Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 4, 2020

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Webcasts, Conferences

Latest ERISA Court Actions Offer New Guidance to Fiduciary Practitioners
RECORDED
fi360

First Meeting of 2020 - WEB Dallas Young Professionals
February 11, 2020 in TX
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Dallas Chapter

SECURE Act is Now Law - Find Out What's in It and Its Impact on You
February 11, 2020 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

The SECURE Act: Beyond the Hype
February 12, 2020 WEBCAST
Cammack Retirement Group

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
February 20, 2020 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Regional Benefits Forum
February 27, 2020 in AL
Southeast Benefits Education Network [SBEN]

Multiemployer Pension Plan Withdrawal: An In-Depth Examination
March 18, 2020 WEBCAST
Strafford

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Discussions

New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

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[Guidance Overview]

New PBGC Pension Rules May Require Action by Retirement Plans

"Generally scheduled to take effect March 5, 2020, the key changes implemented by the Final Regulations will include: [1] Reportable Events: eliminating possible duplicative reporting of active participant reductions, clarifying when a liquidation occurs, and providing additional examples for certain events; [2] Financial and Actuarial Information Reporting (4010 filings): eliminating a requirement to submit individual financial information for each controlled group member; [3] Standard Terminations: providing more time to file a post-distribution certification; and [4] Premium Rates: clarifying the date on which participants are counted for premium calculations and emphasizing that a plan doesn't qualify for the variable rate premium exemption for the year in which it completes a standard termination if it engages in a non-de minimis spinoff in the same year."

Solutions Law Press

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[Guidance Overview]

What Retirement Plan Sponsors Should Know About Distributions Under the SECURE Act

"[E]mployers need to know about ... [1] Qualified birth or adoption distributions ... [2] Increase in the age for required minimum distributions ... [3] Timing of distributions following death ... [4] In-service distributions for defined benefit plans ... [5] Prohibition of plan loans through credit cards ... [6] Disaster relief distributions."

Epstein Becker Green

When Do 401(k) Plan Sponsors Usually Adopt an Investment Policy Statement?

"An IPS is not a required document, but it can ... act as a guide that illuminates the pathway to maintaining a 'best practices' 401k plan. It can also act as a rope that can hang a plan sponsor.... Regardless of when it's adopted, it is something needs to be thoroughly scrutinized by all relevant parties well in advance of adoption.... there's also a broad range of times and events when the IPS should be updated.... If the IPS is written well, it will need less frequent examinations."

Fiduciary News

January 2020 Pension Finance Update

"Pensions got clobbered in January, as stock markets mostly lost ground while interest rates reached new all-time lows. Both model plans ... lost ground last month, with Plan A dropping 4% while the more conservative Plan B lost 1%:"

October Three Consulting

Editor's Pick California Supreme Court May Soon Decide the Fate of the 'California Rule'

"The California Supreme Court will soon schedule oral argument in controversial cases involving legislative pension reform impacting the pension benefits of state and local government employees. By the close of 2020, the Supreme Court will issue a decision that may very well strike at the heart of the so-called 'California Rule' ... [which] is the general notion that a public employee is vested in the pension benefit promised at the start of employment such that those benefits cannot be reduced even for prospective service except under exceptionally limited circumstances. "

Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

Is Your City's Pension Fund a Little Short? Marijuana Excise Taxes Might Help

"South Beloit, Ill., faces steep bills to fund its firefighter and police pensions and repave its cracked streets. ... [The city, which is] less than a mile from the Wisconsin state border, will welcome its first cannabis dispensary later this year. Recreational cannabis became legal in Illinois on Jan. 1 but remains illegal in Wisconsin. The Illinois town hopes to collect roughly $1 million a year in taxes on marijuana purchases, mostly by Wisconsinites."

The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Safe-Harbor Plan -- Employee Transitions from Full-Time to Part-Time

"Our client maintains a safe-harbor matching 401k plan. A long-time employee (HCE) transitioned to a part-time role and is now working less than 1,000 hours per year (which, along with being age 21, is the participation eligibility requirement in the plan document). Is this employee still eligible to make 401k deferrals and receive the safe-harbor match, or is he now excluded because he no longer meets the participation eligibility requirements?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

403(b) Plan: Employees Working Less than 20 Hours/Week Get Counted for 410(b) Purposes?

"A 403(b) plan with universal availability for elective deferrals. The plan uses the excludable classification of employees who work less than 20 hours per week. Does the excludable class of employees get counted in a 410(b) coverage test for elective deferrals?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Should a 401(k) Plan Administrator Require Proof of a Birth or Adoption Before Approving a Distribution? How?

"Imagine an employment-based 401(k) plan allows -- without waiting for age 59-1/2, severance from employment, hardship, or some other distribution-permitting event -- a qualified birth or adoption distribution (up to $5,000) within what Internal Revenue Code section 72(t)(2), as added by SECURE Act section 113, permits. Is it enough that a participant states the necessary facts on such a plan's claim form, and signs it? Or do you require a claimant to submit a copy of the birth certificate? Do you require a claimant to attach a copy of the court order or other document that grants the adoption?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Can a Plan Require Payment by Direct Deposit, and Eliminate Paper Checks?

"Client with a DB plan recently asked whether they can stop offering new retirees the option of receiving pension payments in the form of paper checks. Client also was curious as to whether they can convert participants currently in pay status who receive checks to direct deposit. Has anyone has considered this issue?"

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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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