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Compliance Specialist
Newport Group
in Pittsburgh PA

Senior Actuarial Administrator
Group RHI
in Dallas TX / Spring TX / Telecommute

Director, Retirement Plan Administration Services
in Franklin TN

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Proposed Rule Offers Relief from the Multiple Employer Plan 'One Bad Apple' Rule (PDF)

"[P]roviding relief for the one bad apple rule is another step on the road toward facilitating the broader adoption of MEPs by small employers. ... [T]he most likely game changer will be the SECURE Act, when and if it passes, which provides enhanced relief from both the ERISA and one bad apple challenges to MEPs."

Groom Law Group, via Bloomberg Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal


Join Us in Boston in September - Register by Aug. 12 to save $300!

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

The Construction Industry Benefits Conference will explore the latest trends and topics, such as the opioid crisis and investment strategies. Join us to explore strategic solutions! This will not be offered again until 2021. Register now.

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Move Expands Definition of 'Employer' for Multiple Employer Plans

"The Final Rule recognizes that PEOs traditionally act 'indirectly in the interest of [their client] employers' when they perform these employment functions on behalf of their employer clients. The Final Rule provides that a bona fide PEO is capable of establishing a MEP if it meets [certain] requirements[.]"

Ballard Spahr LLP

Rules for DC Multiple Employer Plans Eased as DOL Seeks Input on Open MEPs

"The rule now also permits unrelated employers in the same state or metropolitan area (even if spanning multiple states) to join an association MEP. Geography-based MEPs are allowed even if the primary purpose of the group or association is to provide MEP coverage, as long as the group shares another substantial business purpose unrelated to providing benefits."


Understanding Association Retirement Plans (PDF)

"A closed MEP files a single 5500 with a single audit, and has a single bond. Under the 2012 rules, relatively few associations or groups of employers could safely sponsor a MEP and have it treated as a single ERISA plan (closed). The effect of the ARP final rules is that a much larger number of groups or associations of employers can now sponsor closed MEPs."


How to Open a Small Business 401(k) Using the New DOL Rule

"If you’re an employer or self-employed 'working owner,' consider potential existing organizations you belong to that might qualify as a bona fide group or association for purposes of offering an ARP. At the top of your list should be the local or state chamber of commerce. Trade and industry groups could form other opportunities. Remember that local organizations can include companies or businesses in any industry. National groups must be related to your specific industry."



SPARK Forum - November 3-5, 2019 -- The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL

Sponsored by SPARK

Join us at the retirement services industry's leading event for top marketing, sales, administration and record keeping professionals. Comprehensive agenda includes topics for Record Keepers, 401(k) Plan Providers, Financial Advisors and Cyber Security Professionals.

Service Provider's Auto-Portability Proposal Receives DOL Blessing

"The [Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH)] program contains essentially two elements.... [1] [C]ertain retirement plan small balance cash-out amounts and terminating plan accounts would be automatically rolled over to an 'RCH default IRA,' or to a 'default IRA' of a participating recordkeeper; this would occur unless the plan participant affirmatively elected otherwise. [2] Subsequently, RCH would -- by means of data matching searches -- determine whether the IRA owner is participating in another employer plan that accepts rollovers. If the default IRA owner does not affirmatively consent or object, the IRA balance would be automatically rolled over to that new employer’s plan."


Should Annuities Be Purchased Using Tax-Sheltered Assets?

"In some cases, selecting the right account increases the after-tax income by over 10% which is equivalent to approximately 50 basis points of added portfolio return. A 15-year deferred annuity purchased from non-qualified vs. qualified bonds earning 4% provides over 30% more after-tax income for a 65-year old with a 40% marginal tax rate."

David Blanchett and Michael S. Finke, via SSRN

State Insurance Regulators Vow to Push Out Annuity Sales Model Law by December

"State insurance regulators moved briskly through four topics Saturday as they try to thread the needle between suitability and fiduciary in crafting an annuity sales model law.... New York regulators are pushing colleagues to adopt its standard, which also covers life insurance, as the national model."

Tax-Sheltered Retirement Accounts: Can Financial Education Improve Decisions?

"[The authors] assess whether respondents learn about the tax implications of these accounts and make contribution choices that increase after-tax income when exposed to the intervention. ... [I]ntervention improves both the understanding of the tax implications of the savings accounts (an increase of 6 to 15 percent) and contribution decisions. ... [E]ffects on after-tax lifetime-income for respondents by up to $1,900 per scenario presented."

National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]; purchase required for full document

Editor's Pick Who Participates in Retirement Plans, 2016 (PDF)

32 pages. "Most workers who are likely to have the ability to save for retirement and to be focused primarily on saving for retirement participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.... Younger and lower-income households are more likely to report that they save primarily for reasons other than retirement -- for example, a home purchase, for the family, or education.... Retirement plan participation increases with age and income; consistent with their stated reasons for saving, younger and lower-income workers are less likely to participate."

Investment Company Institute [ICI]

Pros and Cons of the CalSavers Program

"CalSavers is only required for employers who do not offer another type of retirement program for their employees. Alternative retirement programs may require administrative fees or mandatory contributions from the employer sponsoring the plan, but they also offer additional flexibility which allows for deliberate program design and, compared to CalSavers, may be easier to maintain and provides a better experience for business owners."

Benefit Resources Inc.

Benefits in General

How an Innocent ERISA Administrator Mistake Can Lead to Money Damages

"A recent decision on remand from the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit presents a disturbingly common fact situation and legal analysis that shows, in one district judge’s view, how an innocent ERISA plan administrator mistake can lead to monetary relief." [DeRogatis v. Bd. of Trustees of the Welfare Fund of the Int'l Union of Operating Engineers Local 15, 15A, 15C & 15D, AFL-CIO, No. 14-8863 (S.D.N.Y. June 13, 2019)]

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Determining Beginning-of-Year Participants for Form 5500 Reporting

Both Relius and ftwilliam will roll forward a plan and enter the end of year participant counts as beginning of year counts. Are people increasing that figure by the 1/1 entry dates? NOTE: I would, of course, take them into account for purposes of determining an audit requirement. Based on the fact that ftwilliam/Relius pre-fill those figures, I have to make the assumption that they don't think this is a big deal. Just curious if others think maybe it's not worth the time it takes to count them up each year.

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Assume a Successor Plan Rule Violation Here -- How to Correct?

So let's assume there is a successor plan rule violation -- 401(k) or 403(b) plan, doesn't matter for purposes of this question. All participants in the terminated plan rolled their assets over to the new plan, which was established prior to the 12-month period. How would one even present this for correction under VCP?

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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

DOL Finalizes MEP Regulation
October Three Consulting, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 644-4146

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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