Retirement Plans Newsletter

September 10, 2019 logo logo
Search   ·   Past Issues   ·   Get Message Boards Digest   ·   Get Health & Welfare News


Pension Plan Administrator
American Pension Advisors, Ltd.
in Indianapolis IN

Compliance Administrator III
Associated Pension Consultants
in Chico CA / Telecommute

Client Service Manager
July Business Services
in Waco TX / Telecommute

Retirement Plan Administrator
CMC Interactive, LLC
in New York NY

Retirement Plans Sales & Relationship Development
Qualified Pension Consultants, Inc.
in Independence OH

Human Resources Specialist 4 (Health and Welfare Strategist)
Pennsylvania State University
in University Park PA

►See All Jobs

►Post a Job

Webcasts, Conferences

Retirement Income: A Retirement Plan Adviser Roadmap
September 19, 2019 WEBCAST
Pensions & Investments

Benefits Conference
October 16, 2019 in OH

Current Developments (2019)
November 7, 2019 WEBCAST

►See 154 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1541 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

[Guidance Overview]

Overview of the SEC's 'Regulation Best Interest' and Form CRS

"BDs will need to be in compliance with Reg BI and Form CRS, which were accompanied by more than 1,000 pages of explanation, by June 30, 2020. On August 7, 2019, FINRA issued Notice 19-26, which informed BDs and RRs of the need to comply, but offered no guidance on compliance. This post summarizes some of the key aspects of Reg BI and Form CRS."

Epstein Becker Green

[Advert.] -- Outstanding Content -- Affordable Pricing

Sponsored by Burrmont Compliance Labs LLC

Find out why we are the fastest-growing ERISA Compliance Service in the industry. Outstanding authors, customer satisfaction & support. Contact us to see what we can do for you. or 612-605-2266

Lowe's Defense Fails to Get ERISA Suit Dismissed

"The fiduciary breach lawsuit accuses plan fiduciaries of mapping $1 billion into a fund that lagged peer performance and was unpopular in the marketplace.... Following recommendations from a Magistrate Judge a federal judge from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina granted in part and denied in part Lowe's Companies' motion to dismiss[.]" [Reetz v. Lowe's Companies, Inc., No. 18-075 (W.D.N.C. Sep. 6, 2019)]

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Ninth Circuit Permits Arbitration in Case Alleging ERISA Fiduciary Breach

"The decision of the Ninth Circuit is limited, focusing primarily on the court's reversal of its ban on arbitration in connection with ERISA fiduciary breach claims brought on behalf of a plan. The memorandum provides helpful insight into the panel's view that arbitration, including arbitration on an individual basis, should be permitted if the plan's sponsor or decision-maker so chooses. However, it does not delve into the nuances of all available arguments against arbitration in the ERISA context, such as the argument that arbitration on an individual basis is an elimination of the participants' explicit right to file a claim on behalf of the plan as a whole." [Dorman v. The Charles Schwab Corp., No. 18-15281 (9th Cir. Aug. 20, 2019; also unpub. memo. opinion)]

Winston & Strawn LLP

Ninth Circuit Overrules 35-Year-Old Authority, Concludes ERISA Claims Subject to Mandatory Arbitration

"With the Ninth Circuit's explicit overruling of [its 1984 ruling in Amaro v. Continental Can. Co.] and recognition that a participant's ERISA claims may be subject to mandatory arbitration provisions, ERISA plan fiduciaries appear to have another tool to consider in evaluating a claim brought in litigation." [Dorman v. The Charles Schwab Corp., No. 18-15281 (9th Cir. Aug. 20, 2019; also unpub. memo. opinion)]

Robinson & Cole LLP

How Reg BI Changes the Fiduciary Landscape for the 401(k) Plan Sponsor

"On the face of it, the new Rule should allow clients to take a peek behind the curtain when selecting among various vendors.... The SEC cites four separate and unique 'obligations' broker-dealers must adhere to: [1] Disclosure Obligation; [2] Care Obligation; [3] Conflict-of-Interest Obligation; and, [4] Compliance Obligation. This reflects the ongoing evolution of regulation investment advice that brings the industry closer to a uniform fiduciary standard."

