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Client Services and Marketing Coordinator
Colorado Retirement Association (formerly CCOERA)
in Littleton CO

Benefits Analyst
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
in Bloomington IL

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Webcasts, Conferences

Benefit Trends 2019: Fad or Future?
September 11, 2019 in WA
ASPPA Benefits Council [ABC] of Great Northwest

Is it Pensionable? Hybrids, Lump Sums, & Other Pensionable Compensation Challenges
September 17, 2019 WEBCAST
Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

Update on ERISA Litigation and Lessons Learned
September 19, 2019 in CA
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Orange County Chapter

Why Is Everybody Talking About MEPs? What You Need to Know
September 19, 2019 in NY
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - New York Chapter

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The Impact of Auto Portability on Preserving Retirement Savings Currently Lost to 401(k) Cashout Leakage

"[T]he present value of additional accumulations over 40 years resulting from 'partial' auto portability (participant balances less than $5,000 adjusted for inflation) would be $1,509 billion, and the value would be $1,987 billion under 'full' auto portability (all participant balances).... Auto portability produces significant decreases in retirement deficits ...  ranging from 13 percent for single females to 29 percent for married households where the female dies first.... [By combining] auto portability with auto-IRAs ... the Retirement Savings Shortfalls (RSS) would be reduced by an additional $293 billion for a total reduction of $697 billion or 18.2 percent of the current deficit."

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]


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Millennials Are Determined to Retire Early; Here's How They Can Actually Pull It Off

"Get strategic about paying down student debt... Don’t skimp on your 401(k) contributions... Invest in a diversified portfolio of small stocks... Get a Roth IRA... If it’s not a bill, pay it with cash... Hire a certified financial planner; it can be a one time thing... If buying a house, consider a multi-family home you can rent out... Turn a side hustle into a nest egg... Don’t overlook Social Security... Rethink retirement. Perhaps you can still work part time doing something you enjoy."

NBC News

Primer on Completion Portfolio Management

"As plan sponsors approach the end of their de-risking glidepath and begin to think about the structure of their end-state/hibernation portfolio, a logical next step is to customize their fixed income assets to more precisely match the exposures of the liability. Naturally, this step can introduce challenges and complexity. Utilizing a completion manager can address many of these challenges."

NISA Investment Advisors

Bankrupt Coal Operator Blackjewel Cleared to Terminate 401(k) Plan

"Participants were notified Aug. 9 by Blackjewel that they can choose to receive a cash distribution or roll over the balance to a qualified plan. The plan custodian is American Funds and the third-party administrator is Benefits Plans Services Inc. Choices must be made by Sept. 13."

Pensions & Investments


No, Public Pension Reform Experiments Have Not Failed

"It is entirely possible for a state or city to properly fund a Defined Benefit pension plan; it just takes discipline ...  But it is only a Defined Contribution program that can wholly remove from legislators the temptation to ask (OK, require) future generations to pay for this year's benefit accruals ... Only a Defined Contribution ensures that the retirement benefit is always by definition 100% funded. And only in a Defined Contribution program is the benefit defined up front and transparent to all."

Elizabeth Bauer in Forbes


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Benefits in General

What Is a 'Functional' Fiduciary?

"The appellate court made clear that a participant or beneficiary does not have to allege a plan administrator or named fiduciaries also satisfy the functional fiduciary test to assert an ERISA claim. Anyone who performs functional duties may be considered a fiduciary." [Dawson-Murdock v. National Counseling Group, Inc., No. 18-1989 (4th Cir. Jul. 24, 2019)]

Compliance Dashboard

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

ASG Rules Apply to Non-Profits for 457(b) Plans?

Is there any reason why the ASG rules wouldn't apply? Never happened to see a situation where a non-profit member of an ASG sponsors a 457(b) plan, but I wouldn't think it is unheard of.

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Calculating 25% of Eligible Compensation for Deductibility Limit

The IRS says: "However, an employer’s deduction for contributions to a defined contribution plan (profit-sharing plan or money purchase pension plan) cannot be more than 25% of the compensation paid (or accrued) during the year to eligible employees participating in the plan (see Employer Deduction in Pub 560, Retirement Plans for Small Business (SEP, SIMPLE, and Qualified Plans)." So who are considered eligible employees participating in the plan? For profit sharing purposes, does this include employees who were participating during the plan year but terminated before the last day of the plan year, specifically if the plan document states that profit sharing won't be paid to employees not employed on the last day of the year?

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Normal Retirement Age Forfeitures Due to 415

I've heard that a participant stuck at the 415 comp limit post-NRA will suffer an impermissible forfeiture unless a suspension of benefits notice has been timely provided. If true, what are the acceptable corrections? If the plan contains a RASD feature can this be used? If not, can the plan simply self-correct by paying the forfeited annuity payments with interest?

BenefitsLink Message Boards

ftwilliam Distribution Tracking Software

Has anyone used ftwilliam's Distribution Tracking Software (DTS)? It has some features that look very appealing but I'm wondering how much time you spent setting it up and whether you've been successful getting clients to use it to initiate and sign off on distribution and loan requests.

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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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