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TPA Plan Administrator (Retirement)
Enhanced Retirement Solutions, LLC
in Rochester NY

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Webcasts, Conferences

How Employers Are Helping Workers Tackle Student Loan Debt
June 26, 2019 WEBCAST
EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute]

IRA Legal Issues and How to Handle Them
July 16, 2019 WEBCAST

Lifetime and Death RMD Calculations [2019]
July 23, 2019 WEBCAST
FIS Relius Education

Mid-Sized Retirement & Healthcare Plan Management Conference
September 15, 2019 in TN
University Conference Services

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[Official Guidance]

DOL Updates Model SAR for Pension Plans, Model Notice of Waiver of Financial Statement Audit

These model notices were updated on May 30, 2019:

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

[Advert.] Distribution Tracking Software

Sponsored by Wolters Kluwer

Our cutting-edge Distribution Tracking Software, built by retirement service providers, makes distribution preparation and tracking faster and more efficient. Know exactly where each distribution is so nothing slips through the cracks. Learn more!

EBSA Missing Participant Investigations Triggered by Social Security Notice of Possible Plan Benefits

"[T]he increased interest in retirees over the age of 70-1/2 began in the Philadelphia regional office because Social Security advised new recipients of entitlement to possible benefits from long-forgotten retirement plans.... More than half a billion dollars of unpaid retirement benefits were discovered in only six defined benefit plans.... Recent efforts by the EBSA have resulted in the opening of investigations against trustees, plan administrators and Third Party Administrators.... The initiative which began on the east coast with the Philadelphia office has now migrated to west coast offices."
Jackson Lewis P.C.

Eighth Circuit Finds Plan's Investment in Flailing SunEdison Stock Did Not Violate ERISA

"A unanimous three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that under [ERISA], plan fiduciaries are required to act 'with prudence, not prescience,' and SunEdison Semiconductor LLC (Semi) had no way of knowing that its former parent company's stock would tank when it set up the retirement plan." [Usenko v. MEMC LLC, No. 18-1626 (8th Cir. June 4, 2019)]

Plausible Sheep vs. Meritless Goats, Part II

"[W]hen the 'more harm than good' standard emerged with Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, it didn't just establish a new standard, it led to a refiling of claims of many of the so-called 'stock drop' suits.Ironically, up until the IBM decision, those too had generally come up short of the new standard -- though they did at least get past the summary judgment stage. If a new standard does emerge -- look for a new wave of 'old' litigation." [Jander v. Retirement Plans Committee of IBM, No. 17-3518 (2d Cir. Dec. 10, 2018; cert. pet. granted June 3, 2019)]
National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

SEC Passes Reg BI Package: Best-Interest Standard to Replace Suitability Standard

"The package, commonly known as Reg BI, features a best-interest standard that compels brokers to put clients' financial interests ahead of their own and requires them to mitigate financial conflicts. Currently, brokers are subject to a suitability standard that means they must provide advice that is merely suitable to their clients' situations. Critics ... say the proposal is too ambiguous and does not establish a legally enforceable standard."
Pensions & Investments


Financial Planning After Retirement: Coordinating the Retirement Plan with the Estate Plan

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

June 25 webinar. Coordinating your financial plan with your estate plan is important to a successful and comfortable retirement.BenefitsLink discount.

PBGC to Require More Detail in Reportable Events Filings, Introduce New Coverage Determination Form

"[PBGC] will be changing its reportable events filings to include controlled-group information, company financial statements, and defined benefit (DB) plans' actuarial valuation reports, adding more detail to five plan or employer events already reportable to the agency that rescues failed pensions."
HR Daily Advisor

Senate Republicans Raise Concerns Over House's Bipartisan Retirement Bill

"Among the items causing concern are the House's resistance to letting people pay for home-schooling expenses with money in 529 tax-advantaged education-savings accounts. Senators are also looking at a House-passed provision that relaxes pension-funding rules for some community newspapers and considering whether they want to make even larger retirement-policy changes than the House[.]"
The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

Bipartisan Bill Paves the Way for Significant Retirement Plan Reforms

"The SECURE Act ... proposes a number of changes to existing retirement plan rules that are designed to make it easier for employees to save for retirement. The legislation aims to help employees achieve retirement security by ensuring that more workers have access to a retirement plan, are able to save enough money to maintain their standard of living in retirement and do not outlive their retirement savings."
McDermott Will & Emery

