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ESOP Administrator
Blue Ridge ESOP Associates
in Charlottesville VA / Telecommute

Senior Pension Manager
in Woodstock GA

Senior Administrator
NestEggs Retirement Plan Services Inc
in Jacksonville FL / Telecommute

401(K) Field Relationship Manager
Mutual of Omaha
in Addison TX / Bethany OK / Bonner Springs KS / Grandview MO

Financial Advisor - Executive Benefits
LoVasco Consulting Group
in Detroit MI

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Webcasts, Conferences

6 Myths of Happy People and What This Means for Your Workforce
September 24, 2019 in TX
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Dallas Chapter

Big Shots and Brews: An Evening with NEO's Employee Benefits Leaders
September 26, 2019 WEBCAST
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Northeast Ohio Chapter

Pension Meets Profit Sharing: Equity Compensation for Results, Retention, and Retirement
October 24, 2019 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

DOL Investigations of Employee Benefit Plans: Responding to Enforcement Actions, Audits, and Settlements
November 7, 2019 WEBCAST

►See 151 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1553 Recorded Webcasts


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[Guidance Overview]

DOL Clarifies Employers' Retirement Plan Obligations Under USERRA

"The ruling provides the DOL’s views on several of the more granular questions involved in applying USERRA’s requirements for calculating retirement plan contributions upon an employee’s return from military leave....  [T]he fact sheet emphasizes that these requirements must be applied to employees on an individual basis and that there likely is no one across-the-board approach that will adequately address each returning service member’s individual circumstances."

Seyfarth Shaw LLP


Using IRAs and 401(k)s to Buy and/or Fund Real Estate Investments

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Sept. 18 webinar will review the legal and tax framework available for structuring real estate-related investments in self-directed IRAs and 401(k)s. BenefitsLink discount.

Seventh Circuit Holds Accelerated Withdrawal Liability Assessment Cannot be Decelerated

"[T]he court rejected the plan's argument that the withdrawal liability had been 'decelerated' each time the employer paid back the delinquent quarterly withdrawal liability payments. This case highlights the risks associated with delaying litigation once a pension plan accelerates withdrawal liability." [Bauwens v. Revcon Technology Group, No. 18-3306 (7th Cir. Aug. 13, 2019)]

Slevin & Hart, P.C.

Another TDF Targeted With Fiduciary Suit

"While claims of available, identical funds with lower fees are the 'norm' in this litigation, this suit raises the issue of tracking error, claiming that 'compared to marketplace alternatives, Principal's index funds deviated further from the benchmark index, and consistently had the worst performance even on a pre-fee basis." [Kirk v. Ret. Comm. of CHS/Community Health Systems, Inc., No. 19-689 (M.D. Tenn. complaint filed Aug. 8, 2019)]

National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

Meet the MEPs: Corporate MEPs

"[T]he DOL noted that ... it 'lacks a meaningful basis on which to determine the precise level of ownership ... that conclusively distinguishes bona fide ownership groups from commercial enterprises' ... [H]aving that stated directly in the preamble to the regulations now creates an air of uncertainly and an opening for potential challenge on audit."


Editor's Pick Managing Funding and PBGC Variable-Rate Premiums in a Volatile Interest Rate Environment

"HATFA interest rate stabilization (25-year averaging), especially in the near term, considerably eases otherwise applicable ERISA minimum funding requirements. In contrast, PBGC variable-rate premiums are determined based off of a liability/asset calculation (UVBs) that does reflect market interest rates.... [M]any plan sponsors' funding policies - and the response to current declines in interest rates - are likely to be framed with a view to reducing so far as possible PBGC variable-rate premiums."

