Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 21, 2019

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[Guidance Overview]

Plan Sponsors of Cash Balance, PEP Plans and Certain Merged Retirement Plans Can Apply for an IRS Determination Letter, Starting September 1, 2019

"If the application is filed and the IRS identifies a document failure in a hybrid plan not related to the hybrid plan regulations, or if it identifies plan document failures in merged plans not related to the plan merger, the IRS will then impose a special sanction equal to the applicable [VCP] user fee that would have applied had the plan sponsor identified the failure and submitted the plan for consideration under the VCP, if either of [two] conditions apply[.]"
DLA Piper

[Guidance Overview]

SEC's New Broker Rule: Issues for Plan Fiduciaries

"In light of the new (and significantly elevated and detailed) broker standard of conduct rules, the application of the plan fiduciary's duty to monitor 'whether the adviser continues to meet applicable federal and state securities law requirements' deserves special attention. At a minimum, sponsor/plan fiduciaries will want to ... discuss with service providers how the conduct of broker-affiliated service providers will be monitored.... [C]ould plan fiduciaries' obligation to monitor compliance with federal securities laws become a target for plaintiffs' lawyers? "
October Three Consulting

Reg BI: How Rollovers Are Changing Under the New SEC Rules

"The new rules encompass three elements of a rollover recommendation... [1] take money out of a 401(k) plan (i.e., it's not in an investor's best interest to be in the plan); [2] put that money in an IRA (i.e., the IRA is the best place to put the money); [3] invest the money (i.e., investment choice).... [A] broker must do a comparative analysis between a client's 401(k) and an IRA based on several factors."
InvestmentNews; subscription may be required

DOL Rule to Expand Multiple-Employer DC Plans Advances Amid Legal Issues

"[DOL] regulations making it easier to form defined contribution multiple-employer plans (MEPs) are under review by Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.... [T]he 2018 proposed MEP rules largely track provisions in the final DOL rules for association health plans (AHPs). A federal district court struck down key portions of the AHP rules earlier this year[.]"
Mercer

SECURE Act Changes That Affect Your 401(k)

"Part-time employees must be eligible to contribute.... Distribution rules modified and new withdrawal event created.... New flexibility for non-elective safe harbor plans.... Increased maximum contribution for auto escalation safe harbor plans.... New disclosure of projected retirement income.... Annuity safe harbor for fiduciaries.... Open Multiple Employer Plan (MEP) option."
401kTV

Retirement Assets Total $29.1 Trillion in First Quarter 2019

"Assets in individual retirement accounts (IRAs) totaled $9.4 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 8.3 percent from year-end 2018. Defined contribution (DC) plan assets were $8.2 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2019, up 8.2 percent from year-end 2018. Government defined benefit (DB) plans ... held $6.3 trillion ... Private-sector DB plans held $3.2 trillion in assets ... and annuity reserves outside of retirement accounts accounted for another $2.1 trillion."
Investment Company Institute [ICI]

Retirement Plan Participation Among Selected Demographic Segments (PDF)

Infographic. "In 2014, the Current Population Survey questionnaire was redesigned, resulting in a drop in retirement plan participation estimates when compared with the results from the original questionnaire.... The youngest cohort and Hispanic workers recorded the lowest levels of plan participation.... Lower participation levels among Hispanic workers persisted across each of the income categories."
Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Small- and Medium-Sized Illinois Employers: Deadlines Fast Approaching for Illinois Secure Choice Act Registration

"[E]mployers in Illinois who are not exempt will be required either to have a retirement savings program in place for their workforce or to register under the Illinois Secure Choice Program. The deadline for registering is July 1, 2019, for those employers with 100-499 employees. For employers with 25-99 employees, the registration deadline is November 1, 2019. Larger employers were required to register last year, although many large employers already have retirement plans for their workforce and are exempt under the Secure Choice Program."
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

[Opinion]

How to Avert a Public Pension Crisis

"Today's strong economy means policymakers are not under maximal pressure: They can see the problem, but they do not yet truly feel it. That time will come, however, and if public pensions are going to survive over the long term, funding and investment practices must improve, and benefits need to be modernized to flexibly meet the needs of today's public workforce. There won't be a better time to avert the next pension crisis. And there are a few key steps that every jurisdiction should be taking."
National Affairs

Benefits in General

More Organizations Are Expanding Severance Benefits

"Forty-four percent of 1,500 HR professionals polled ... said their organizations offer severance benefits to all workers -- not just executives and senior managers -- representing a 6 percent increase from 2017. A majority of respondents cited projecting an employee-first workplace culture as the top reason for expanding severance, followed by taking care of employees and protecting brand reputation."
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues Interim Guidance Under Notice 2019-09 on Section 4960 Excise Tax for Tax-Exempt Organizations and Certain Governmental Entities

"For purposes of Code section 4960, remuneration means wages subject to federal income tax withholding under Code section 3401(a). Excluded from this definition are payments from tax-qualified plans, Code sections 403(b) and 457(b) plans, payments for medical or veterinary services performed by a medical professional, and payments to a non-highly compensated employee as determined by Code section 414(q)."
Trucker Huss

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Medicare Insurance Premiums Allowable for Hardship Distribution?

Are premiums paid to Medicare an acceptable safe harbor medical expense for a hardship distribution?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

457(f) Payment Timing and Inclusion in Income

Payout provisions of 457(f) plan state that deferred amounts will vest on July 30, 2019, provided the covered executive is employed on that date, and the vested amount will be paid by March 15, 2020. Plan goes on to state that this payment is intended to be a short-term deferral under 457(f) and 409A. The payment is taxable to the recipient in 2019, even if paid out in 2020, right? The law seems straightforward on this to me, but I'm confused about what relevance the short-term deferral language has, if any.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Reporting of Late Deferrals on Form 5500-SF

There were late deferrals in 2017. They were deposited into the plan during 2017. The earnings on them were deposited in 2018. The late deferrals were reported on the 2017 5500-SF. Should they also be reported on the 2018 5500-SF even though they were deposited in the prior year (2017)? Is the deposit of late deferrals only considered corrected when the late earnings are deposited?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Cash Balance Plans Could Make a Comeback
National Public Pension Coalition

Retirement Lessons from the Four Seasons
Cammack Retirement Group

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
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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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