Retirement Plans Newsletter

August 19, 2019 logo logo
Search   ·   Past Issues   ·   Get Message Boards Digest   ·   Get Health & Welfare News


Consulting Actuary
Pension Review Services
in Farmingdale NY

Employee Benefit Plan Assistant (Pathways Recent Graduate Program)
Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
in Seattle WA / Telecommute

Employee Benefits Investigator (Pathways Recent Graduate Program)
Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
in Boston MA / Telecommute

Retirement Plan Administrator
Bates & Company
in Winter Park FL / Clearwater FL

►See All Jobs

►Post a Job

Webcasts, Conferences

Benefit Trends 2019: Fad or Future?
September 12, 2019 in OR
ASPPA Benefits Council [ABC] of Great Northwest

Multiple Employer Plan Update: The DOL Final Rule, Reporting Relief, and the "Bad Apple" Rule
September 20, 2019 WEBCAST
American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group [ALI CLE]

Annual Meeting
October 27, 2019 in TX
Conference of Consulting Actuaries

►See 157 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1547 Recorded Webcasts


New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum

This Newsletter:
Subscribe Now

BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter:
Subscribe Now

Message Boards Digest:
Subscribe Now

[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Proposed Submission for OMB Review and Comment Request: Annual Reporting (Form 5500 Series)

"PBGC is proposing modifications to the 2020 Schedule R (Retirement Plan Information) and its related instructions.... PBGC is also proposing minor modifications to the Form 5500 Series to improve the accuracy of reported information.... PBGC is proposing to modify Schedule R to provide multiemployer plans with a choice of the last contributing employer counting method and two proposed counting methods: the alternative method and the approximation method.... PBGC also is proposing that when a plan reports a number on line 14b or 14c that differs from the number it reported for the plan year immediately preceding the plan year, it would be required to submit an attachment with an explanation of the reason for the change."

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]


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.

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Answers FAQs That Arise When Participants Are Slow to Cash Distribution Checks

"No matter what the participant or beneficiary does with the check, once received, the distribution is included in the individual's taxable income; the distribution is reported on a Form 1099-R; and withholding on the distribution, if required, applies."


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Clarifies Taxation of Uncashed Checks

"[Rev. Rul. 2019-19] concludes that the distribution is taxable to the participant for 2019 because it was actually distributed in 2019 and could have been cashed. IRS notes that it is irrelevant whether the individual keeps the check, sends it back, destroys it, or cashes it in a subsequent year."


Ninth Circuit Upholds Pension Plan's Denial of Early Retirement Benefits for Participant's Union Work

"The court considered whether the Board abused its discretion by interpreting 'performance of services in any capacity in the Electrical Industry' to include working for IBEW in an administrative capacity for an electrical workers' union. The court determined that the Board's interpretation does not clearly conflict with the Plan's plain language, does not render any other Plan provision nugatory, and does not lack a rational nexus to the Plan's purpose." [O'Rourke v. N. California Electrical Workers Pension Plan, No. 17-17419 (9th Cir. Aug. 16, 2019)]

Kantor & Kantor

Compelling Reasons to Consider Pension Plan Mergers

"Combining plans can reduce total administrative fees by minimizing the redundancy of the annual actuarial, audit, and trustee work ... Plan sponsors with both an underfunded and overfunded plan can reduce PBGC premiums by sharing the excess retirement plan assets of an overfunded plan with one that is underfunded.... [T]here will likely be reduced fees related to the process at termination."


How California's New Retirement Program for the Private Sector Changes the Retirement Savings Landscape

"[1] It helps millions of Americans better prepare for retirement ... [2] It makes small businesses competitive ... [3] It allows employees to be more mobile ... [4] It recognizes the value of 'gig workers' ... [5] It benefits underserved populations, especially Latinos ... [6] It reduces the burden on state and federal budgets ... [7] It provides a model for other states ... [8] It will inspire further innovation ... [9] It creates new opportunities in the private sector."


