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Retirement Plan Administrator
Premier Plan Consultants
in San Diego CA

Defined Benefit Consultant
in Woodcliff Lake NJ / Telecommute

Enrolled Actuary
in Woodcliff Lake NJ / Telecommute

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
in Woodlawn MD / Telecommute

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Webcasts, Conferences

Derrin's Deuteronomy of Retirement Plan Law
September 9, 2019 in IN
ASPPA Benefits Council [ABC] of Northern Indiana

Full Day Seminar with Ilene Ferenczy
September 25, 2019 in OH
ASPPA Benefits Council [ABC] of Cleveland

Washington Update with Will Hansen
September 25, 2019 in PA
ASPPA Benefits Council [ABC] of Western PA

ERISA Remedies: Key Enforcement Provisions and Scope of Equitable Relief for Benefit Claims
November 19, 2019 WEBCAST

►See 155 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1545 Recorded Webcasts


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How to Use Expanded IRS Self-Correction Program

"SCP is expanded under Rev. Proc. 2019-19 and, under specific criteria, now allows for self correction of [1] Certain plan document failures for 401(k) and 403(b) plans; [2] Certain plan loan failures; and [3] More operational failures by plan amendment."

Retirement Learning Center, LLC


Trucker Huss Webinar - Anatomy of an Employment Agreement

Sponsored by Trucker Huss

Employment agreements vary from simple offer letters to complex executive agreements incorporating multiple plans and attachments. This presentation reviews the purpose of each component, and offers best practices and tax-traps for the unwary.

Groups Urge Supreme Court Not to Undermine Value of Plan Disclosures

"The brief notes that the plan here made the required disclosures, and the plaintiff actually received them. However, the groups suggest, the 9th Circuit held that the plaintiff could avoid the three-year statute of limitations simply by disclaiming that he read (or could recall having read) those disclosures." [Sulyma v. Intel Corp. Investment Policy Comm., No. 17-15864 (9th Cir. Nov. 28, 2018; cert. pet. granted June 10, 2019)]

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Does Changing 401(k) Plan Investments Help Employees?

"[R]eplacement funds outperformed the replaced funds over both one- and three-year periods following the replacement.... [T]he difference in performance quality was greatest about 36 months before the replacement and dwindled down to almost nonexistent by the time the fund was replaced.... [O]utperformance increased again after the replacement date and continued to grow over the next three years."

Morningstar Advisor

More Employers Are Adopting Lifetime Income Solutions for DC Retirement Plans

"30% of employers currently offer one or more lifetime income solutions. That's an increase from 23% in 2016.... [T]he most prevalent options offered are systematic withdrawals during retirement (88%), lifetime education and planning tools (70%), and in-plan managed account services (44%).... Only 17% offer an in-plan asset allocation option with a guaranteed minimum withdrawal or annuity component, while 15% offer out-of-plan annuities at the time of retirement. In-plan deferred annuity investment options are also offered by 15% of these employers."

Willis Towers Watson

The Hidden Danger of Over-Diversification: Fiduciary Advisers Must Warn Employees

"Plan sponsors might feel their job is done once a robust plan menu is provided to employees, but it's really only the beginning.... Having too many funds can lead to any number of investing mistakes.... This is why it's vitally important for employees to understand more than just the simple objective and class of the mutual funds they own.... [E]mployees may be setting themselves up not only for failure, but for a costly failure."

Fiduciary News

How Individuals Are Saving for Their Financial Futures

"401(k) plans designed with automatic enrollment and automatic escalation features saw an average plan-weighted participation rate of 81%, which was 10 percentage points higher than that in plans without automatic enrollment.... [A]ccess to the right planning tools can make a positive difference in getting employees closer to a savings rate of 9% or more ... [I]ndividuals under 25 years old are saving at lower savings rates than those in older age groups, which suggests the need for further investigation into the impact of competing financial priorities, including student loan debt."


