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Webcasts, Conferences

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
January 16, 2020 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Administering Benefit Claims: Avoiding Mishaps and Litigation, Compliance Challenges for ERISA Counsel
February 5, 2020 WEBCAST

That 401(k) National Conference
March 10, 2020 in FL
Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C.

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2020-03: Interim Guidance on Income Tax Withholding from Retirement and Annuity Distributions (PDF)

"This notice provides guidance for the 2020 calendar year regarding withholding from periodic payments for pensions, annuities, and certain other deferred income ... including the rules for withholding from periodic payments under Section 3405(a) when no withholding certificate has been furnished ('default rate of withholding').... [The Treasury Department] and the [IRS] are considering whether the 2020 default rate of withholding under Section 3405(a) will continue to be appropriate for calendar years after 2020 and request comments related to the potential adoption of a new default rate of withholding."

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


Earn Your Certificate in Retirement Plans This Spring

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

The Certificate in Retirement Plans provides an overview of defined benefit and defined contribution plans, Social Security, basic investment principles, 401(k) plans, and the legal and regulatory environment surrounding plans today. Learn more

[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick Chronological Listing of Effective Dates for SECURE Act Provisions

"The SECURE Act will make substantial and highly technical changes to some very specific elements of retirement plan laws ... [S]ome of these effective date provisions have certain caveats and conditions[.]"

Business of Benefits

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Clarifies Remedial Amendment Period for Compliance with Final Hardship Withdrawal Regs -- But Operational Changes Still Required by January 1, 2020

"Although employers generally have until December 31, 2021 to finalize plan amendments relating to the final hardship withdrawal rules, it is important to keep in mind the operational changes that are required by January 1, 2020. In addition, many employers are amending their plans now in order to ensure alignment between the plan document and the plan's administration."

Miller Johnson

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Clarifies Issues Affecting Amendments for Hardship Distribution Changes

"The two issues addressed in this revenue procedure were discussed in the preamble to the final hardship regulations.... The revenue procedure's simpler formulation should make it easier to know which amendments can be delayed and bundled with a plan's required hardship amendments. The revenue procedure also goes further than the preamble in its extension of the interim amendment deadline for certain hardship-related amendments, giving interim amendments for preapproved plans the same December 31, 2021 deadline as individually designed plans."

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

More Than SECURE in Spending Bill

"In addition to the SECURE Act, Congress added special disaster-related rules for the use of retirement funds.... Congress also added the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019, which includes a provision moving the voluntary in-service distribution age under Code Section 401(a)(36) for defined benefit plans and 457(b) plans from age 62 to 59-1/2.... One area that was left out of the catch-all spending legislation was a fix for the multiemployer pension problem."

American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA]


DOL Update on Multiple Employer Retirement Plans

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Jan. 21 webinar. What are the two authorized approaches for establishing a MEP? What should an employer consider when establishing a MEP and how can an employer stay compliant? BenefitsLink discountLearn more

Top Retirement Plan Trends for 2020

"[1] Employee engagement 2.0 ... [2] Engaging missing/unresponsive participants ... [3] Eradicating small-balance accounts of terminated employees ... [4] Putting an end to unnecessary plan leakage ... [5] Developing a smart approach to address revenue sharing in retirement plan investments ... [6] Migrating to a per-head flat-dollar recordkeeping charge, as opposed to a percentage of assets charge ... [7] Reducing paper ... [8] Managing the increasing population of successful retirees."

Cammack Retirement Group

Editor's Pick Best Practices in Administering Benefit Claims: Managing Litigation Using Plan Provisions

"Although there is little, if any, dispute that contractual limitations periods are enforceable, it is important that they be reasonable, be published in the summary plan description, and be included in all benefit denial letters.... [P]lan sponsors are free to draft a plan provision that requires all ERISA claims to be commenced in particular state and/or court.... Because arbitration is generally viewed to be less costly than litigation, plan sponsors may wish to consider the relative pros and cons of arbitration."


Practical Guidance Regarding Multiemployer Pension Plan Obligations Post-Sun Capital

"[T]he decision ... suggests that funds may want to consider the following questions in developing their investment structure: [1] Will multiple investment funds hold a single portfolio company investment? [2] Can a new entity be established to administer the joint investment? [3] Do the private equity sponsors maintain common control over the multiple investment funds? [4] Can day-to-day corporate and financial practices operate separately amongst the multiple investment funds? [5] Are the ultimate decision makers in the private equity fund the same in each investment fund?" [Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund, Nos. 16-1376, 19-1002 (1st Cir. Nov. 22, 2019)]

Sidley Austin LLP

MetLife to Pay $10 Million to Settle SEC Charge of 'Longstanding Internal Control Failures'

"According to the SEC's order, MetLife improperly released reserves for annuity benefits associated with MetLife's Retirement and Income Solutions Business, which resulted in an increase in income. For over 25 years, MetLife's practice was to presume annuitants had died or otherwise would never be found if they did not respond to only two mailing attempts made approximately five and half years apart. MetLife later determined that its processes for locating and contacting unresponsive annuitants were insufficient to justify the release of reserves. To correct this error, MetLife increased reserves by $510 million as of year-end 2017."