Fiduciary News

The Major Impact Made by 401(k) Plans

"77 percent of all US households surveyed indicated that they were confident that 401k and other employer-sponsored retirement plan accounts can help individuals meet their retirement goals. Confidence among households owning at least one DC account or [IRA] in fall 2018 was even higher, at 83 percent. Even among households not currently owning retirement plan accounts, 62 percent expressed confidence in these plans."

401(k) Specialist

The Problem with Bonds in a Retirement Portfolio

"One problem with relying on a bond portfolio in retirement is that the income can’t last forever. Retirees who have been out of the workforce for years or decades might very well need to dip into the bond principal to meet expenses, which means the bonds collectively provide less income. Over time, the compounding effects of this cycle may be severe. Long-lived retirees may wish they had chosen a different path."

The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

How Gen Z's Retirement Will Be Different

"[W]hen it comes to retirement, the Class of 2023 also stands to have a different perspective. For them: [1] There have always been 401(k)s. [2] There has always been a Roth option available to them ... [3] They've never had to sign up for their 401(k) plan ... [4] They may never have to make an investment choice in their 401(k) plan.... [5] They've always had fee information available to them about their 401(k). (It remains to be seen if they'll understand it any better than their parents.)"

American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA]

Editor's Pick A Common Misunderstanding of the 'Student' 403(b) Exclusion Arises During Document Restatement Process

" 'Student' status means nothing in the 401(k) world, but it is one of the few classes of employees which can be excused by employers from the universal availability rule of 403(b) plans. Student employees do not have to be given the opportunity its to make elective deferrals into the 403(b) -- and given the often transient nature of student employment at colleges and university, this is a welcome exclusion."

Business of Benefits

ESOP Reverse Allocations

"Companies that face the challenge of making equity sharing and participation in their ESOP plan more meaningful to newer and younger employees may consider the option of a reverse allocation. This approach alters the ESOP ownership structure to provide a greater opportunity to newer employees."

Employee Benefits Law Group


ERISA at 45: Bolstering Retirement Security for the Next 45 Years

"ERISA was enacted when the average worker's dream was spending their career with one company and retiring with a gold watch and a comfortable pension. Perhaps that is the best sign that a new system ... is needed to better reflect today's economy rather than updating a system which has long outlived its original goals."


Benefits in General


American Academy of Actuaries Comment Letter to Actuarial Standards Board on Second Exposure Drafts of ASOP Nos. 27 and 35 (PDF)

"We believe much good work has been done to improve the clarity of the proposed [Actuarial Standard of Practice No. 27, Selection of Economic Assumptions for Measuring Pension Obligations, and Actuarial Standard of Practice No. 35, Selection of Demographic and Other Noneconomic Assumptions for Measuring Pension Obligations]. Nevertheless, we have some comments on the current exposure drafts."

American Academy of Actuaries

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Editor's Pick One-Two Punch to Defuse Severance and Other Benefit Disputes

"[T]he 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ... shut the door on a former Shell executive who sought $1.5 million of severance based on his interpretation of the severance laws of his home country (India).... Shell succeeded mainly because its severance-related documents were straightforward and did not open the door for claims based on improper interpretations or miscalculations." [Bangaru v. Shell U.S. Hosting Company, No. 18-20808 (5th Cir. Sep. 4, 2019)

The Wagner Law Group

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Power of Attorney Rejected by IRS

We've had several clients receive rejection notices related to our Forms 2848 recently. All were related to DFVC filings. The notice stated the plan number was not included. However, the plan number was listed on the Form 2848 in the top right hand corner in the applicable box as well in the table on line 3. Has anyone else been receiving these? Are they being sent in error?

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Foreign-Owned Company Wants to Recognize Service with the Parent

Company A is based overseas, has wholly owned subsidiary in U.S. with a plan. Several employees from parent will be working for the U.S. company.[1] Are they required to recognize service with the parent company?[2] If yes, do we need to do an amendment? [3] Is the same controlled group testing done for foreign companies (in case this parent owns some or all of other companies not based in the U.S.)?

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

OneDigital Partners With Worldwide Broker Network
OneDigital Health and Benefits

NTSA Establishes Elite Advisor Council
National Tax-Deferred Savings Association [NTSA]

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue, 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