Retirement Plans Newsletter

August 8, 2019

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Webcasts, Conferences

Public Pension Plan Solvency: Crisis or Myth?
August 21, 2019 WEBCAST
Conference of Consulting Actuaries

Capital Perspective: An Analysis of Hot Topics in Benefits and Compensation
September 10, 2019 in MA
McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Data Driven Decisions: Using Data to Help Your 401(k) Clients Make Better Decisions
September 12, 2019 in GA
Pension Education Council of Atlanta [PECA]

ERISA Litigation Update
September 12, 2019 WEBCAST
Thompson Hine LLP

Retirement Plan Update
September 26, 2019 WEBCAST
Thompson Hine LLP

S Corporation ESOPs: Valuation Issues
October 8, 2019 WEBCAST
National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

Employment, Benefits and Compensation Forum
October 10, 2019 in IL
McDermott Will & Emery LLP

►See 145 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1546 Recorded Webcasts


Discussions

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[Guidance Overview]

DOL Finalizes Retirement Clearinghouse PTE

"[The Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH)] program ... is an attempt to provide a private sector, clearinghouse-based solution to the problem of money 'leaking' from the retirement system when an employee changes jobs. ... [As] part of its program RCH is providing a fairly robust missing participant search service. The result ... (on paper at least) is a solution to many of the problems intended to be solved by 'Retirement Savings Lost and Found' legislation that has been introduced in Congress."

October Three Consulting

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District Court Rejects Class Standing and Fiduciary Breach Claims In Connection With Alleged Double-Charging Scheme

"A New York federal district court concluded that a defined benefit plan participant lacked standing to seek relief on behalf of plans other than the one in which he was a participant. ... [P]laintiff claimed that defendants breached ERISA fiduciary duties and engaged in prohibited transactions by charging undisclosed markups for securities trades." [Fletcher v. Convergex Group LLC, No. 13-9150 (S.D.N.Y. July 2, 2019)]

Proskauer

Hardship Distributions and Headaches Down the Road

"Most plans do use the safe harbor guidelines for what qualifies as an immediate and heavy financial need. But plan administrators need to understand that the use of such safe harbors may require them to treat hardship differently than they would if the plan did not use the safe harbors."

Employee Benefits Law Group

Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pension Funds Act of 2019 and Its Potential Impact

"[HR 397, also known as the 'Butch Lewis Act',] does not seem to provide for future eligibility if a plan is not eligible at the time of enactment.... [S]ome plans that would benefit from provisions to help them get out of a stagnant situation may be ineligible because of plan demographics. Some plans may find it advantageous to significantly shift their mortality, investment return, or industry level assumption in order to be in critical and declining status to be eligible for the loan program."

Cowden Associates, Inc.

Companies Are Racing to Dump Their Pension Plans

"Deal volume in the 'pension risk transfer' business ... was the biggest ever in 2018, and is on track to be bigger still this year.... Among Fortune 500 companies, only 81 sponsored a pension plan in 2017, down from 288 in 1998 ... At the same time, the number of pension risk transfer deals rose to 493 in 2018 from 203 in 2012[.]"

Axios

Disability and Death Probability Tables for Insured Workers Born in 1999 (PDF)

"The projected probabilities of death before NRA have decreased between the 1966 and 1999 birth cohorts, reflecting in part the actual improvement in mortality experience between 1986 and 2019. The projected probability of becoming disabled before NRA has decreased for insured men between the 1966 and 1999 birth cohorts, but has increased for insured women. For the 1999 birth cohort, we project that the probability of surviving from age 20 to NRA without ever being disabled is 65 percent for males and 69 percent for females. Comparable probabilities projected for the 1966 birth cohort are 58 percent for males and 70 percent for females."

Office of the Chief Actuary, U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA]

NAIC Working Group Considers Proposed Revisions to the Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation

"[1] Material conflict of interest ... [2] Managing conflicts of interests ... [3] Inclusion of prudence ... [4] Inclusion of 'ordinary producer' as a measure of the standard ... [5] Disclosure of the basis for recommendation to consumers ... [6] Care and reasonable basis ... [7] Failure to obtain the consumer's profile information ... [8] Duty to supervise only extends to own products."

Carlton Fields

Benefits in General

Benefits That Engaged Employees Want and Need

"[1] Employees want their employers to do more to support their financial health; [2] Access to quality behavioral health services at convenient locations correlates with employee wellbeing; and [3] Employees would like more opportunities for paid time off to volunteer in the community."

Grooms Benefit Solutions

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Must Allow Multiple Trustee/Custodians Under a SIMPLE Plan?

A small business has a SIMPLE, and all participants have signed on to have their SIMPLE accounts through one financial firm (let's say Merrill Lynch). Now one participant brings in paperwork that says he wants to open his SIMPLE account somewhere else instead. Does the plan sponsor have the authority to limit where the accounts are? From what I can see, I don't think so, unless maybe the SIMPLE document is specifically a SIMPLE document from ML that specifies that all accounts will be held there... and even then, I'm not sure that would hold up.

BenefitsLink Message Boards

HCEs Voluntarily Take a Reduced ESOP Allocation

A company is owned 100% by an ESOP. The only contributions are made by the company. The company executives voluntarily decide they want to reduce the executives' compensation contribution percentage to a much lower percentage than is being contributed for other employees. Am I correct in assuming that to do so without a plan amendment to that effect creates a plan failure that needs to be corrected?

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Cost of Annual Plan Audit: Plan Sponsor Can Be Reimbursed from Plan's Trust?

If a plan sponsor has already paid the CPA for their 401K Plan audit, can the plan reimburse the plan sponsor for those costs from the forfeiture account? Or must the fees be paid from the plan's forfeiture account directly to the CPA firm that audited the plan?

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Catch-Up Contributions for Short Plan Year

I am running an ADP test for a short plan year 1/1 to 5/31. Can I use $6,000 for catch-up to offset my ADP refunds?

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Text of PBGC FY 2018 Projections Report (PDF)
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Settlement in Johns Hopkins 403(b) Plan Lawsuit Includes Recordkeeper Bid
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Lois Baker, J.D., President  loisbaker@benefitslink.com
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

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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