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Webcasts, Conferences

State and Local Employee Views on Their Jobs, Pay & Benefits
November 18, 2019 WEBCAST
National Institute on Retirement Security

Multiple Employer Plans - The Latest Word on MEPs and PEPs
December 12, 2019 WEBCAST
Trucker Huss

DOL Update on Multiple Employer Retirement Plans
January 21, 2020 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

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[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Interest Rate Update for Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans, December 2019

"The December 2019 lump sum interest assumptions will be 0.25 percent for the period during which a benefit is (or is assumed to be) in pay status and 4.00 percent during any years preceding the benefit's placement in pay status. In comparison with the interest assumptions in effect for November 2019, these assumptions represent no change in the immediate rate and are otherwise unchanged."

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]


ASC's DC/401(k) Software: Comprehensive & Easy to Use

Sponsored by ASC

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Form 5308: Request for Change in Plan/Trust Year (PDF)

Rev. Nov. 2019. "Except as described below, for any employee retirement plan to which the minimum funding standards of section 412 apply (such as a defined benefit plan, money purchase pension plan, or target benefit plan), in order to change the plan year of the plan, the employer or plan administrator must file Form 5308 to request approval for the change if automatic approval for the change does not apply pursuant to Rev. Proc. 87-27. Any employees' trust forming a part of a qualified plan (whether or not the trust is part of a plan subject to section 412) must file Form 5308 to request approval to change its trust year."

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Form 5306: Application for Approval of Prototype or Employer Sponsored Individual Retirement Arrangement (PDF)

Rev. Nov. 2019. "Sponsoring organizations, employers, or employee associations, use Form 5306 to request a ruling as to: [1] Whether a trust or custodial account agreement meets the requirements of section 408(a), 408(c), 408(p), or 408A; or [2] Whether an individual annuity meets the requirements of section 408(b), 408(p), or 408A."

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Form 5306-A: Application for Approval of Prototype Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) or Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers (SIMPLE IRA Plan) (PDF)

Rev. Nov. 2019. "Use Form 5306-A to request a favorable opinion letter if: [1] You are a bank, federally insured credit union, savings and loan association that qualifies as a bank, insurance company, regulated investment company, or trade or professional society or association (other than an employee association); and [2] You want to get a favorable opinion letter that a SEP agreement or SIMPLE IRA plan to be used by more than one employer is acceptable in form."

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Proposes Expansion of E-Disclosure Safe Harbor for Retirement Plans

"The Proposed Safe Harbor provides that if a plan participant leaves employment with the sponsoring employer, the plan administrator must ensure the continued accuracy of the electronic address, or obtain a new address that enables receipt following the separation from employment.... The DOL has requested comments on whether the Proposed Safe Harbor should be modified to accommodate the unique circumstances faced by multiemployer plans[.]"

Slevin & Hart, P.C.


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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Provides Additional Temporary Nondiscrimination Relief for Certain Closed Defined Benefit Plans

"This additional relief is available: To defined benefit plans that provide ongoing accruals and were amended before December 13, 2013, to provide that only employees who participated in the plan on a specified date continue to accrue benefits under the plan ... For plan years ending after November 13, 2019, and beginning before January 1, 2021."

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

[Guidance Overview]

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 17

"While not required, from a risk management perspective, broker-dealers (and investment advisors) who adopt an educational approach [rather than making a rollover recommendation] should consider developing brochures and other printed materials to supplement their advisors' educational conversations."

Automated Emergency Savings Plans: The Next Big Thing?

"Automated emergency savings funds, a new kind of benefit that provides an additional way for employees to save for future expenses, may offer benefits beyond achieving that goal -- including reducing plan leakage. These savings funds differ from tax-qualified retirement accounts in that they are composed of after-tax funds. But like a pre-tax retirement fund, money can be taken from paychecks and put into automated emergency savings funds automatically."

American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA]

HUB International's Ambitious Vision for the Retirement Market

"Linking health care and wealth management; maximizing practice efficiency and cross-selling opportunities; addressing individuals' insurance and financial wellness needs -- HUB's new retirement plan specialist advisers hope to do all of this and more."


Newspaper Chain Seeks to Have PBGC Take Over Pension Fund

"McClatchy Co., the third-largest newspaper publisher in the U.S. by circulation, said it has begun talks with its creditors and federal authorities about a possible government takeover of its pension fund ... The 162-year-old company, which publishes 30 newspapers around the country, ... said it would be unable to make a required $124 million contribution next year to its pension fund."

