Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 31, 2020

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[Guidance Overview]

SECURE Act Leaves Questions About Distributions for Birth, Adoption

"[Qualified birth or adoption distributions (QBOADs)] are limited to $5,000 per individual for each birth or adoption.... Are employers responsible for determining if an employee has hit the QBOAD limit?.... What if the birth or adoption involves more than one child? ... Do any restrictions apply to the types of expenses employees can pay with a QBOAD? ... Must plans accept repayment? ... What if the employee terminates employment after taking the QBOAD?  ... What if the employee transfers to a position that's ineligible for the plan that distributed the QBOAD? ... Can the repayment include interest?"

Mercer

Editor's Pick 2020 Action Items for Retirement Plan Sponsors

"This Article focuses on three items employers should review in the year ahead: [1] retirement plan policies, procedures, and communications material for [SECURE Act] compliance; [2] whether to include mandatory arbitration of dispute provisions in their retirement plans; and [3] policies and procedures related to cyber and data security."

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

March 31 Deadline for 403(b) Plan Updates

"If you sponsor a 403(b) plan and you have not yet updated your plan as required, you should review your plan document as soon as possible to see what, if any, changes are needed.... If you do need to update your plan [document], you may have the option of using a pre-approved plan document or an individually designed plan document."

von Briesen & Roper, s.c.

First Circuit Upholds Protection of Puerto Rico Pension Assets from Bondholders

"The three-judge panel upheld a June [district court] decision ... [which dismissed] arguments by ERS bondholders that they were entitled to some assets that existed when they bought the bonds as well as future pension contributions, which are now coming from general revenues." [In re Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, No. 19-1699 (1st Cir. Jan. 30, 2020)]

Pensions & Investments

Bondholders Lose Appeal Over Claim on Puerto Rico Pension System Assets

"The ruling is a further setback for owners of nearly $3 billion of the system's bonds after a federal appellate court determined last year they had a legally enforceable claim as of December 2015 on assets pledged by the pension fund to pay off the debt." [In re Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, No. 19-1699 (1st Cir. Jan. 30, 2020)]

Reuters

Termination of Single Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans in Bankruptcy

"[Topics include] [1] ERISA and the PBGC ... [2] [L]imited ability to terminate single employer defined benefit plans ... [3] Standard for terminating a single employer defined benefit plan in bankruptcy ... [4] Bankruptcy settlements with the PBGC ... [5] Companies that have recently terminated single employer defined benefit plans in bankruptcy."

von Briesen & Roper, s.c.

Retirement Plan Participation and the Current Population Survey: The Impact of New Income Questions

"This Issue Brief examines the trend in retirement plan participation using the traditional pension questions from the CPS while looking at the impact of the new variables on the retirement account income questions. When adjustments are made to the estimates using the new questions, the CPS numbers much more closely match other sources on retirement plan participation[.]"

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Simultaneous 402(g) Failure and ADP Failure

"When an HCE defers more than the 402(g) limit, we use the full deferral amount in the ADP test. If the plan fails the ADP test, does that mean the plan must return the excess deferral and the excess contribution (which ends up including the amount over the 402(g) limit)? Essentially returning the excess deferral twice?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

SECURE Act Means New Plan for 2019 Can Be Adopted During 2020?

"I know the SECURE Act allows an employer to adopt a plan up until the filing of its tax return, as opposed to December 31 of the Plan Year. Is that in effect for an employer that wants to start a plan for 2019, or does it begin with plan years starting 01/01/2020?"

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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