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Webcasts, Conferences

Stock Ownership Policies & Clawback Policies: Design Pointers
October 10, 2019 WEBCAST
Hunton Andrews Kurth

Cost of Conflicted Advice? Fi360 Examines Recent Academic Work and Impact on Reg BI Lawsuits
October 22, 2019 WEBCAST

Managing in an Uncertain Economy
October 31, 2019 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

Recognizing and Addressing COBRA
December 10, 2019 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

New IRS Final Regulations for Hardship Distributions Under 401(k) and 403(b) Plans
December 12, 2019 WEBCAST

Institute for Apprenticeship, Training and Education Programs
January 20, 2020 in CA
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

►See 106 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1560 Recorded Webcasts


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[Guidance Overview]

PBGC Proposes Change to Lump Sum Assumptions

"Under the proposed regulation, PBGC would cease publishing actuarial assumptions under ERISA section 4022. In place of those assumptions, going forward PBGC would determine the lump sum present value of benefits in distress or involuntarily terminated plans using the assumptions published by the Internal Revenue Service under section 417(e) of the Code."
Groom Law Group

[Sponsored] -- Who is Answering Your ERISA Questions?

Sponsored by Burrmont Compliance Labs LLC

Noted author and speaker S. Derrin Watson, J.D. is answering questions in our Ask the Author service. Get your answers from Derrin in four business hours or less. Contact us at: or 612-605-2266 Learn more

[Guidance Overview]

Final Hardship Withdrawal Regs Issued -- Where Do We Stand?

"Plan sponsors should ... [1] Consider how hardship withdrawals will be made available going forward in light of the rule changes.... [2] Understand how hardship withdrawals were administered during 2018 and 2019, so that plan amendments can adequately reflect administration of the plan.... [3] Make sure the plan is amended within the required time frame to reflect how hardship withdrawals have been and will be administered.... [4] Review the summary plan description to determine whether modifications are necessary."

IRS Issues Guidance on Uncashed Distribution Checks

"[Revenue Ruling 2019-19] clarifies that the participant's failure to cash the distribution check does not change the plan administrator's obligation to withhold taxes and report the distribution as taxable income. Therefore, a plan administrator should not try to undo income tax withholding or reporting merely because a participant fails to cash a distribution check.... One concern is that the plan still has the funds. A qualified plan document should address the disposition of funds attributable to uncashed distribution checks."
Hanson Bridgett LLP

District Court Permits Trial for Parts of SunTrust ERISA Challenge Over Use of Proprietary Funds

"The nearly 100-page decision includes substantial discussion of the facts of the case and the legal precedents which the court has applied in allowing some claims to proceed while dismissing others. One informative section explains the court's reasoning for rejecting certain testimony of the plaintiffs' expert witness." [Fuller v. SunTrust Banks, No. 11-784 (N.D. Ga. Oct. 3, 2019)]
PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Morgan Stanley Wins Fiduciary Breach Lawsuit Over Investment Fees and Performance

"Morgan Stanley has fended off a participant suit that a federal judge described as 'opportunistic Monday-morning quarterbacking on the part of lawyers.'... [Judge Richard J. Sullivan found] that the plaintiffs in the case lacked standing to bring many of their claims under ERISA, and made 'conclusory,' but ultimately uncompelling arguments in other respects.... [He] said that a fee differential alone is insufficient to demonstrate disloyalty without allegations that the Defendants acted '"for the purpose" of providing themselves or others a benefit.' " [Patterson v. Morgan Stanley, No. 16-6568 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 7, 2019)]
National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]


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. Learn more

Second Circuit Revives Excessive Fee Suit Against Investment Advisor

"The Second Circuit determined that the relationship between NYU and Cammack does not fit into any of the privity categories recognized by the Supreme Court ... to justify an exception to the rule against nonparty preclusion. It is not enough that NYU and Cammack 'share a sufficiently close relationship and have aligned interests.' The court explained that as ERISA co-fiduciaries, their interests are not aligned." [Sacerdote v. Cammack LaRhette Advisors, LLC, No. 18-1558 (2d Cir. Oct. 1, 2019)]
Kantor & Kantor

Best Practices for Plan Sponsors, Part 12

"This article -- about the Johns Hopkins settlement agreement -- is another example of the importance of using appropriate share classes and the monitoring of compensation of service providers ... and more."

