Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 21, 2020

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Job Openings

View job as Pension Analyst Pension Analyst  View details

My Benefits, LLC
Daphne AL

View job as ERISA Document Specialist ERISA Document Specialist  View details

My Benefits, LLC
Daphne AL

View job as DC Plan Administrator DC Plan Administrator  View details

San Diego Pension Consultants
San Diego CA

View job as Auditor (Pathways Recent Graduate) Auditor (Pathways Recent Graduate)  View details

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]
Washington DC / Telecommute

View job as Assistant Team Leader Assistant Team Leader  View details

Nova 401(k) Associates
Houston TX / Austin TX / Dallas TX / Scottsdale AZ / Telecommute

View job as Economist Economist  View details

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]
Washington DC / Telecommute

View job as Pension Administrator Pension Administrator  View details

American Pension, LLC
Berkeley Heights NJ / PA

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Webcasts, Conferences

Cash Balance Plans, Compliance and Design
January 29, 2020 WEBCAST
American Society of Enrolled Actuaries [ASEA]

Defined Benefit Provisions in the SECURE Act
February 13, 2020 WEBCAST
American Society of Enrolled Actuaries [ASEA]

Is Your Plan Data Secure? Best Practices for 2020
February 20, 2020 WEBCAST
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - New York Chapter

Critical Challenges Facing Pension Withdrawal Liability
March 26, 2020 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

That 401(k) National Conference
May 8, 2020 in MO
Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C.

►See 112 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1450 Recorded Webcasts


Discussions

New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum


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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2020-07: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates for January 2020 (PDF)

"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates used under Section 417(e)(3), and the 24-month average segment rates under Section 430(h)(2) ... In addition, this notice provides guidance as to the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities under Section 417(e)(3)(A)(ii)(II) as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008 and the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate under Section 431(c)(6)(E)(ii)(I)."

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Sponsored]

FTW Webinar: Navigating the SECURE Act with Sal Tripodi, 2 CEs

Sponsored by Wolters Kluwer

Join ftwilliam.com on February 19th for Navigating the SECURE Act: Tips, Traps and Timing webinar! Sal Tripodi of TRI Pension Services will review the SECURE Act and its impact on retirement plans. Eligible for 2 ASPPA/NIPA/ERPA credits REGISTER NOW Learn more


[Guidance Overview]

Sweeping Changes to Rules for Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans

"This [article] outlines key elements of the Acts that may apply to employer-sponsored retirement plans in 2019 and in 2020, as well as action steps employers should consider taking."

Barnes & Thornburg LLP

DOL to Revisit Proxy Voting Rules

"[T]he Office of Management and Budget has headlined the current DOL ERISA proxy voting project as 'deregulatory.' DOL has from the beginning regarded proxy voting, and corporate governance through proxy voting, as a fundamental ERISA fiduciary issue. There is, however, a counter-theory that a simpler (and less costly) way to address questions of corporate governance is for the shareholder to simply sell its shares in a company that it views as badly managed, or (for that matter) that is addressing environmental issues in (what the shareholder views as) the 'wrong way.' "

October Three Consulting

Appropriations Act Brings De-Risking Opportunity for Frozen DB Plans

"The Appropriations Act provides that pension plans are permitted ... to allow distributions to employee participants ('in-service distributions') as early as age 59-1/2. Previously the earliest age was 62. This change presents the opportunity for frozen pension plans to offer a lump sum to current employees who have reached age 59-1/2.... Paying out these participants will directly reduce the PBGC flat rate premium and will release liabilities from the plan that otherwise would be exposed to future risk."

