Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 8, 2020

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Job Openings

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American Pension Advisors, Ltd.
Indianapolis IN

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Arden Hills MN / Albert Lea MN / Fargo ND

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Wayne PA

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Growing Regional Bank
Houston TX

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Webcasts, Conferences

Understanding the SECURE Act, and More
January 23, 2020 WEBCAST
ERISApedia.com

ERISA Fiduciary Institute
April 2, 2020 in DC
American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

►See 113 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1441 Recorded Webcasts


Discussions

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[Official Guidance]

Text of Treasury Department Approval of Sheet Metal Workers Local Pension Fund Application for Reduction of Benefits (PDF)

"Treasury, in consultation with DOL and PBGC, has issued a final authorization to reduce benefits under the Fund as described in the Application, effective May 1, 2020, subject to the conditions described [in this letter]."

U.S. Department of the Treasury

[Guidance Overview]

Details of the SECURE Act: Covering Long-Term Part-Time Employees

"[A]lthough employers are only required to use two entry dates per year for this group of workers, is that going to be confusing if other employees have quarterly or monthly entry dates? ... Must an employee who becomes eligible to defer solely because of the 3-years/500 hours requirement be auto enrolled? ... [E]mployers [may] decide that it will be easier to just allow any employee who works 500 hours in a 12-month period to make elective contributions to their plan on the next entry date."

Retirement Management Services, LLC

[Guidance Overview]

SECURE Act Means It's Time to Review Estate Plans

"Clients could designate a charitable remainder unitrust (commonly referred to as a CRUT) as the beneficiary of their IRA with their children as the income beneficiaries of the trust, which would allow the children to receive the IRA proceeds over a period longer than 10 years. Clients anticipating net operating losses will want to defer the recognition of an inherited IRA until their net operating losses are incurred."

BakerHostetler

[Guidance Overview]

SECURE Act and Guaranteed Income, Part 1

"The SECURE Act amends ERISA to create a fiduciary 'safe harbor' for the selection of the provider of the guaranteed retirement income (that is, the insurance company). To qualify for the safe harbor, plan fiduciaries must satisfy three steps: [1] Identify the insurer.... [2] Insurance financial strength.... [3] Consideration of fees and costs."

FredReish.com

Deferring Pension Funding Obligations Through Minimum Funding Waivers

"[I]nterest rates that many plan sponsors use to calculate such contributions ... may decline starting in 2020 ... [and] an economic recession and corresponding stock market decline is increasingly possible. In anticipation of potential minimum contribution increases, DB plan sponsors should consider whether they may be able to defer their minimum funding obligations at some point in the near future by obtaining a minimum funding waiver from the [IRS]."

Morgan Lewis

Musicians Pension Fund Submits MPRA Application to Treasury Department

"On December 30, 2019, the AFM-EPF submitted an application to the U.S. Treasury Department to reduce benefits under [MPRA] in order to prevent the Plan from becoming insolvent.... Now that the application has been completed and submitted, [AFM-EPF] can provide important information about how each participant would be affected by the proposed benefit reductions if the application is approved by Treasury."

American Federation of Musicians and Employers' Pension Fund [AFM-EPF]

Musicians' Pension Plan Seeks to Cut Benefits

"Under the proposal ... more than half the plan's participants would see no reduction in their benefits; about 45 percent would see their retirement benefits reduced by up to 19 percent of what they have been promised; and a little under 2 percent would have their benefits cut by 20 to 40 percent.... If approved, the cuts would go into effect next year."

The New York Times; subscription may be required

A Progressive State's Fiduciary Showdown with the SEC

"Critics of the Massachusetts fiduciary rule say it will interfere with the implementation of the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest; proponents say that’s exactly the point."

planadviser

Pension Funding Index January 2020

"The Milliman 100 discount rates fell 99 basis points to 3.20% at the end of 2019 from 4.19% at the end of 2018. The discount rate at year-end 2019 was the lowest year-end discount rate and the fifth lowest monthly discount overall that has been recorded in the 19-year history of the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index. Assets outperformed expectations during 2019, posting an annual return of 15.66% following the disappointing 2018 investment loss of 2.94%.... [T]he year-end 2019 funded ratio declined to 89.0% from 89.4% at the end of 2018."

Milliman

Benefits in General

Can Employees Afford Both Retirement and HSA Plan Contributions?

"88% of HSA accountholders maintained or increased their 401(k) contributions after enrolling in an HSA. Workers who participate in both HSAs and defined contribution plans tend to save more than workers who only use one vehicle."

Voya

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick IRS Issues Complex Proposed Regs with Respect to 162(m) (PDF)

"The proposed regulations provide extensive guidance on  ... [1] What constitutes a publicly held corporation (public company) subject to 162(m). [2] How the 'covered employees' of a public company are determined, including extensive rules with respect to what constitutes a 'predecessor corporation' whose covered employees need to be considered. [3] Extensive guidance with respect to the exception from the new rules in the case of written binding contracts in effect on November 2, 2017."

FW Cook

Top Design Considerations When Drafting a Modern Equity Incentive Plan

"[1] Types of awards ... [2] Size of share pool ... [3] Share recycling ... [4] Plan administrator's discretionary authority to accelerate vesting ... [5] Effect of CIC on outstanding awards ... [6] Clawback provision ... [7] Annual limit on non-employee director awards ... [8] Dividends and dividend equivalents ... [9] Minimum vesting requirement ... [10] Tax withholding."

Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Transaction Between ESOP Company and Party in Interest

"A 100% owned ESOP company has some outstanding debt with an unrelated bank. A outside director of the ESOP Company is willing to refinance the loan at a lower rate. What legal authority prevents this transaction from being an indirect prohibited transaction between the plan and a party in interest? I'm thinking the ESOP exception to the plan asset rule set forth in 2530.3-101(h)(3)."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Funds Available for Qualified Reservist Distribution

"I am trying to determine if interest on a 401(k) account is available for someone eligible for a Qualified Reservist Distribution. Our document language (which mirrors what I am reading in the Code) says that the distribution may be taken from 'amounts attributable to elective deferrals described in Code Section 402(g)(3)(A)…' So my question is -- does that mean the whole 401(k) deferral account can be withdrawn, including earnings? I don't see anything specifically prohibiting earnings, but I am not entirely sure if 'amounts attributable...' is only referring to contributions?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2020 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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