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May 9, 2019 logo logo
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Financial Services Sales
AimPoint Pension
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Webcasts, Conferences

Employee Attitudes Toward Public Sector Retirement Plan Auto-Enrollment
Center for State and Local Government Excellence

Defend Your Retirement Plan Against Cyber Crime
Francis Investment Counsel

Proxy Advisory Firms, ESG Investing, and Public Pensions
Institute for Pension Fund Integrity [IPFI]

Form 5500 Updates / An Update on What's Happening in Retirement
May 21, 2019 in PA
ASPPA Benefits Council [ABC] of Western PA

Financial Wellness - Negotiating Lower Plan Fees
May 30, 2019 WEBCAST

Advanced Pension Conference
September 4, 2019 in IL
FIS Relius Education

September 25, 2019 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

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[Official Guidance]

PBGC Updates Reportable Event and Large Unpaid Contribution Forms and Instructions

"OMB has approved minor revisions to the ERISA 4043 forms and instructions (i.e., Forms 10, 10-Advance and 200).... [C]ontrolled group and financial information must now be submitted with all Form 10 filings.... The new forms and instructions can be found on PBGC's Reportable Events & Large Unpaid Contributions webpage. PBGC's e-filing portal has been updated accordingly."
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]


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[Official Guidance]

Treasury Department Approval of Western Pennsylvania Teamsters and Employers Pension Fund Application for Reduction of Benefits (PDF)

"In consultation with the [DOL] and the [PBGC], Treasury has determined that the Fund is eligible to reduce benefits under MPRA and that your application satisfies the requirements of subparagraphs (C), (D), (E), and (F) of section 432(e)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, as added by MPRA.... [No] reduction of benefits can take effect before a vote of the participants and beneficiaries of the Fund with respect to the proposed reduction."
U.S. Department of the Treasury

[Guidance Overview]

PBGC Finalizes Revised Valuation and Notice Rules for Insolvent Multiemployer Plans

"Plan sponsors of certain terminated or insolvent plans will now be required to file with PBGC information about withdrawal liability payments and whether any employers have withdrawn but have not yet been assessed withdrawal liability.... Most annual updates to notices of insolvency benefit level are eliminated after the first notice if the plan is insolvent in the current plan year or is expected to be insolvent in the next plan year."

[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick What's the Difference between a Limited Scope and an ERISA Section 103(a)(3)(C) audit?

"In late 2018, the Auditing Standards Board (ASB) voted to issue a final balloted draft of SAS 13X, which addresses the auditor's responsibility to form an opinion and report on the audit of financial statements of employee benefit plans subject to [ERISA]. It also addresses the form and content of the auditor's report issued as a result of an audit of ERISA plan financial statements.... For some auditors, this clarification reinforces the previously elusive notion that testing is necessary to issue an unmodified opinion, even in a 103(a)(3)(C) audit."
Belfint Lyons Shuman

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Expands Determination Letter Program for Mergers of Qualified Plans Following Corporate Transactions

"[T]he alternative of merging a target's qualified retirement plan into a buyer's plan following a Corporate Transaction is [now] much more attractive -- and much less risky. In the absence of the ongoing determination letter program, it had become common practice for buyers to terminate targets' qualified retirement plans prior to closing -- an action that limited certain (but not all) risks associated with such plans."
Benefits BCLP


New ERISA Regulations for Disability Claims and Appeals

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

May 23 webinar will explain what new practices to follow, how to change past practices to become compliant with the new regulations, and the risks of non-compliance.BenefitsLink discount.

Anheuser-Busch Sued Over Mortality Table Used for Pension Plan Benefit Calculations

"The suit ... alleges that Anheuser-Busch has been using an outdated mortality table to calculate the mortality rates of participants in its pension plan. As a result, the company has been failing to pay out benefits from its plan in amounts that are actuarially equivalent to a single life annuity, as required by ERISA." [Duffy v. Anheuser-Busch Co., LLC, No. 19-1189 (E.D. Mo. complaint filed May 6, 2019)]
Pensions & Investments

New Jersey Hospital Pensioners Sue Newark Archdiocese

"The retirees' complaint alleges that their pensions were payable for life and fully protected by federal law and the federal pension insurance program until 1990 when the Archdiocese obtained an IRS ruling that the Saint James Hospital pension plan was a 'church plan' ... Unlike many other lawsuits that have been brought by retirees in 'church plans,' this case is being brought under state, rather than federal, law."
Pension Rights Center

