Retirement Plans Newsletter

July 3, 2019

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Senior Pension Administrator
Scholz & Friends Enlightened Retirement Group, Inc.
in San Antonio TX

Retirement Plan Administrator
Pension Consultants, Inc.
in Minneapolis MN

Outside Actuary
Midwest TPA Firm
Telecommute

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Proposed MEP Regs Include Exception to 'One-Bad-Apple Rule'

"The proposed regulations would provide an exception, if certain requirements are met, to the application of what the regulations call the 'unified plan rule' ... for a defined contribution MEP in the event of a failure by an employer participating in the plan to satisfy a qualification requirement or to provide information needed to determine compliance with a qualification requirement.... The exception generally would be available if the participating employer in a MEP is responsible for a qualification failure that the employer is unable or unwilling to correct."
planadviser

District Court Finds Employer's Profit Sharing Plan Is Not Covered by ERISA

"The court ... found that the phrase 'provides retirement income' refers only to plans created for the purpose of paying retirement income. Clearly, the Plan was not designed for such a purpose, even though it allowed contributions to go toward retirement. The court also ... pointed to the Plan's express intent to fall within ERISA's coverage exemption for bonus plans[.]" [Scanlan v. American Airlines Group, Inc., No. 18-4040 (E.D. Penn. Jun. 18, 2019)]
BakerHostetler via JD Supra

Tips for Encouraging Better Retirement Savings Behavior

"Stress what could be gained or lost ... Point out what others are doing right ... Use testimonials versus eye-popping statistics ... Encourage individuals to picture their retirement ... Leverage competition ... Use opt-out versus opt-in features ... Limit investment choices ... Structure the menu of investment choice ... Use a stretch match ... Provide access to a financial advisor."
The Retirement Advantage

What New Research Tells Us About ESG

"[New research] reveals companies tend to adopt an increasingly similar set of sustainability practices and only firms implementing strategic practices -- those less common, more differentiated and difficult to imitate -- can reliably hope to achieve superior performance."
Corporate Secretary

Benefits in General

Editor's Pick Tips and Strategies for Successful IRS and DOL Plan Audits (PDF)

50 presentation slides. Topics: [1] Background on benefit plan audits; [2] IRS audit triggers and process; [3] DOL audit triggers and process; [4] If your plan is audited; [5] Avoiding audits and compliance issues; [6] Common retirement plan compliance issues; and [7] Common welfare plan compliance issues.
McDermott Will & Emery, for Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA]

Supreme Court Keeps Auer But Dilutes Its Power

"The Kisor decision gives federal judges many justifications to decline to extend Auer deference to an agency interpretation of a regulation. But what's the difference between ambiguous and genuinely ambiguous? What are the benchmarks for an 'authoritative' or 'official position?' Does an agency letter of interpretation count? Must such 'positions' appear in the Federal Register? ... Justice Gorsuch's prediction will likely come true; we will see Auer deference pay another visit to the Supreme Court sometime in the future." [Kisor v. Wilkie, No. 18-15 (S. Ct. Jun. 26, 2019)]
Ogletree Deakins

Tackling Your Employees' Student Loan Debt

"[R]oughly one-third of employers reported offering or planning to offer some student loan debt program, such as a student loan debt consolidation or refinancing service.... [T]he recently reintroduced Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2019 ... includes a provision ... which allows plan sponsors to match an employee's student loan payment in the form of a contribution to their workplace retirement plan."
ORBA

Postal Service Floats Big Cuts to Employee Pay, Leave and Benefits

"USPS included a hike to the employee contribution level for pensions in a first draft of a 10-year business plan presented to lawmakers and stakeholders... as well as phasing out pensions altogether for new hires in favor of a defined-contribution system only. The Postal Service is looking to cut the amount of paid time off employees receive by merging annual and sick leave and pitched a popular proposal ... to require all postal retirees to enroll in Medicare as their primary insurance provider."
Government Executive

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

QDRO Approved, Funds Already Disbursed -- Do-Over Possible?

State of Oregon. Parties are now dealing with the reality that they did not withdraw enough from 401K plan to pay off all bills and also pay IRS. Husband now wants to renegotiate the pension settlement and wife just wants the bills paid off. Can they renegotiate the 401k settlement and file an amended or new QDRO? Is it allowed to go back?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Late Contributions to 401(k) -- Use DOL Calculator for All Contribution Types?

Employer was 20 days late with employee deferrals, matching, and non-elective QACA contributions. Prior to this error they have always submitted the three money types together to participant accounts every pay period. For the missed contributions, do they need to use the VFCP lost earnings calculator for all three money types or just for the employee deferrals?
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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. The BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter is ISSN no. 1536-9587.

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