GE's Pension Freeze and Lump Sum Buy-Out Proposal: Should My Company Be Looking to Do the Same?

"Many pension plans have offered, or at least considered, Lump Sum Cashout programs ... Plan sponsors that have implemented these programs have been rewarded with significant cash savings as well as risk reduction.... There are some concerns that pension plan sponsors will also want to consider such as: [1] Potential increases to contribution requirements; [2] One-time accounting charges that could be triggered; [3] Potential increase to annuity purchase pricing upon pension plan termination."

Married Couples Are in the Retirement Danger Zone

Podcast. "[Alicia Munnell] discusses Social Security's viability, the role of housing wealth, and a surprising new finding about married couple's retirement preparedness."
Morningstar Advisor

Developing a Reasonable Spending Budget: Monte Carlo Modeling vs. the Actuarial Approach

"[D]eterministic models tend to provide specific outcomes, and Monte Carlo models tend to provide outcome ranges and probabilities of achieving specified objectives. Deterministic approaches also enable a user to consider more complicated calculations within the model.... [One] process under the Actuarial Approach involves periodic stress testing of assumptions to assess risks. This will generally involve more worst-case 'what-if' analysis than anticipated under a Monte Carlo model."
Ken Steiner, FSA Retired

Benefits in General

Attorney Fees Under ERISA Section 502(g)(1): An Exception to the American Rule

"ERISA Section 502(g)(1) vests courts with discretion to award attorney fees and costs in an action brought by a plan participant, beneficiary or fiduciary. This article examines the standards courts apply when assessing motions for these discretionary awards."; free registration required

North Carolina Court Awards $41,000-Plus Penalty for Failure to Produce Documents Requested by Plan Participants

"The requested documents were ... produced in discovery some 748 days after the initial 30-day period had expired! ... The Court noted that the plaintiffs were substantially prejudiced by defendants' conduct because they were 'left in the dark' about the correct appeal process, and also noted that the 'failure to provide the requested documents frustrated plaintiffs' ability to litigate' their dispute due to the lack of essential facts contained in the requested documents." [Kinsinger v. SmartCore, LLC, No. 17-643 (W.D.N.C. Aug. 27, 2019)]
Jackson Lewis P.C.

Benefits Young Job Seekers Look for Today

"[1] Health insurance ... [2] Paid time off ... [3] Student loan forgiveness ... [4] Remote work ... [5] 401(k) matches ... [6] Tuition reimbursement ... [7] Pensions ... [8] Paid parental leave,"

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Catch-Up by Self-Employed Individual

A self-employed individual has net income of $29,725. He has W-2 income of $192,884.90 from an unrelated employer and deferrals of $6,000 into the unrelated employer's 401(k) plan. Is the catch-up contribution, which will be contributed to his self-employed 401k, subject to the 100% of comp limit, or is it in addition to?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Collectively Bargained Money Purchase Plan -- 'Deemed Retirement' Definition

A money purchase Taft-Hartley plan provides that an employee is deemed to be retired, for administration purposes, as of the first day of the calendar quarter following 60 days for which contributions from a contributing employer ceased to be required on his/her behalf. I can appreciate the fact that it may be difficult for a multiemployer fund to determine whether a participant has in fact terminated his/her employment. However, I am concerned that the IRS could question the plan's qualified status if the participant is deemed terminated or retired and it is determined that the participant was not in fact terminated.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Hardship Withdrawal Needed for Sensitive Medical Expenses

I find myself in a difficult position with requesting a hardship withdrawal from the 401k account I have through my employer. The reason for the withdrawal is medical, but I'm reluctant to provide documentation due to the sensitive nature of the expenses. I am a cancer survivor, and part of my treatment involved the use of strong opiates to deal with pain. While the cancer seems to be defeated (at least for now), the opiate addiction isn't. My doctor has recommended that I check into an in-patient rehabilitation clinic for opiate addiction. Such a facility, however, is very expensive, and is not fully covered by my medical insurance. My retirement funds can comfortably cover even the largest estimate, so I can "afford" it in that regard. I don't want to inform my employer that I am attending an in-patient rehabilitation clinic for drug addiction. My plan seems to require that I submit documentation detailing the costs, but I believe that doing so would jeopardize my continued employment or impact my career negatively in other aspects (regardless of whether or not it is legal or proper for them to do so, I find it likely that this will occur due to the nature of my industry). What can I do to provide the requested data without revealing that it's related to drug addiction?
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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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