Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 19, 2020 logo logo
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Job Openings

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Group RHI
TX / Telecommute

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Acton MA / Telecommute

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Farmer & Betts, Inc.
Tacoma WA / CO / OR

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Aston PA

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Minneapolis MN

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Webcasts, Conferences

2020 Employee Benefits Webinar
Hanson Bridgett

The SECURE Act: Who Are You and What Have You Done With My Minimum Distribution Rules?
February 20, 2020 WEBCAST
American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group [ALI CLE]

Multiple Employer Plans Under the SECURE Act
February 27, 2020 WEBCAST
Wagner Law Group P.C.

Harnessing Technology to Improve the Benefits Administration Experience
March 11, 2020 in TX
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Houston Chapter

SECURE Act and Other Proposed Changes to RMDs
March 11, 2020 WEBCAST
American Society of Enrolled Actuaries [ASEA]

Form 5500 Series Update
March 24, 2020 WEBCAST
NIPA [National Institute of Pension Administrators]

►See 116 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1476 Recorded Webcasts


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Eighth Circuit Delivers Guidance on Whether Rate Setting Amounts to Fiduciary Conduct

"[T]he Eighth Circuit ... determined that a plan service provider -- in setting a fixed rate of return for a defined contribution plan -- was a fiduciary; however, less than a year earlier, the Tenth Circuit, under very similar facts ... applied the same test, but came to the opposite conclusion.... Plaintiff lawyers will surely try to extend Rozo and application of the Teets test to circumstances beyond service providers setting fixed rate of investment returns to participants, but their success in doing so might be limited. " [Rozo v. Principal Life Ins. Co., No. 18-3310 (8th Cir. Feb. 3, 2020); Teets v. Great-West Life & Annuity Ins. Co., No. 18-1019 (10th Cir. Mar. 27, 2019; cert. denied Nov. 25, 2019)]

The Wagner Law Group

[Sponsored] -- Research made Easy -- Outstanding Content

Sponsored by Burrmont Compliance Labs LLC

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Fidelity Wins Dismissal of Revenue Sharing Challenge

"The firm has successfully argued that it is entitled to negotiate and collect revenue-sharing fees from mutual fund companies in exchange for representation on its FundsNetwork platform." [In re Fidelity ERISA Fee Litigation, No. 19-10335 (D. Mass. Feb. 14, 2020)]


Court Challenges to DB Plan Actuarial Assumptions - One Year Later

"Eleven cases have been filed against defined benefit pension plan sponsors and certain fiduciaries alleging that the plan's [actuarial] assumptions ... for converting a single-life annuity (the default form of benefit under ERISA) to an optional form of benefit, such as a joint-and-survivor annuity or a certain-and-life annuity, are unreasonable, result in lower benefits than what plaintiffs are entitled to, and therefore violate ERISA. In some cases, the plaintiffs have similarly claimed that the plan's early retirement reduction factors are unreasonable."

Groom Law Group

ERISA Litigation Isn't Slowing Down: Tips to Help Plan Fiduciaries Keep Ahead of the Curve

"Over the past three months alone, more than half a dozen new class action lawsuits have been filed, targeting the sponsors of both large and small plans.... While the claims raised by plaintiffs in these new cases are relatively 'par for the course' when it comes to the recent spate of fiduciary litigation, they serve as a (fairly constant) reminder to plan fiduciaries of their ongoing responsibility for the selection and monitoring of plan service providers and investment options.... [T]here are actions plan fiduciaries can take to ensure their decisions won't lead to costly lawsuits."

Foley & Lardner LLP

Achieving Retirement Equality for Women

52 pages. "[This] report looks at steps women can take to improve their retirement preparedness. This report also sets forward recommendations for employers and governments globally to take an active approach in reducing the retirement preparedness gender gap, paving the way to a more equal future retirement landscape."



SECURE Act: What It Means for 401(k) and IRAs

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Feb. 25 webinar. Many changes to retirement plans in the SECURE Act are already effective. Plan sponsors and administrators should be reviewing their plan provisions and procedures now.BenefitsLink discountLearn more

Preparing for Waves of Retiring Employees

"As aging Baby Boomers retire in large numbers, employers are seeing decades -- if not centuries -- of cumulative knowledge and skills walk out the door. If they have not prepared for those departures, organizations could end up with critical gaps in their talent and knowledge bases.... [E]mployers need to monitor the state of the workforce and predict when workers may retire, both those who may retire soon and those whose retirements are farther in the future."

Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article

Annuity Purchase Update: February 2020 Interest Rates

"The strong equity market returns of 2019 were set back by a poor performance in January. The average duration 7 annuity purchase interest rates and average duration 15 rates have both decreased by roughly 35 basis points since last month. This decrease in rates led to a corresponding increase in annuity purchase prices of approximately 2% for Annuity Plan 1 and 6% for Annuity Plan 2."

October Three Consulting

Managing the SECURE Act's Elimination of the Stretch IRA

"[A]dvisors can use several strategies to help clients minimize the tax impact of distributions from [inherited retirement] accounts. Some can be implemented for the beneficiary after they inherit the account, while others can be used by the account owner themselves during their lifetime before the account transfers to the beneficiary.,,, [In] some cases, the best strategy may be simply to accept the 10-year rule as is, leave the account alone for as long as possible, and liquidate the inherited retirement account as required at the end of the 10-year window!"