TPAs Making Inroads with Advisors

"A TPA can be a plan advisor's best friend. ... Roughly a third (35%) of this year's respondents sold more than half of their new business with these partnerships, and nearly one-in-ten (8%) have relied on these relationships for 100% of their new business. But ... the results were quite varied."

National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

How Working an Extra Year Can Improve Your Retirement

"Make certain you're ready. Earn while you can. Reach a benefit threshold. Be certain you have enough money. Complete a meaningful project. Refine your retirement plans. Qualify for part-time flexibility."

U.S. News & World Report

Social Security Benefit Valuation, Risk, and Optimal Retirement

"[The authors] develop techniques to estimate the present day value of the future social security benefits of a retiree based upon their chosen date of retirement, the term structure of interest rates, and life expectancy forecasts. These valuation methods are then used to determine the optimal retirement time of a beneficiary ... [and] examine how a number of risk factors ... impact the current value of future payments."

Yassmin Ali, Pablo Sota, Stephen Michael Taylor, and Xun Wang, via SSRN


The Time Is Right to De-Risk Your Retirement Portfolio

"Yes, stocks have fallen a bit recently, and many investors would quite reasonably prefer not to sell into weakness.... Getting every last drop out of a strong market seems enticing. But if you're getting close to retirement and expect to begin tapping your portfolio, it's a mistake to try to find the absolute top before you lighten up on stocks."

Christine Benz, in Morningstar Advisor


Editor's Pick Are Public Pensions in a Crisis?

"Those who claim there's no crisis think that, well, we don't have to worry about the bonded debt. We'll just default. We can also increase taxes….or maybe we can be really clever re: investments. Let's do anything but adjust the pension benefits that we already can't afford.... if it continues this way, pensions become more vulnerable in terms of the benefits actually getting paid in full.... [P]ublic employees and retirees would consider that a crisis. The policy wonks may not."


Benefits in General

Total Rewards Statements: Tips to Help Employees Maximize Benefits Value

"Total rewards statements should not be a shortened version of your benefits guide. Use your total rewards statement as an opportunity to tell your organization's total rewards story. This communication should be compelling and convey your company's culture and overall total rewards strategy."


Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Moving From SH 401(k) to SIMPLE

Physician with calendar year SH 401(k) wants to switch to SIMPLE IRA for 2020. Total 5 employees plus the doctor, but only two employees plus doc contributing. Is he required to formally terminate the 401(k) as of 12/31/2019, or can he just not allow contributions to 401(k) beginning 1/1/2020? (There may be additional contributions in 2020 for the 2019 plan year.)

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Are RMDs Triggered Once a Distribution Is Taken?

Participant is older than 70-/12 and is still working. The plan only allows withdrawals with an RMD, so if they take a withdrawal this year they will also take an RMD. If they take a withdrawal + RMD this year, and continue working next year but don't take any withdrawals next year, will an RMD be required next year? Are the RMDs permanently triggered?

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Have a Choice Among Funds in Participant's Account to Use for QDRO Distribution?

I have a QDRO that pays a specific dollar amount plus gain/loss through distribution date. Can the participant specify the fund he wants the alternate payee to be paid from, or does it have to be pro-rated across all funds in his account?

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Application of Early Withdrawal Penalty to Participant Age 59-1/2

I work on a mid-sized DB plan that generally doesn't pay lump sums, but has opened up a lump sum window until the end of the year. One terminated participant, who would like to take the lump sum, was born on 7/1/1960. Therefore, he will be 59-1/2 years old on 12/31/2019. If his distribution is not processed until 12/31/2019, can he avoid the early withdrawal penalty?

BenefitsLink Message Boards

► Subscribe to the BenefitsLink Message Boards Digest— a free daily email of all new discussions (not just the selected few shown above). View a sample issue.

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

What Is a 'Functional' Fiduciary?
Compliance Dashboard, 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.

Links to web sites other than and are offered as a service to our readers; we were not involved in their production and are not responsible for their content.

Unsubscribe  |   Change Email Address  |   Privacy Policy