan design and its provisions ... [4] A thorough mastery of 404(c) compliance ... [5] Document retention."
Fiduciary News

Why You Should Consider Stable Value for Your Plan Lineup (PDF)

"[S]table value continues to outperform money market funds ... Higher interest rates mean higher crediting rates for stable value. However, higher rates also mean lower prices, and lower prices translate to lower stable value market-to-book value (M/B) ratios.... The wrap industry remains strong and appears to have fully recovered from the 2008 financial crisis based on the healthy number of active providers and available capacity."
T. Rowe Price

Index Investing Strategy: There May Be Better Options

"For most Americans who hire a financial advisor, an index investing strategy probably isn't the best option. Index funds and ETFs work great in some asset classes, for those investors who are comfortable working without an advisor and for those investors comfortable living with average performance each and every year."
Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants

Social Security's Funding Shortfall

"Social Security's projected long-range funding shortfall is driven largely by demographic factors. Declines in fertility and increases in longevity result in a lower ratio of workers to beneficiaries (projections show the ratio of workers paying into the system to support each beneficiary is estimated to fall from 2.8 in 2018 to 2.2 in 2035)." [Report IF10522, updated May 6, 2019]
Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Using Behavioral Finance to Drive Retirement Outcomes, Part 1

"[A] good starting point for employers is to aim for a minimum of 90% plan participation, at least 10% in total annual retirement contributions per employee and at least 90% of employees should be invested in a professionally managed in a vehicle such as a target date fund or managed account. The key here is that these percentages should be the floor and not the ceiling. Taking steps to address these three areas is probably the single most impactful thing any employee can do for its employees and their financial future."
Greenspring Advisors

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Excess Compensation and Parachute Payments by Tax-Exempt Organizations: IRS Interim Guidance

"One issue applicable to certain organizations arises when an ATEO such as a company foundation, family foundation or trade association is under common control with a business corporation or partnership, and an individual is highly compensated by the business corporation or partnership and also provides voluntary services to the ATEO. It seems unreasonable in many situations and inconsistent with the purposes of section 4960 that an uncompensated position with an ATEO could be considered a 'covered employee' position and as such could cause a related corporation or partnership to be subject to an excise tax under section 4960."
Sidley Austin LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Using the Average Benefits Test for *Coverage*

I've understood that the IRS, when it comes to coverage testing interprets 1.410(b)-4(b) such that a plan that has everyone in their own group/classification will be considered to have "substantially the same effect as an enumeration by name" and as such, it's not a "reasonable" classification and the plan must pass the ratio percentage test instead. That's fine, but is there any written guidance stating this? Do you know of unofficial IRS pronouncements to this effect at recent ASPPA conferences, etc?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Coverage Concerns: Only 1 Out of 10 Companies in This Controlled Group Sponsors a Plan

I have a controlled group of 10 companies -- has 1 plan, which is excluding 9 companies and all Highly Compensated Employees. Am I correct that at least 70% of NHCEs need to be eligible in order to pass 410(b)? If the total of all of companies' NHCEs is 100 and only 7 are allowed to participate, doesn't this fail?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Stop Filing Form 5500-EZ When Asset Valuation Dips Below $250,000?

Is it safe to say that if a "solo" 401k plan's assets fall below the $250,000 threshold as of 12/31/2018 & they have filed the 5500-EZ in the past years, they can just stop filing without worrying about receiving correspondence from the IRS? And then they start back up if their assets exceed $250,000 at the end of a future plan year?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

The Importance of Retaining and Protecting Employee Benefit Plan Records (PDF)
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants [AICPA]

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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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