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September 16, 2019 logo logo
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Supervisory Health Insurance Specialist

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Bethesda MD

Implementation Team Leader

Nova 401(k) Associates
Houston TX / Dallas TX / Austin TX / Scottsdale AZ / Telecommute

Retirement Plan Advisor

Chemung Canal Trust Company
Elmira NY

DC Retirement Plan Consultant

EGPS, Inc.
Laguna Hills CA / San Diego CA / New York NY / Jacksonville FL / Telecommute

DB Retirement Plan Consultant

EGPS, Inc.
Laguna Hills CA / San Diego CA / New York NY / Jacksonville FL / Telecommute

Onboarding Specialist

EGPS, Inc.
Laguna Hills CA / Telecommute

Senior Qualified Plan Administrator

Clark Schaefer Hackett
Miamisburg OH

Relationship Manager

Newport Group
Los Angeles CA

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Webcasts, Conferences

Student Loan Benefits - Best Practices for Employers
October 3, 2019 in MD
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Baltimore Chapter

DC Best Practices and ERISA Litigation and Fee Update
October 15, 2019 in IL
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Chicagoland Chapter

►See 133 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1538 Recorded Webcasts


New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

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[Official Guidance]

Text of Draft Instructions for 2019 IRS Form 8955-SSA: Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits (PDF)

Sep. 13, 2019. "Use Form 8955-SSA to report information about separated participants with deferred vested benefits under the plan.... A Form 8955-SSA need not be filed for a year if no information is required to be provided for that year by these instructions. Form 8955-SSA may be filed electronically through the FIRE system or on paper."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


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.

Pension Investing: Why Equity Derivatives Now?

"Derivatives can allow plan assets to do 'double duty': interest rate risk can be managed without sacrificing exposure to growth assets such as equities. It is only through the use of derivatives that plan sponsors can 'have their cake and eat it' by benefiting from rising equity markets while not being hit by falling long-term interest rates."
River and Mercantile Solutions

Good News and Bad News for Corporate Pension Plans

"While corporate pension plans have benefited from the rebound in equities since the bumpy fourth quarter of last year, they are facing a challenge on another front: the long duration rates used to discount pension liabilities have been moving in the other direction -- a lot."

Retirement Income Adequacy of Traditionally Employed and Self-Employed Workers

"Formerly self-employed retirees report higher degree of financial distress and have lower incomes. They generally rely more on financial assets outside the public pension systems to cope with income and health shocks during their retirement.... While some are rich in retirement, formerly self-employed are more often at risk of poverty than their formerly traditionally employed counterparts. "
Yuri Pettinicchi and Axel Borsch-Supan, via SSRN

More Than Half of Americans Are Unintentionally Hurting Their Retirement Savings

"Approximately 52% of Americans have withdrawn money from their retirement savings before reaching retirement age ... [N]early a quarter of those who have withdrawn from their retirement fund did so to help pay off debt. Another 17% needed cash for a down payment on a home, 11% pulled money to help with college tuition, and 9% used the cash for medical expenses."
Motley Fool


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.

The Cost and Adequacy of Teacher Pensions in Texas

"Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed legislation in spring 2019 that gradually raises plan contributions by the state, school districts, and employees. Additional contribution hikes may be necessary to close the plan’s funding gap ... Revising the plan’s benefit structure ... could also improve retirement security for teachers who spend less than a full career in the pension system[.]"
Urban Institute

Younger Employees Face Rewards, Risks in Stock Compensation Plans

"More than half of respondents under age 35 (57 percent) said stock plan benefits are an important consideration when changing jobs, compared with 46 percent of their Baby Boomer counterparts.... However, only 25 percent of young participants understand how taxes may impact their benefits, compared with 38 percent of Baby Boomers[.]"
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article


Why XY Planning Network Is Suing The SEC Over Reg BI

"Ultimately, ...  the purpose of the XYPN lawsuit against the SEC is not to undermine the ability of broker-dealers to engage as such; instead, the issue is simply that Congress has repeatedly prescribed that the delivery of financial advice must be delivered under a fiduciary standard of care[.]"
Nerd's Eye View

Benefits in General

ERISA Fiduciary Acts May Include Failing to Accurately Advise Plan Participants and Beneficiaries

"[The Fourth Circuit] held that NCG's alleged role in verifying employee eligibility was sufficient to state a fiduciary breach claim ... The court also held that the complaint adequately alleged that, by responding to the plaintiff's request for assistance and offering her tailored advice regarding whether to appeal the denial of benefits, one of NCG's officers was acting as a functional fiduciary when he advised her not to appeal the insurer's denial of her claim." [Dawson-Murdock v. National Counseling Group, Inc., No. 18-1989 (4th Cir. Jul. 24, 2019)]
Slevin & Hart, P.C.

District Court Determines Atrium Hospital Benefit Plans Are Governmental Plans Exempt from ERISA

"The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina has dismissed the complaint against Atrium, a health care system in North Carolina, after the U.S. District Judge determined the retirement and health plans offered to Atrium employees were 'governmental plans' that are exempt from [ERISA]." [Shore v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority, No. 18-961 (M.D.N.C. Aug. 30, 2019)]
Ice Miller LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Mortgage as Investment of One-Person Plan

A self-employed owner (the only participant) has mortgages as investments within the plan. The owner has died. The wife would like to purchase one of the mortgages from the plan personally. Because this is a one-person plan, is it subject to the prohibited transaction rules?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Completing 8955-SSA for Last Year When Participant Is Taking a Distribution This Year

Small plan (fewer than 10 participants). On Form 8955-SSA, participant with vested balanced who terminated in prior year is required to be reported in current year filing. Current year filing is being prepared during following year, during which said participant takes distribution (to be specific, 2017 terminee to be reported on 2018 form being prepared in 2019, takes distribution in 2019 prior to filing form). I'm curious the general approach. Required to report as 'A' only to report as 'D' in following year, or just ignore?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

PBGC Small Employer Rule for Employers with Fewer Than 25 Employees

Regarding the 25 employee limit -- [1] Can we exclude union employees)? [2] Can we exclude employees who work less than 1000 hours?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Can Parent Make Deferral Election for Child Who Is a Plan Participant?

Assume that a plan participant is a minor with legitimate plan compensation. The minor’s parent makes the decision for the minor to make an elective deferral contribution to the plan without the minor’s consent (or even their awareness). Would this create an operational failure where the plan document requires the election be made by the participant and doesn’t provide for proxy? Or, would parental rights control here and allow for the parent to make this decision for their child? If the parent has the ability to cause the contribution, would the child have the ability to override the election their parent made?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Lyra is Certified for Investment Advisor Fiduciary Excellence
Centre for Fiduciary Excellence [CEFEX]

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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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