Sweda v. University of Pennsylvania: Give and Take from the Third Circuit

"[T]he circuit court ... affirmed dismissal of the prohibited transaction claims, but reinstated the core prudence claims ... The result creates a circuit split on the scope of ERISA with respect to party-in-interest transactions, diverges from other circuit courts by permitting greater leniency in determining the plausibility of plaintiff-participants' allegations of fiduciary misconduct at the motion-to-dismiss stage, and appears to retreat from the Third Circuit's own prior precedent in deciding issues of excessive fees.... [T]he Third Circuit's views are applicable beyond the University fees cases[.]" [Sweda v. Univ. of Penn., No. 17-3244 (3d Cir. May 2, 2019)]
Miller & Chevalier

Compensation for MEP Sponsors, Part 2 (PDF)

"[A] MEP sponsor should assess, through benchmarking or other comparative means, whether its compensation and that of any affiliates is reasonable. However, the obligation to determine whether the MEP sponsor's compensation is reasonable rests with the participating employers.... Since the MEP sponsor serves as a fiduciary of the MEP, it cannot set or unilaterally change its own compensation. Approving a change will require approval by the participating employers or a MEP board."
Fred Reish, Bruce Ashton and Josh Waldbeser, via Plan Consultant

How the Target Date Fund Landscape Is Evolving

"Of the estimated net $55 billion investors placed in target-date mutual funds in 2018, $57 billion went to funds with expense ratios less than or equal to 0.20%.... Target-date fund series that held more than 80% of assets in index funds captured nearly all of the $55 billion estimated net flow to target-date mutual funds in 2018.... Assets in target-date CITs grew by approximately $30 billion to over $660 billion in 2018 when assets in target-date mutual funds declined to $1.09 trillion from $1.11 trillion."
Morningstar Advisor

Pre-Retirees Overestimate Social Security Benefits by 28%

"Pre-retirees, those within 10 years of retiring, expect they will receive $1,805 a month in Social Security benefits, but retirees actually collect an average of $1,408, a 28% difference ... Twenty-six percent believe they can live comfortably on Social Security alone, and 44% say that it will be their main source of retirement income."

Editor's Pick Social Security: The Trust Funds (PDF)

21 pages. "The Social Security trust funds represent funds dedicated to pay current and future Social Security benefits. However, it is useful to view the trust funds in two ways: [1] as an internal federal accounting concept and [2] as the accumulated holdings of the Social Security program.... This report covers how the Social Security program is financed and how the Social Security trust funds work." [Report FL33028, updated May 8, 2019]
Congressional Research Service [CRS]


Pew Misleads States by Pushing Cash Balance Plans

"Cash balance plans are an inefficient hybrid of defined benefit and defined contribution plans that manage to combine the worst of both plans. Cash balance plans are known for being opaque; it's often difficult for participants to know exactly how much they'll have in retirement.... Pew really made its mark promoting cash balance plans in Kentucky.... In Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, Pew has actively sought changes to traditional pensions for public employees."
National Public Pension Coalition

Benefits in General

Independent Contractor vs. Employee -- The Tug of War Continues

"In contrast with the DOL's and NLRB's loosened standards ... the Supreme Court of the State of California established a new pro-employee standard in the classification battle in 2018, ruling that there is a starting presumption that all California workers are employees. Thanks to a decision of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued on May 1, 2019, we now know that California's new pro-employee standard will apply retroactively. In other words, employers in California may find that once valid and correct classification of workers are now improper." [Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising Int'l, No. 17-16096 (9th Cir. May 2, 2019)]
The Modern Workplace, by Gray Plant Moody

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Transfer from 401(k) Account to Charitable Organization Avoids RMD?

I have a very difficult client who is already perturbed with me because we can't process her RMD for free, we can't give it to her in quarterly installments, and we can't endorse a rollover of all her assets into her IRA and THEN taking her RMD. All of my research indicates that she must take the RMD first and then roll the remainder from the 401(k) to the IRA. Is that right? How should I handle this participant?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Revenue Procedure 2019-19: Some Practical Aspects

Just wondering how some of the practical aspects will play out with recordkeeping platforms, reporting, etc. For example, the SCP loan default correction. This is great, but suppose a loan defaults in year one. Deemed distribution is reported. Two years later, as allowed under the Rev. Proc., you "correct" this so that there is no taxation. Are you allowed to amend your previously filed income tax returns? How far back can you go to amend a personal return? What documentation is required to do so, etc.?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Amending a Safe Harbor Plan to Change In-Plan Roth Rollover Provisions

Am I reading correctly that one cannot amend a safe harbor mid-year to change in-plan Roth rollover provisions? We want to amend to allow this for all amounts, whether a distributable event or not. Our document currently states there must be a distributable event.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Elective Deferrals on Hold for Six Months Due to Hardship Distributions: Plan Document Aspects

Does a plan need to actually amend the plan document to eliminate the requirement that elective deferrals be put on hold for 6 months?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

A New Fight Breaks Out Over 401(k) Fees
The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

Social Security Primer
Congressional Research Service [CRS]

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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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