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]

Editor's Pick A Compendium of Findings About U.S. Workers, from the 19h Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey (PDF)

122 presentation slides. "Five specific opportunities [for improving retirement security] include: [1] Expand access to workplace retirement plans.... [2] Encourage wider adoption of automatic enrollment by retirement plan sponsors to increase participation rates among workers.... [3] Discourage 'leakage' from retirement accounts in the form of loans and withdrawals ... [4] Raise awareness of the IRS Saver's Credit ... [5] Implement reforms to Social Security to ensure that it is sustainable for future generations."

Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies

Defined Contribution Plan Participants' Activities, First Half 2019 (PDF)

16 pages. "DC plan withdrawal activity in the first half of 2019 remained low, about in line with the activity observed in the first half of 2018.... The vast majority of DC plan participants continued contributing to their plans in [the first half of 2019].... Most DC plan participants stayed the course with their asset allocations as stock values generally rose during the first six months of the year.... DC plan participants' loan activity edged up at the end of June 2019, following a seasonal pattern observed over the past several years."

Investment Company Institute [ICI]

Benefits in General

Congress Set to Repeal 40 Percent Excise Tax on High-Cost Health Plans, Pass SECURE Act

"[T]he excise tax on high-cost health plans, which was scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2022, would never take effect.... The bill would also [1] [R]eauthorize funding for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for another 10 years ... [2] Provide relief from the nondiscrimination rules for closed defined benefit plans ... [3] Increase the age for the required beginning date for mandatory distributions from age 70-1/2 to age 72 ... [3] Require individual account plans to include lifetime income disclosures in their annual periodic benefit statements[.]"

Sibson Consulting

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Proposed Regs Implement Amended Section 162(m)

"[T]he regulations closely match guidance from Notice 2018‑68 ... [N]ew examples and certain clarifications will provide more guidance to some situations that were still not entirely clear under prior guidance.... [M]ost items are proposed to apply to tax years ending on or after Sept. 10, 2018 (i.e., the effective date of the Notice). However, certain positions that are considered departures from previous guidance or previously unaddressed areas are not effective until final regulations are published in the Federal Register."


[Guidance Overview]

Expanding the Application of 162(m) Deduction Cap to Other 'Publicly Held Corporations'

"A significant portion of the text of the proposed regs is devoted to the new definition of a publicly held corporation, including 26 examples.... The simplest example of a corporation now subject to the 162(m) $1 million deductibility cap is a corporation that is required to file reports under Section 15(d) because it issues or has issued debt securities in a public offering registered under the Securities Act.... More complicated are the rules for a foreign private issuer with ADRs trading, affiliated groups of corporations in which one or more is required to be registered under section 12 or required to file reports under section 15(d) of the Exchange Act, and disregarded entities."

Winston & Strawn LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Simultaneous Participation in Guild's DB Plan and Loan-Out Company's DB Plan

"A client who owns a loan-out company sponsors a one person defined benefit plan and has also accrued benefits under the SAG-AFTRA pension plan. Suppose the client is age 70 and her 415 dollar limit is $30,000/month and 415 salary limit is $22,500/month. She has accrued a benefit of $5,000/month under the SAG-AFTRA pension plan. Do you simply reduce her 415 limit by $5,000/month so that her maximum benefit under her company-sponsored defined benefit plan is $17,500/month ($22,500 less $5,000)? I  don't understand exactly how the offset should be applied."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Deadline for Money Purchase Pension Contribution Change

"Existing Money Purchase Pension Plan has 7% allocation. Eligibility is age 21, 1 year of service -- dual entry dates. You will receive an allocation if you have met eligibility and are employed on the last day of the year OR have worked 501 hours. The plan sponsor is considering lowering the contribution percentage. What's the deadline for doing that? Can the plan be amended prior to the beginning of 2020 to reduce the contribution percent to 3%, effective 1/1/2020? Could it be lowered during 2020 if the plan sponsor chooses to do so?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Can a Statutory Employee Set Up a Retirement Plan?

"I have a doctor who is considered a statutory employee who wants to set up a plan for himself. All of his income will be funneled into a Schedule C (there's no 1099 or W-2). Could he set up a plan based on that income?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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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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