The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing (PDF)

21 pages. "Most civilian federal employees who were hired before 1984 are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). Federal employees hired in 1984 or later are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). Both CSRS and FERS require participants to contribute toward the cost of their pensions through a payroll tax [paid] to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF).... This report provides an overview of current benefits and financing under CSRS and FERS." [98-810, updated Nov. 13, 2019]

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Editor's Pick Facts About Women and Retirement (PDF)

35 presentation slides. "The goal of this research is two-fold: [1] to raise awareness of the retirement risks that women are facing, and [2] highlight opportunities for women to take greater control of their finances and their future."

Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies


Employer-Sponsored Emergency Savings Accounts: Are They a Good Idea?

"[One reader] noted that ... by helping these individuals establish an emergency savings plan, plan sponsors are actually diverting funds that could be saved for retirement.... In addition, ... retirement plans already provide for the same short-term liquidity needs that an emergency saving account does, through the use of retirement plan loans.... Finally, ... we already have such vehicles -- for example, after-tax contributions have been allowed in a number of retirement plans for many years, with little to no employee interest. "

Cammack Retirement Group

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Rev. Proc. 2019-14: Updated Guidance for Deductible Business, Charitable, Medical and Moving Expenses (PDF)

"This revenue procedure provides rules for using optional standard mileage rates in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving expense purposes.... This revenue procedure also provides rules for substantiating ... the amount of an employee's ordinary and necessary expenses of local travel or transportation away from home that a payor (an employer, its agent, or a third party) reimburses using a mileage allowance."

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

The Executive Compensation Excise Tax: Who, What, and How Much?

"The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 added a new 21 percent excise tax on tax-exempt organizations, including associations, that pay what the law defines as 'excess tax-exempt organization executive compensation.' ... For most nonprofits, the biggest impact will be the need to keep track of whether they have any employees whose compensation may be subject to this tax on the employer."


Executive Compensation Planning for an Economic Downturn

"[1] Align incentive compensation with an economic downturn strategic plan.... [2] Minimize the need for discretion in performance-based awards.... [3] Cap payouts.... [4] Equity plan share reserve.... [5] Denominate awards in dollars, not shares.... [6] Severance plans/policies.... [7] Employment agreements.... [8] Executive diligence."

Morgan Lewis

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Must Set Up a New Plan When Employer Takes on Prevailing Wage Project?

"[1] Does a client have to set up a retirement plan (with 5500 filing) when taking on a project that is covered by Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage rules? [2] If so, any way around it? [3] Can a SIMPLE 401k Plan cover Prevailing Wage employees? I don't think so but I'm trying to think out of the box instead of setting up a new plan for Prevailing Wage employees that would require a 5500 filing. The employer also wants to avoid the plan administration costs of a separate plan for Prevailing Wage employees."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Participant Loan Procedure: Effect of Cure Period on Immediate Repayment Obligation Upon Employment Termination

"Loan procedure has the standard cure period: last day of the calendar quarter following the calendar quarter. Loan procedure states loan will become payable in full upon termination of employment. A particular employee has an outstanding loan and terminated on 7/10/2019. Does that loan become due and payable (and taxable because the individual cannot pay it back now) as of the termination date? Or is it necessary for the plan sponsor to wait until the end of the cure period (12/31/2019) before defaulting the note?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Required Minimum Distribution Table for 2021, in Excel Format

"I cut and pasted the new Required Minimum Distribution Life Expectancies from the Proposed Regulations into two Excel tables: Single Life and Joint Life. The file is embedded in my website (click). At the very bottom of the page, find and click the period (.) right after my email address. It should ask if you want to download the file. Go ahead. It's safe."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Auto-Enroll with Auto-Escalate; Allow Participant to Set Limit on Escalation?

"I have a plan that has auto enroll. The sponsor will add auto escalate at 1% per year up to 6%. My understanding is that a participant can elect/agree with the auto escalate but elect a cap/maximum of less than the 6% maximum. Example: Nancy New is auto enrolled at the 2% but completes the enrollment form indicating she wishes the auto increase to stop at 4%. Is this possible?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Valerie Sinicrope Earns CRPS Designation by CFFP
Steidle Pension Solutions, LLC, [SPS]

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue, 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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