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September 18, 2019 logo logo
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Defined Benefits Actuarial Consultant

USI Consulting Group
Glastonbury CT

Actuary (Pathways Recent Graduate)

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]
Washington DC / Telecommute

Supervisory Health Insurance Specialist

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

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Webcasts, Conferences

IRS Plan Loan Rules: How Much Money, How Much Time?
September 18, 2019 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Law Group PC

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
September 20, 2019 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Abandoned Plan Program
September 20, 2019 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Fee Allocation: How to Choose Your Model
September 25, 2019 WEBCAST
Multnomah Group

2019 Fall Tax Meeting
October 3, 2019 in CA
American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law

Social Security Benefits: Pre-Retirement Strategies
October 9, 2019 in TX
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Houston Chapter

ERISA 2019 - Current Issues for Plan Fiduciaries
November 7, 2019 in NY

New DOL Final Regulations on Multiple Employer Plans: Determining Which Employers Can Sponsor MEPs Under ERISA
November 12, 2019 WEBCAST

►See 126 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1545 Recorded Webcasts


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Intel Plaintiffs Challenge the Use of Alternative Asset Classes in 401(k) Plan TDFs

"The Intel complaint -- like many plaintiffs' 401(k) fee lawsuits -- cites academic literature purporting to show that active management, and implicitly, nearly all diversification strategies, do not add value and compares results in the Intel plan with results under S&P 500 index-based comparators. These conditions put plan fiduciaries in a difficult position. Should they diversify out of US large cap equities plus, e.g., a low-cost investment grade bond fund? Or should they simply focus on fees and a passive, low-cost S&P 500 investment strategy?" [Anderson v. Intel Corp. Inv. Policy Comm., No. 19-4618 (N.D. Cal. complaint filed Aug. 9, 2019)]
October Three Consulting

Justice Department Backs Legal Effort Against California's Mandatory State-Sponsored Retirement Plan

"Among other things, the Justice Department argues that state-sponsored plans would create 'a patchwork of different state laws,' which is 'exactly the kind of disuniformity that ERISA was designed to avoid.' California estimates that 7.5 million state residents who lack a retirement savings plan at work are eligible for the program. It requires employers with five or more workers that don't offer a plan to participate." [Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc. v. The California Secure Choice Ret. Savings Prog. (CalSavers), No. 18-1584 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 28, 2019)]
The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

Deadline Approaching for 403(b) Plan Document Restatements

"The IRS has set a deadline of March 31, 2020 for 403(b) plans to be restated on IRS pre-approved documents if the plan sponsor wishes to gain assurance that its plan document provisions retroactively meet IRS requirements."
Venable, via Lexology; free registration required

Meet the MEPs: What's Next?

"Back in March, the Washington, D.C. District Court ... [struck down the] DOL's expansion of the definition of 'Employer' to include working owners and associations of companies with geography as their point of commonality.... [T]he language the Court took issue with is identical to the language the DOL uses in these new regulations on MEPs. Granted, the March opinion dealt with association health plans rather than retirement plans, but the DOL has consistently (both before and since) gone out of its way to indicate that the underlying rules are the same regardless of the type of benefit being offered."

Plan Benchmarking: How Does Your Company's Plan Measure Up?

"Why should I benchmark my plan? ... What should I benchmark? ... Employer contribution rates.... Participation and savings rates.... Income replacement ratios.... Plan features.... Investment returns.... Plan costs. "
Conrad Siegel Actuaries


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.

Editor's Pick 401(k) Amendment Rules Are Strict, But Mostly Straightforward

"While 401(k) amendment rules are strict, they are generally straightforward.... [1] General amendment deadlines ... [2] Special rules for safe harbor 401(k) plans ... [3] Amendments can't cutback accrued benefits ... [4] Correcting late amendments." [Editor's note: Includes a useful "decision tree."]
Employee Fiduciary

Regulation Best Interest: The Focus on Costs, Part 2

"[T]he SEC makes it clear that costs will always be a consideration. Second, the SEC addresses different share classes of mutual funds by saying that, if the only difference in an investment is the cost, it is difficult to see how the higher cost share class would be in the best interest of the customer. If there was any remaining doubt about that issue, that should resolve it."

Editor's Pick Proactive Pension Management: An Elected Official's Guide to Variable Benefit and Contribution Arrangements (PDF)

25 pages. "Under [variable benefit and/or variable contribution] arrangements, a pre-set formula drives occasional adjustments in the plan to maintain long-term stability. This report discusses how such variable arrangements can add flexibility, risk and gain sharing, and potential benefits to the plans and beneficiaries alike. A topic overview is presented, followed by a series of case studies and additional resources."
Center for State & Local Government Excellence

Illinois Pension Debt Now a Quarter-Trillion Dollars and Counting

"Moody's uses a lower discount rate than others who monitor state debt, which tends to increase the size of Illinois' hole. Ergo, according to the bond-rating firm, Illinois' adjusted net pension liability as of June 30, 2018, stood at a cool $240.8 billion. That's more than any other state, with California coming in second -- its population is more than three times [that of Illinois] -- at $230.8 billion and Texas coming in third at $132.8 billion."
Crain's Chicago Business

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Editor's Pick A Checklist for Drafting Section 457(f) Plans for Tax-Exempt Employers

"Drafting a Section 457(f) plan for a tax-exempt employer can be difficult because of the various statutory and regulatory rules that apply. [This article provides] a checklist for drafting this type of plan."
Thompson Coburn

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

PEO Spin-Off to Single Employer Plan

The company has been part of a PEO 401(k) plan since 2016. The plan has been operating as a safe harbor 401(k) plan. The company is leaving the PEO effective October 1, 2019 and will spin off from the PEO 401(k) plan to a single employer plan. Is it preferable to draft the new plan document as a restatement of the existing plan with an initial effective date of 2016 and a restatement date of October 1, 2019? Alternatively, is the new document drafted as a successor plan, with an initial effective date of October 1, 2019? Since the intent is to continue this as a safe harbor plan, is this option viable?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

'Effective Opportunity' for a Participant to Defer

Anyone have experience with an IRS audit or a cite to authority on what are some "facts and circumstances" around the requirement to provide an "effective opportunity" for a 401(k) participant to defer? Hypothetically: we have a client who will sign a new plan document with SH basic match on 9/30/19. The recordkeeper chosen by the client has previewed that it will likely take 60 days to set up the new plan and to provide enrollment materials to the participants. So the participants will likely only have 1 month of match. Of course the owner will max out. I'd really appreciate anyone who's been challenged by the IRS on this point.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Plan Design Question -- Exclude Service Performed for Staffing Company?

Plan will be a 401(k) with 90 day eligibility and quarterly entry dates. They currently use a staffing company to fill new positions and then either hire them or not. They are usually hired within 4-6 months. No one makes the year required for leased employees. The company wants to exclude credit for any service they had with the staffing company and count service once they are hired. Is this allowable? How can it be worded in the document? I had someone suggest excluding service with any other company not sponsoring the plan.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

DOL 'Statement of Interest' Supporting ERISA Preemption of CalSavers Program (PDF)
Office of the Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Labor [DOL], 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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