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January 13, 2020 logo logo
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[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC 2020 Premium Payment Instructions (PDF)

70 pages. "This document provides information for plans paying premiums for plan years beginning in 2020, including instructions for each data element that must be reported."

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]


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

[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick SECURE Act Testing Relief for Closed/Frozen Defined Benefit Plans

"The SECURE Act provides expanded relief from nondiscrimination, minimum coverage, and minimum participation testing, but only in specific circumstances and subject to detailed requirements. Generally, these provisions give new tools for closed and frozen DB plan sponsors to pass these tests, thus allowing the plan to continue coverage and benefits for the closed or frozen plan participants."

Groom Law Group

[Guidance Overview]

How the SECURE Act Could Change the Landscape for Retirement Plans and IRAs

"Given the recent spate of class actions alleging claims of imprudent investing and excessive fees, the Open MEP framework could appeal to employers of all sizes looking to shield themselves from ERISA fiduciary liability. Eventually, the Open MEP framework could mirror the private sector health insurance system where the pooled plan provider is analogous to a health insurance carrier, maintaining benefits and providing administrative services to employees of hundreds (if not thousands) of different employers of various sizes."

Ropes and Gray, via Lexology; free registration required

2020 Outlook for Plan Advisors

"Advanced analytics will continue to gain prominence among both plan sponsors and service providers.... Plan consultants should also be prepared to field more questions from sponsors about fiduciary responsibilities.... The possibility of negative interest rates and the growing need for retirement income solutions in defined contribution (DC) plans are 2020's most important developments to monitor."

Retirement Industry Looks for Encore to SECURE Act

"Even with the passage of the first retirement security package in more than a decade shortly before the holiday recess, there is more retirement-related legislation that could get a look in 2020."

Pensions & Investments

CRS Report: Federal Employees' Retirement System -- Summary of Recent Trends (PDF)

21 pages. "This report describes recent trends in the characteristics of annuitants and current employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) as well as the financial status of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF)." [Report 98-972, updated Jan. 10, 2020]

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

What Will DC Plans Look Like in 2025?

"[By] 2025, more employers will adopt some of the characteristics of the most successful pension plans to help put them on a path to create a fully funded retirement income stream for participants.... Updating investment governance ... Funding future DC 'liabilities' ... Designing menus and constructing portfolios to improve participant outcomes."

Russell Investments

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Railroad Retirement Board Case

"Issue: Whether, under Section 5(f) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act and Section 8 of the Railroad Retirement Act, the Railroad Retirement Board's denial of a request to reopen a prior benefits determination is a 'final decision' subject to judicial review." [Salinas v. U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, No. 19-199 (5th Cir. Apr. 17, 2019; cert. pet. granted Jan. 13, 2020)]



SPARK Comment Letter to IRS on Proposed RMD Life Expectancy Tables (PDF)

"It would be preferable if the changes made by this proposal and the SECURE Act could be coordinated.... For example, you might consider allowing governmental and collectively bargained plans to delay implementation of these tables until the date that the SECURE Act changes for after-death distributions are effective with respect to these plans."

The SPARK Institute


ARA Comment Letter to IRS on Proposed Updated Life Expectancy Tables for RMDs (PDF)

"ARA recommends that final regulations be published at least six [6] months prior to the beginning of the calendar year for which they are effective. If this was followed, final regulations would need to published by July 1, 2020."

American Retirement Association [ARA]


Frozen Pensions Call for Intentional Action

"[C]ompanies continue to make annual contributions to the plan and pay the ongoing expenses, even though neither the employer nor the employees are gaining value from the plan.... In most cases, the numbers would convince leadership that finding resources to terminate the plan is a fiscally sound effort, even if it meant securing outside financing."

Cheryl Gabriel, CPC, Enrolled Actuary, via LinkedIn

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Official Guidance]

DOL Releases Search Tool for Top Hat Plan Statements

EBSA has made available a new online tool which allows users to search and view Top Hat Plan Statements filed with the DOL (under 29 CFR 2520.104-23) for certain pension plans maintained by an employer for a select group, management or highly compensated employees. Results can be printed or downloaded to Excel.

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Former Employee Wants Distribution Now -- But 12/31/2019 Valuation Not Finished

"I have a former employee who is 100% vested in the plan but has not worked for me for several years. He elected to keep his money in the plan. Now he is electing to take his distribution. The plan year is 1/1 to 12/31. The valuation date is the last day of each plan year. We don't yet have the valuation for 12/31/2019 (just for 12/31/2018). The employee is asking for a partial distribution based on the 12/31/18 valuation and then a total distribution for the 2019 gains once that number is calculated (around October 2020). What are the rules pertaining to this type of distribution?

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Why Don't ESOP Stock Sales Require Pass-Through Votes? Definition of 'Best Interest of Plan Participants'?

"It seems very strange to me that a sale of all assets requires a pass-through vote, but a sale of all stock that accomplishes effectively the same thing does not. Is there a good reason for this?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

PBGC Wants Personal Tax Returns for Owners of Company That Filed Form 10

"A client of ours filed a Form 10 with the PBGC because of a failure to meet a MRC. Basically, the client opened 2 new locations and is having a cash flow issue, but intends to make up the minimum within the next year. The client has provided all required items on the Form 10 including financial information for the company. The PBGC representative is asking for personal tax returns for the owners of the company. Have you ran across this? What was your response?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Paris International is Certified for Fiduciary Excellence
Centre for Fiduciary Excellence [CEFEX]

OneDigital Acquires Kistler Tiffany Benefits
OneDigital Health and Benefits

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

SECURE Act: What It Is and How It Could Impact You
Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., 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

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