October Three Consulting


Now is a great time to join Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB)

Sponsored by WEB - Worldwide Employee Benefits Network

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network helps me connect with thought leaders in the Benefits Industry. Join WEB today at

As Employees Continue to Delay Retirement, Plan Sponsors Look for Opportunities to Increase Participation and Savings (PDF)

"While 62% of sponsors said their employees expect the plan to meet all of their funding needs in retirement, only about half (55%) said they believe their plan participants are actually saving enough in the plan to retire.... [Nine] in 10 plan sponsors reported that they have had employees work past their desired retirement date. Seventy-three percent of sponsors acknowledged that there are costs when employees delay retirement, including increased benefit costs (37%)[.]"


Using Vignettes to Improve Understanding of Social Security and Annuities

"[T]he gap between advised claim age for a relatively healthy person versus a relatively sick person was larger by nearly a year in the vignette treatments versus the control group.... [T]he vignettes increased financial literacy related to these concepts by 10-15 percentage points.... [T]he mode of communication did not have a significant impact -- the video and written vignettes were equally effective."

National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]

Protecting Retirement Assets from Creditors (PDF)

"[D]uring a participant's life, ERISA provides the only guaranteed protection, subject to any applicable exceptions.... Most states ... do not expressly protect inherited IRAs, and some barely protect retirement plans.... [If] creditor protection is important for the beneficiaries of a retirement account ... the account owner should name an irrevocable trust as the beneficiary of the retirement plan, as the law is much more settled -- and debtor-friendly -- in the trust area.... NQDC plans face the biggest challenges."

Greensfelder, via Journal of the Missouri Bar

Fast Facts and Figures About Social Security, 2019 (PDF)

43 pages. "67.9 million people received benefits from programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in 2018. 5.6 million people were newly awarded Social Security benefits in 2018. 55% of adult Social Security beneficiaries in 2018 were women. 54.7 was the average age of disabled-worker beneficiaries in 2018. 86% of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients received payments because of disability or blindness in 2018."

U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA]


Chamber of Commerce-Sponsored Retirement Plans for Chamber Members: Win/Win for Both, and Also for Plan Participants!

"[I]mportant considerations for both Chambers and Chamber members include the pricing structure of the new Chamber plan, record keeper reporting and segregation of plan assets by adopting employer, plan design (which can vary by Chamber member), and the expertise of the service providers who are likely serving in the roles of 3(16) Plan Administrator, 3(38) Investment Manager, and corporate Trustee."

Terrance Power, via LinkedIn


The Business Roundtable's Statement of 'Balancing Needs' Demonstrates the Valid Counter to DOL's ESG Approach

"[T]he Business Roundtable ... position ... properly frames the issues for the ERISA investment fiduciary: prudent assessment of an investment must take into account a broader view than the narrow financial analysis of the books and records of the company, or of current market pricing. Particularly for ERISA fiduciaries, the investment standard is long-term, to provide retirement income. Any valid, long-term analysis has to be able to take into account the social, political, market and scientific trends which will inevitably affect the investment’s value."

Business of Benefits

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

No More Suspension of Deferrals Upon a Hardship Withdrawal

We are planning on amending our plans in 2020 for the new hardship rules. That includes the no more suspension of deferrals. What happens is some takes a hardship now? Their suspension period would go until February. Does the suspension just go away January 1?

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Twenty Plan Sponsors in a Controlled Group But No Combined Coverage Testing Since George W. Bush Was President

Company A owns 20 other companies at 100% ownership. All 21 (20 plus company A) entities have their own separate plans with different record keepers, TPA's and financial advisers. No one has performed combined coverage testing for the past 15 years. The plans vary from safe harbor to traditional 401k with profit sharing. All plans are small plans so on their own have not had an audit requirement. All plan year-ends are calendar year. Is this an obvious VCP submission requiring them to go back and run coverage testing for X years? Or can this be self-corrected?

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Forfeiture of Excess Matching Contributions: Before Running ACP Test or After?

If the employer over matched on deferrals because they got the formula wrong, are the excess matching contributions forfeited before the ACP test is run or are they included in the ACP test? I read somewhere they're possibly excluded from the ACP test and included in the general test. Yeesh. Any clarification would be appreciated.

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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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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