Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 20, 2020 logo logo
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[Official Guidance]

Text of 2019 Instructions for IRS Form 8955-SSA: Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits (PDF)

"The penalty for failure to file Form 8955-SSA has been increased to $10 per participant multiplied by the number of days the failure occurred (maximum of $50,000). The penalty for failure to file notification of change of status has been increased to $10 for each day during which such failure occurs (maximum of $10,000)." [Also available: 2019 IRS Form 8955-SSA (fillable PDF; may not open correctly in some web browsers)]

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

PBGC Updates 2017 Pension Insurance Data Tables (PDF)

The second installment of the 2017 Data Tables for PBGC's Single-Employer and Multiemployer Programs and the private defined benefit pension system is now available. This installment includes statistics, claims activity, financial position, premium revenue, guarantee payments, and administrative expenses. Also included is an update to the Multiemployer Administrative Expense Supplement for 2017.

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Guidance Overview]

The SECURE Act's 500 Hour, Long Service Rule Does Not Apply to 403(b) Plans

"At first glance, one may be under the mistaken impression that this is a rule which applies to all elective deferral plans, whether they be 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans or 457(b) governmental plans. But this impression is likely wrong: the statute, by its terms, clearly only applies to elective deferrals under 401(k) plans, not 403(b) plans."

Business of Benefits

[Guidance Overview]

New 401(k) and IRA Law Might Affect How You Plan Your Estate

"One possible idea would be to allocate your retirement accounts within your trust so the trustee can sprinkle the distributions among beneficiaries in lower income tax brackets.... [If] you've considered a Roth conversion in the past, you should rerun the numbers now that SECURE has been passed to determine if this changes the tax outcome.... [Y]ou might consider a charitable remainder trust as a retirement account beneficiary."

Ice Miller LLP

SECURE Act Opens Door For Annuities

"While companies already can offer annuities in their 401(k) lineups, just 9% do ... The SECURE Act aims to boost that figure, and improve retirement readiness, by eliminating companies' fear of legal liability if the annuity provider fails or otherwise fails to deliver."

Court Finds Employee Entitled to CalPERS Disability Retirement After Employer Denied Request to Work in a Different Location

"Lake County denied McCormick’s request for accommodation, which included a request to work in a different location or environment. Therefore, the Court found that CalPERS may not deny disability retirement under Section 21156 when, due to a medical condition, applicants can no longer perform their duties at the only location where their employer will allow them to work." [McCormick v. CalPERS, A154236 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 25, 2019)]

Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

Target Date Funds and Portfolio Choice in 401(k) Plans

"Target date funds in corporate retirement plans grew from $5B in 2000 to $734B in 2018, partly because federal regulation sanctioned these as default investments in automatic enrollment plans.... Including these funds in retirement saving menus raised equity shares, boosted bond exposures, curtailed cash/company stock holdings, and reduced idiosyncratic risk. The adoption of low-cost target date funds may enhance retirement wealth by as much as 50 percent over a 30-year horizon."

National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]; purchase required for full document


Has the 401(k) Passed Its 'Expiration Date'?

"[T]here's already a version of 'removing the employer from the system' in place, of course -- it's the state-run programs for private sector workers in Oregon, and more recently in California.... [T]hose contribution (5.5%) and participation (approximately 70%) rates pale in comparison to private sector plan experience, where participation rates in automatic enrollment plans typically exceed 90% and where [a recent survey found a] combined employer/employee contribution rate of 12.2%."

Data 'Points'

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

SEC Proposal to Update Accredited Investor Definition Has 162(m) Implications

"In December 2019, the SEC voted to propose amendments to the definition of accredited investor ... Section 12(g) of the 1934 Act provides exemptions from the requirement to register a class of equity securities for companies ... if the class of equity securities is held of record by fewer than 2,000 persons and fewer than 500 of those persons were not accredited investors ... If these companies are not required to register a class of securities, they may not become subject to 162(m)."

Winston & Strawn LLP

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Key Changes to IRAs in 2020 Under SECURE Act
Groom Law Group, Chtd., via Bloomberg Law, 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

Article submission: Online form, or email to

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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