Cheryl Gabriel, CPC, Enrolled Actuary, via LinkedIn

California Retirement Plan for Asset Protection Purpose Fails to Qualify for Creditor Exemption

"California private retirement plans [PRPs] are the hottest asset protection vehicle selling in the Golden State and the latest flavor-of-the-day planning tool.... [T]hose assets carry a statutory protection from creditors that is all too rare in the most creditor-friendly state in the Union. But can somebody create a PRP for themselves primarily for the purpose of asset protection? A recent court opinion ... tells us in no uncertain terms that the answer to this question is 'No'." [O'Brien v. AMBS Diagnostics, LLC, B288072 (Cal. App. Aug. 8, 2019)]

Forbes

[Sponsored]

SPARK Global Public Policy Forum -- June 23-24, Washington DC

Sponsored by SPARK

The retirement services industry's leading event: comprehensive agenda designed to meet the needs of 401(k) Plan Providers, Financial Advisors and Record Keepers -- focus on global retirement public policy and expansion of pension reform occurring worldwide. Learn more


401(k) Plan Owners: Watch Out!

"During a blackout, which occurs when a company decides to make changes to the record keeper, participants are locked out of making investment changes to their plan. While blackouts don't happen frequently, they can last a few weeks or even several months in extreme cases. Fortunately, many people with a 401(k) plan may avoid this potential issue by using what is called an in-service distribution."

Ryan Schumaker via Forbes

Aon Releases U.S. Results of 2019 Global Pension Risk Survey

"U.S. plan sponsors are continuing the trend toward closing and freezing plans, with growing interest in partial liability settlements or full plan termination. In 2019, 33% of respondents reported implementing or being likely to implement partial settlements while 14% reported the same for full terminations. The percentage of U.S. corporate pensions settling liabilities through pension risk transfer strategies has grown from less than 1% in 2009 to approximately 9 percent in 2019."

Aon

[Opinion]

Working Longer Is a Lame Answer for Failing Pensions

"Without decent pensions, working longer is not the answer for most people. For the first time in modern history, the American elderly will be relatively worse off than their parents and grandparents. Many will turn to work -- any kind of work. The failing do-it-yourself American pension system will cause humanitarian and political crises unless we find a better way."

Prof. Teresa Ghilarducci via Forbes

[Opinion]

An Actuary's Response to Prof. Ghilarducci on Working Longer

"The younger you retire, the longer you need to plan for, and the more risks you are exposed to. People are living longer, and they're living healthier longer, too. It is correct that people are finding that guaranteed retirements are being eroded ... look to that longer life expectancy, and the fewer workers coming behind to support those pensions. You can write all the laws you want to mandate this or that, but the reality is that the money must come from somewhere. Working longer is something an individual can do to reduce their own risk in retirement."

STUMP

[Opinion]

Replacing 401(k) Plans: Further Thoughts

"The critical element -- the fundamental basis of the proposal -- is shifting defined-contribution plan ownership from companies to a federal government body. Everything else is negotiable, but that feature is not.... Current 401(k) plan sponsors neither manage money, nor keep investment records, nor give advice. But they are crucial for employees, because they bring those activities together. Companies today are the face of defined-contribution plans. With my proposal, they will remain that way."

John Rekenthaler, in Morningstar

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Cash Balance with Life Insurance

"I understand that if a cash balance plan (or any defined benefit plan) permits the purchase of life insurance policies that this benefit has to be offered to all participants to satisfy the nondiscrimination requirements. Does this mean a policy has to be issued on behalf of each eligible participant or only that the participant has to be provided the option to have a life insurance policy purchased on their behalf? I thought, unlike a defined contribution plan, a participant cannot make an election to include a life insurance policy in a defined benefit plan."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Participants Not Returning Forms When 'Electing' Not to Defer

"After years of being a client and after being told about the dangers of this situation several times, the HR manager of a plan with ~500 employees with decent turnover and short eligibility (they need it to stay competitive) admitted that she has a hard time getting back the deferral election forms from people who choose not to defer (the only other contribution is a non-SH match) and is asking how to best protect herself. While I love the simplicity of it, I presume holding back paychecks until the form is returned is out of the question ('But I can't pay you until I know what you want deferred!')."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Bonus to Pay Option Exercise Cost of Stock Option -- Triggers 409A?

"Can a company give a bonus to an employee to cover the exercise cost of a stock option or will that make it a discounted option subject to 409A provisions?"

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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