CalSavers Moves to Dismiss ERISA Preemption Complaint

"The new motion ... argues that CalSavers is not preempted by ERISA because it is not an employee benefit plan under ERISA nor does it require employers to maintain an ERISA plan. CalSavers establishes IRAs for employees who participate and IRAs are not ERISA plans.... Employers are only required to perform ministerial acts under the law and program and have no discretion as to the administration of the program."
Murphy Austin


IRI Statement on Anticipated SEC Action on Regulation Best Interest

"Reg BI will be a substantial advancement in consumer/investor protection compared to existing law ... Reg BI will impose significant new regulatory implementation burdens on companies and advisors ... Reg BI will rely on rigorous SEC and FINRA enforcement mechanisms to protect consumers."
Insured Retirement Institute [IRI]


DB Plan Sponsors Beware: The End of Interest Rate Relief Is Coming

"Low interest rates and the sunsetting of favorable funding rules will create significant increases in contribution requirements in the next few years. Congressional action early this decade protected plan sponsors from feeling the full effect of the current low-interest-rate environment, but that protection is set to phase out starting in 2021. It is critical that defined benefit sponsors understand future expected cash contributions so they can make plans now and avoid unpleasant surprises later."
Pensions & Investments

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

ERISA Advisory Council to Meet June 25-27

"[The next meeting of] the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (also known as the ERISA Advisory Council) will be held on June 25-27, 2019 ... to hear testimony from invited witnesses and to receive an update from [EBSA].... The Advisory Council will study the following topics: [1] Beyond Plan Audit Compliance: Improving the Financial Statement Audit Process ... and [2] Permissive Transfers of Uncashed Checks from ERISA Plans to State Unclaimed Property Funds[.]"
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

District Court Looks to Where Benefit Plan Was Signed and Negotiated in Deciding to Transfer ERISA Class Action from Washington State to Georgia

"The court found that the plaintiff's choice of forum was of minimal importance because it was a putative class action. Interestingly, the court seemed to give considerable weight to the fact that the plan was negotiated and executed in Georgia, finding this was a 'considerable technical connection' to that forum. The court also found that litigation and travel costs would be reduced by having the case in Georgia rather than Washington." [Mayfield v. ACE American Ins. Co., 18-1695 (W.D. Wash. May 13, 2019)]
Baker & Hostetler, via Lexology; free registration required

Companies Lure Young Workers by Helping with Student Loan Repayments

"When it comes to luring top Millennial talent, companies have a new pitch: offering to pay down a portion of employees' student debt. With student loans outstanding reaching $1.5 trillion this year, employers realize it's a perk that can attract some of the best educated recruits. Among those who have student debt, the average owed was $32,731 ... That's enough that many younger households aren't ... doing things they want, like having kids, buying homes or saving for retirement."

Younger Workers Put Student Loan Aid Near Top of Desired Benefits

"Health insurance, paid time off and student loan repayment aid -- in that order -- were the top three benefits identified by recent college graduates and those approaching graduation when asked what benefits they most value from an employer.... [R]espondents with college debt most wanted any new benefit dollars from their employer to go toward helping them repay their loans."
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Is Your Nonqualified Plan Causing You Anxiety?

"Although nonqualified plans tend to involve few eligible participants and infrequent transactions, plan errors can be highly visible, as they often impact C-suite executives and may require disclosure in individual and/or corporate tax returns."

Delaware Reaffirms Entire Fairness Standard for Review of Director Compensation

"[T]he Delaware Court of Chancery ... reaffirmed that in most circumstances decisions of directors awarding director compensation are subject to review under the entire fairness standard. The Court also addressed the possibility of stockholder waiver of application of that standard to future director actions ... The litigation addressed compensation of Goldman Sachs' directors -- primarily the stock incentive plans ... approved by Goldman Sachs stockholders in 2013 and 2015." Stein v. Blankfein, No.  2017-0354 (Del. Chanc. May 31, 2019)]

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Simultaneous 401(k) and TSP Deferrals

Can an employee who is actively contributing to a 401k plan also contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan (offered by the U.S. military) at the same time?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Participant Doesn't Want to Lose Medicaid Benefits, Plan Is Safe Harbor

A plan participant receives Medicaid benefits on account of an intellectual disability. We've learned that his benefits will cease if his retirement account balance exceeds $2,000. He was auto-enrolled and made a few deferrals (totaling $200). The deferrals have been stopped, but the plan is a 3% safe harbor plan, so his account will receive the safe harbor contribution. This year, it probably push his account balance over $2,000, but next year it probably will. Is there a way to have him excluded from any employer contribution so he won't lose his Medicaid benefits?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Lois Baker, J.D., President
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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