Nerd's Eye View

Retirement Plan Adviser M&A Market Poised to Explode

"The volume of deals will accelerate in 2020, kicking off the evolution of what has been mostly a cottage industry. Driving that are changes in demographics and the need for scale and integrated technology.... Retirement plan specialists and dabblers alike will be forced to take a hard look at their defined-contribution practices. Not acting is no longer an option; those who wait too long will either miss out on high valuations or lose clients. The middle ground is eroding fast."

InvestmentNews; subscription may be required


Why Companies Don't Care About MEPs (or PEPs or even 401(k) Plans)

"Business owners and executives don't care about MEPs or PEPs or 401k plans of any kind -- not really. They care about what work they have to do, what responsibilities they have to accept, and how much they have to pay.... MEPs are genuinely a superior structure for creating a best-in-class retirement program with minimal effort on the part of participating employers, so the factors are not complicated: is the package of services right for my people, and is it right for my organization?"

Pete Swisher, in Fiduciary News

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Instructions for IRS Form 2848: Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (PDF)

Rev. Feb. 2020. "Use Form 2848 to authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS.... Except as specified below or in other IRS guidance, this power of attorney authorizes the listed representative(s) to inspect and/or receive confidential tax information and to perform all acts (that is, sign agreements, consents, waivers, or other documents) that you can perform with respect to matters described in the power of attorney." [Also available: Form 2828 (Rev. Feb. 2020)]

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Despite Improvement in Their Financial Wellbeing, U.S. Workers Remain Worried

"38% of employees live paycheck to paycheck. 39% of employees could not come up with $3,000 if an unexpected need arose within the next month.... 70% of employees are saving less for retirement than they think they should.... Seven in 10 employees (69%) who were given the most access to several tools and resources (four or more) said their finances are heading in the right direction versus just 51% who had no access to tools. Similarly, two-thirds (66%) of workers with the most access to financial management resources said these resources met their needs, compared to 39% with less access to resources."

Willis Towers Watson

Accounting and Financial Reporting Updated for Governments

"On February 5, 2020, [GASB] issued Statement No. 92, Omnibus 2020 ...  Statement No. 84, 'Fiduciary Activities,' requires a government to recognize a liability to the beneficiaries of a fiduciary activity when an event has occurred that compels the government to disburse fiduciary resources. The amendments clarify that this requirement also applies to assets that are accumulated for purposes of providing pensions or OPEB through defined benefit pension plans or defined benefit OPEB plans that aren't administered through trusts that meet the scope criteria of [GASB] Statement No. 73 ... and Statement No. 74 ... This amendment is effective for reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2020."

Moss Adams LLP

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Getting Into the Weeds: IRS Proposed Regs Under Section 162(m)

"[A]reas where companies will be impacted the most include the definition of a covered employee, specifically that once an employee becomes a covered employee, they maintain that status for life and the company must keep track of such status. Additionally, the IRS has provided guidance on the complicated issue of compensation paid by a partnership to a covered employee who provides services to the partnership."

Alvarez & Marsal

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Permissible Allocation Requirement for Match?

"We have a client who wants to condition the annual matching contribution for a terminated employee on the employee having worked 520 hours (obviously OK) AND having given and worked 2-weeks notice before he leaves. I have never seen a plan condition an allocation for a terminated employee on the employee giving/completing notice. I can't really find a reason why this would not be allowed though. Any thoughts on this?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

► Subscribe to the BenefitsLink Message Boards Digest -- a free daily email of all new discussions (not just the selected few shown above). View a sample issue.

Press Releases

A Veteran TRA Regional Sales Consultant Returns
The Retirement Advantage [TRA]

Upcoming Events About Retirement Plans or Executive Compensation

Feb. 20
The SECURE Act: Who Are You and What Have You Done With My Minimum Distribution Rules?
American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group [ALI CLE]
Fee is required
Feb. 20
Basics of Qualified Retirement Plans: Session 3
Fee is required
Feb. 20
Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor
Feb. 20
Answering the SECURE Act Insecurities
Feb. 20
Step 4 of the Fiduciary Process: Monitoring the Client Engagement
Feb. 20
Is Your Plan Data Secure? Best Practices for 2020
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - New York Chapter
Fee is required
Feb. 24
IRA Institute
Fee is required
Feb. 25
Accredited Investment Fiduciary Designation Training
Fee is required
Feb. 25
Accredited Investment Fiduciary Designation Training
Fee is required
Feb. 25
Accredited Investment Fiduciary Designation Training
Fee is required
Feb. 25
A Deep Dive on RMDs
Western Pension & Benefits Council
Fee is required
Feb. 26
Breaking Down the SECURE Act's Impact on DC Retirement Plans
Multnomah Group
Feb. 26
Avoiding Nonqualified Plan Traps: Key Considerations for ERISA Counsel and Employers
Fee is required

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue, Inc.
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(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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