Retirement Plans Newsletter

November 4, 2019

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Webcasts, Conferences

Legislative Update & Year-end Review
November 21, 2019 in GA
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Atlanta Chapter

Ethics in the Retirement Plan World
December 11, 2019 WEBCAST
ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries [ACOPA]

Regulation Best Interest Vendor Forum
January 16, 2020 in NY
SIFMA [Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Notice of Request for OMB Approval of Proposed Changes to Section 4043 Reporting Forms and Procedures

"PBGC is proposing to modify the Form 10 for the 'Failure to make required contributions' reportable event to provide that if payment was made to satisfy a missed contribution, the filer must submit documentation of that payment, e.g., a copy of the cancelled check or wire transfer, etc.... PBGC is proposing to modify the [Form 200] to include a separate field showing the payment amount that triggered the notification in order to better track missed contributions and identify the amount by which liens associated with missed contributions must be updated.... PBGC is proposing to eliminate the email option for filings due after September 30, 2021. In other words, starting in October 2021, these filings would have to be submitted via PBGC's e-filing portal."
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Form 8554: Application for Renewal of Enrollment to Practice Before the IRS as an Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA) (PDF)

Nov. 2019. "The Renewal Fee is $67. You must complete 72 hours of Continuing Professional Education (ERPA-CPE) over the three-year enrollment cycle to remain active. This must include at least 2 hours of Ethics CPE each year. Exception: If this is your first renewal, you have to complete 2 hours of CPE for each month you were enrolled, including 2 hours of Ethics each year."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

2019 PBGC Meeting with ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits (PDF)

13 pages. Topics include:

  • Single Employer Program: Reportable events experience; Standard termination experience; Distress termination, Pre-filing consultation program; Church plans coverage; IRC Section 4971(a) excise tax.
  • Multiemployer Program: Multiemployer funding and the Joint Select Committee; Partition cases (Plasterers 94 and Teamsters 805); Informal consultation program.
  • Other Program Updates: Missing participants program; Mediation program; 4010 informal consultation practice.
  • Regulation Update: Coverage forms and pilot program; 4062(e) forms; Proposed rule on calculating withdrawal liability; Final rule on terminated and insolvent plans.

Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB], American Bar Association

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Proposes New Electronic Disclosure Rules for Retirement Plans; Numerous Questions and Issues Remain

"The new proposed safe harbor has a number of requirements that will be familiar to plan administrators with respect to most DOL disclosures, including that the covered documents be presented in a manner calculated to be understood by the average participant. However, there are a number of more specific technical requirements that will likely require some advanced planning on behalf of plan administrators."
Dickinson Wright

Recordkeeping Fees Under the Microscope

"[P]er-participant recordkeeping fees are becoming the expected best practice, no matter what size the plan. Plaintiffs’ attorneys and progressive plan sponsors ... [argue] that, with today’s digital recordkeeping technology, it is no more work for the plan provider to administer an account with $1,000,000 versus an account with $100. Thus, the argument goes, it is not reasonable under ERISA for the fee to grow while the service being provided remains the same."
planadviser

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Variable Annuity Plans (PDF)

58 pages. "This practice note was prepared ... to provide information to actuaries on current and emerging practices for measuring obligations of defined benefit pension plans that include variable annuity benefits.... While many actuaries believe that the pure variable annuity valuation model discussed in this practice note is an appropriate starting point for plans that deviate only modestly from the pure variable annuity design, the IRS has not provided any guidance (formal or informal) indicating an acceptance of this view."
Pension Committee of the American Academy of Actuaries

Pensions Are Paying Billions in 'Unnecessary' Private Real Estate Fees

"Underfunded public pensions have shifted to riskier assets in hopes of high returns, but their reach for yield in non-core real estate funds is not paying off ... Investors could have collectively saved an average $7.5 billion a year in 'unnecessary investment-management fees' from 2000 through 2017 by adding more leverage to less risky, core assets rather than investing in non-core funds[.]"
Institutional Investor

Investing for Income in Retirement

"A combination of familiar strategies and investments can help maximize your portfolio's income potential.... Step 1: Build in downside protection ... Step 2: Focus on income and potential for growth ... Step 3: Consider a 'total return' approach."
Charles Schwab

[Opinion]

DOL Proposes First Step Into the 21st Century for ERISA Participant Communications

"Assuming there are no delays in the process, we could have a functioning, internet-based retirement plan communication system up by early 2020.... [J]ust how far can this new, internet-based approach to ERISA-required retirement plan communications be developed to, e.g., improve employee outcomes?"
Michael Barry, via PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

[Opinion]

ARA Submits Comments on Open MEPs

"As for what type of person or persons should be recognized as capable of being an 'employer' ... for purposes of establishing and maintaining an open MEP, the ARA responded, 'Though the meanings of acting 'directly as an employer' or 'indirectly in the interest of an employer' is not made clear in the statute, the ARA believes that there should not be restrictions on the type of commercial entities (e.g., banks, insurance companies, pension recordkeepers, and TPAs) that may be treated as an 'employer' under the 'indirectly in the interest' clause.' "
American Retirement Association [ARA]

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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2019 BenefitsLink.com, 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 BenefitsLink.com, 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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