Retirement Crisis in America: Baby Boomer Savings Come Up Short

"Financial experts recommend having roughly eight times your salary stashed away for retirement by age 60. That would be around $456,000, based on our Boomer respondents' average annual income of $57,000 a year. Unfortunately, the average Boomer has approximately $136,779 in retirement savings -- about 30% of the recommended amount."


IRS Alleviates Suffering of RIAs Who Use Fee-Based Annuities

"Previously, money withdrawn from an account to pay the advisory fee was treated as income to the client, making it taxable, even though the client never actually pocketed the money. But the IRS finally put an end to the unpleasantness in [an] Aug. 7 ... private letter to Lincoln Financial Group and Nationwide Insurance. It stated an advisor could vacuum out as much as 1.5% of the annuity's value as a fee without requiring clients to report it as income."


SEC Issues Guidance Regarding the Proxy Voting Responsibilities of Investment Advisers

"The guidance stresses the overarching obligation to serve the client’s best interests, especially through the duty of care. Where an IA has multiple clients and assumes varied scopes of authority, it may want to consider whether the nature of each arrangement is properly documented from contractual and control perspectives for oversight purposes. An IA may also want to consider revisiting its processes around conducting and documenting a reasonable investigation and case-by-case determination before exercising or abstaining from a vote to support the IA’s best interest decision."

Eversheds Sutherland

Recent Case Shows Sellers Should Be Engaged in ESOP Due Diligence and Valuation Process

"[T]he court held the ESOP trustee and the selling owner in an ESOP transaction to be jointly and severally liable for over $6.5 million in damages, which was the amount that the court adjudged that that ESOP overpaid for the purchase of its shares of stock from the selling owner." [Pizzella v. Vinoskey, No. 16-062 (W.D. Va. Aug. 2, 2019)]

Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP

ERISA at 45: How It All Began

"September 2019 marks the 45th anniversary of President Gerald Ford signing the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, commonly called ERISA. ... [We] can use this occasion to review the issues that the legislation was intended to address, how the environment has changed over the past 45 years, and what changes may be needed to bolster retirement security for the next 45 years."


Benefits in General

DOL Will Restructure EBSA

"The changes, announced by the head of EBSA, Assistant Secretary of Labor Preston Rutledge, in an email to EBSA staff on August 27, will move three offices formerly overseen by Hauser to supervision by Wilson. In addition, the regional offices will report to a new and yet-unnamed deputy assistant secretary. The changes are a substantial revision to EBSA's organizational chart."

National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Particular Asset Available in Self-Directed Account Has Minimum Investment -- Has to Be Discriminatory, Right?

In a plan where everyone is in self-directed brokerage accounts, two of the doctors (of course) have stumbled onto a non-publicly-traded stock that they want to buy. The financial advisor can't get them access to it through his platform, and the doctors aren't old enough for in-service distributions of any sizable amounts, so they are looking to change brokers to get access to this asset in the plan. The asset itself has a minimum. I've heard varying accounts of either $25K or $10K to buy in. Is that in and of itself discriminatory? If it's $25K, then no one else besides the doctors have that much in their accounts (at least as of 12/31/18). But what if it's $10K? Pretty much everyone has that much.

BenefitsLink Message Boards

I Am Considering Selling My TPA Practice

I’m considering selling my TPA practice. I’d like to hear feedback on the process from anyone who has gone through this experience.

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Changing Timing of Force-Outs

I'm taking over a plan that has immediate force-outs in the document for vested accrued benefits of less than $5,000. I suspect the provision was not followed by the prior TPA, based on how the assets are set up (individual brokerage accounts) and the fact that we won't be monitoring the plan on a daily basis. So it doesn't seem like the right fit for this plan. Is it a prohibited cutback to change this to happening after the end of the year of termination in the document?

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Text of Final Regs: TSP Additional Withdrawal Options
Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board [FRTIB], 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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