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[Official Guidance]

PBGC 2017 Data Tables for Multiemployer and Single-Employer Plans (PDF)

"The PBGC has published Pension Insurance Data Books and Tables annually since 1996 to present detailed statistics on PBGC program operations and benefit protections.... PBGC is releasing the data in groups, as they become available.... New this year: Four Single Employer tables have been added. These tables report data on Partial Risk transfer Events (Lump Sum payouts and Annuity Purchases outside of normal plan operations)."
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]


This January, Learn How to Guide Your Apprentices to Success

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

As apprenticeship programs continue to grow in popularity, we must focus on the best strategies to train, place and retain skilled workers. Join us for education on effective trust fund management and best practices in the U.S. and Canada.

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Finalizes Hardship Distribution Regs (PDF)

"Based on the discussion in the preamble, most employers will have until the due date of their 2020 tax return (plus extensions) to adopt an interim amendment for their pre-approved plans. Unfortunately, the application of the interim amendment deadline is not clear for all employers, such as employers with non-calendar tax years and employers who implemented all the regulatory changes prior to 2020.... Under [Rev. Proc. 2019-39], an interim amendment is not required until the end of the calendar year after the calendar year in which the change is effective."

[Guidance Overview]

A Look Inside the SEC's Final RIA Guidance and Its Discussion of 'Best Interest'

"The RIA Guidance is the most significant Commission pronouncement on the fiduciary duties of an investment adviser ever finalized and published by the SEC. For this reason, investment advisory firms should scrutinize and analyze the Guidance, apply it to their firm, and quickly remediate any issues with enhanced practices, policies, and procedures. Indeed, unlike Reg BI and Form CRS that have an implementation date of June 30, 2020, the RIA Guidance became effective on July 12, 2019."
Drinker Biddle

Playing It Safe: Cybersecurity Risks to Retirement Plans (PDF)

"With the significant data breaches in recent years and the prevalence of increasingly sophisticated fraud schemes, a successful, large-scale attack on retirement plans appears almost inevitable. Even so, there is no comprehensive federal regulatory regime that governs retirement plans and their cybersecurity obligations ... This article evaluates the current legal landscape and highlights some best practices for plan fiduciaries to reduce the cybersecurity risks to their plans."
Eversheds Sutherland

403(b)'s 15-Year 'Long Service Catch-Up' Is an 'Attractive Nuisance' to Be Avoided in Plan Restatements

"The 402(g)(7) 'long service catchup' ... [at] the very least, [is] a terrible trap for the unwary. It is a benefit which is virtually unsupportable except for those employers with sophisticated payroll systems which have also been programmed over an extended period of time to calculate and store the data needed to provide this benefit."
Business of Benefits


Join the Pension Rights Center's Celebration of Superheroes!

Sponsored by Pension Rights Center

Join us to celebrate the 45th anniversary of ERISA, the 43rd anniversary of the Pension Rights Center, and to honor our Retirement Superheroes! Tuesday, Oct. 29, Washington DC.

AT&T Sued Over Calculation of Early Retirement Benefits

"The plaintiffs say the plan's terms reduce benefits using 'Early Retirement Factors' and 'Joint and Survivor Annuity Factors' which result in plan participants receiving less than the actuarial equivalent of their vested accrued benefit, as required by ERISA." [Eliason v. AT&T, No. 19-6232 (N.D. Cal. complaint filed Oct. 1, 2019)]
PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

How 401(k) Plan Sponsors Can Help Employees Nearing Retirement

"Clearly, older employees may be anxious as they see the unknowns of retirement fast approaching. Younger workers may judge their firm by how it addresses the concerns of their veteran peers.... For employers interested in not only fulfilling their fiduciary liability to address the best interests of all employees, but also their own interest in uplifting employee morale, there are ways to achieve this.... [1] Increase awareness ... [2] Provide the venue ... [3] Offer financial/investment education ... [4] Show real-life examples ... [5] Hire a professional."
Fiduciary News

GE to Freeze Pensions for 20,000 Workers

"GE's traditional pension and post-employment benefits programs, which were underfunded by $27 billion as of the end of 2018, are one of the company's biggest liabilities. The company said the latest changes could reduce its pension deficit by as much as $8 billion."
The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

Full-Blown, Dirt-Cheap Retirement Robos Lay Siege to 'Antiquated' Target Date Funds Market

"[T]he introduction -- by Vanguard itself -- of a robo-advisor that could do more than the set-and-forget funds for less money spent in fees offers tantalizing scenarios for cannibalization and a reinvention of the 401(k) market.... [If] it is proactively launching an offensive against itself, there may be other factors driving its actions -- like the footsteps of competitors.... [T]here are plenty of ships on the sea looking to disrupt Vanguard in 401(k) automation. But maybe those have already caught Vanguard's attention[.]"

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Extends Oct. 15 Deadline for Victims of Tropical Storm Imelda

"Victims of Tropical Storm Imelda in parts of Texas, including the Houston area, have until Jan. 31, 2020, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... The IRS is offering this relief to ... Chambers, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery and Orange counties in Texas, but taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Court Penalizes Employer $41,140 for Failure to Timely Provide Plan Documents

"The documents were not provided until 748 days after the ERISA-required 30-day period to provide documents had expired, and then only in response to a lawsuit claiming an ERISA fiduciary breach for misappropriating employee contributions. The federal district court assessed a penalty of $55 per day ... a penalty determined by the court to reflect 'both the egregiousness of the [plan administrator's] misconduct as well as the extraordinary length of delay.' " [Kinsinger v. SmartCore, LLC, No. 17-643 (W.D.N.C. Aug. 27, 2019)]
Haynes and Boone, LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Safe Harbor Plan Uses Non-Safe Harbor Compensation Exclusions and Fails 414(s)

Plan is a Safe Harbor Non-Elective plan. Plan has compensation exclusions (i.e., non safe harbor exclusions -- overtime, commissions, bonuses etc.). The plan does not pass 414(s). Can the plan satisfy the 414(s) requirement by using General testing? Or must it amend the definition of compensation to satisfy 414(s)?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Plan Retention, Cybersecurity, Fee Compression Top Advisor Concerns
National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

PAC Case Study: Defending Retiree After Pension Plan Sent Her $37,000 Bill for Error It Made Long Ago
The Gerontology Institute Blog, University of Massachusetts Boston, Inc.
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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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