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Webcasts, Conferences

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
March 18, 2020 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Pensions on Peachtree
May 4, 2020 in GA
FIS Relius Education

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[Guidance Overview]

Puerto Rico Treasury Department Issues Post-Earthquake Rules for Qualified Retirement Plan and IRA Distributions and Loans

"Circular Letter Number 20-09 [provides] special rules and procedures applicable to distributions from qualified retirement plans and [IRAs] following the recent earthquakes.... The penalty for early withdrawal imposed by the PR Code will not apply to Eligible Distributions from IRAs.... CC RI-20-09 also establishes the supporting documentation that must be submitted by the participant with the request for an Eligible Distribution."



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[Guidance Overview]

An Analysis of the SECURE Act

"The majority of the SECURE Act provisions take effect in 2020, although some took effect on the date the SECURE Act was signed, and several have retroactive effect. Provisions regarding open multiple employer plans (MEPs) and pooled employer plans (PEPs), as well as provisions regarding the inclusion of part-time workers in 401(k) plans, do not take effect until 2021. Because operational compliance is required when the change takes effect, quick action may be needed for those changes already in effect or taking effect in 2020." [A chart summarizes each provision, including effective dates.]

Newport Group

Text of Supreme Court Opinion Remanding Puerto Rico Church Pension Case (PDF)

"The Court of First Instance issued its payment and seizure orders after the proceeding was removed to federal district court, but before the federal court remanded the proceeding back to the Puerto Rico court. At that time, the Court of First Instance had no jurisdiction over the proceeding. The orders are therefore void.... [T]he preferable course at this point is to remand the case to the Puerto Rico courts to consider how to proceed in light of the jurisdictional defect we have identified." [Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Juan v. Acevedo Feliciano, No. 18-921 (S. Ct. Feb. 24, 2020)]

Supreme Court of the United States

District Court Rules in Favor of Fidelity in Revenue Sharing Fee Litigation

"[The court] granted Fidelity's motion to dismiss in litigation brought by 401(k) plan participants alleging that Fidelity breached its fiduciary duty to their respective plans and engaged in prohibited transactions under ERISA by charging mutual funds 'infrastructure fees' for access to Fidelity's FundsNetwork investment platform, which then passed those costs to the plans[.]" [In re Fidelity ERISA Fee Litigation, No. 19-10335 (D. Mass. Feb. 14, 2020)]

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Massachusetts Acknowledges ERISA in Finalized Fiduciary Standard

"The new regulations will go into effect March 6 and will be enforced beginning Sept. 1, 2020.... The new regulations do make clear that they do not apply to those acting in the capacity of a fiduciary to an employee benefit plan, its participants or its beneficiaries as defined in ERISA. The final regulations also remove references to investment advisers and investment adviser representatives who are already subject to a fiduciary duty."

National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]


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

Who Will Be First with a Pooled Employer Plan?

"As firms jostle for position in anticipation of the new market for pooled employer plans, one is racing ahead to try to gain an important distinction -- that of being the nation's first provider of the plans.... Large record keepers are also seen as well-positioned to offer a pooled employer plan, particularly those that already have multiple employer plan offerings. But so far, many of the largest aren't disclosing their plans."

Pensions & Investments

Fees for Large and Small 401(k) Plans Continue to Fall

"The average total plan cost for a small retirement plan (defined as 100 participants and $ 5million assets) declined from 1.24% to 1.23% over the past year ... [T]he average total plan cost for a large retirement plan (1,000 participants and $50 million in assets) declined from 0.93% to 0.91%."

401(k) Specialist

Editor's Pick Cost of De-Risking Has Gone Up

"[If] a 50 year-old individual with a $1,000 benefit had been paid out in 2019, the cost would have been $6,671; in 2020 the cost would be $8,948. Most of the savings from de-risking this participant come from reduced PBGC premiums -- an (assumed) present value of $2,002 in PBGC flat-rate premiums and $2,676 in PBGC variable-rate premiums "

October Three Consulting

Retirement Readiness: Employer Responsibilities

"Both employees and employers have responsibilities they must fulfill in order for employees to reach retirement readiness nirvana.... There generally are three main categories of employer responsibility: [1] Encouraging employees to participate, [2] helping them manage their accounts and [3] protecting participants from themselves."

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants

Broad-Based Stock Plans Remain Prevalent in Fortune Best 100 Companies to Work For

"Forty of the 78 employers among the 2020 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For that can offer stock plans have some kind of broad-based plan.... The percentage of eligible companies offering these plans on the list has been around 50% since its inception."

National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

Is Rising Household Debt Affecting Retirement Decisions?

"While mortgages remain the predominant type of debt among households in their 50s and 60s, in recent years, student loan debt has also risen among these households. Using household survey data to examine how late life debt affects retirement decisions, we find that more indebted older adults are more likely to work, less likely to be retired, and on average expect to work longer than those with less debt."

Wharton Pension Research Council, via SSRN

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Proposed Regs: Meals and Entertainment Expenses under Section 274

45 pages. "[T]he proposed regulations address the elimination of the deduction under section 274 for expenditures related to entertainment, amusement, or recreation activities, and provide guidance to determine whether an activity is of a type generally considered to be entertainment. The proposed regulations also address the limitation on the deduction of food and beverage expenses under section 274(k) and (n), including the applicability of the exceptions under section 274(e)(2), (3), (4), (7), (8), and (9).... This document also provides notice of a public hearing on these proposed regulations."

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

SECURE Act Update: Penalties for Late Filings

"The IRS penalty for a late Form 5500 filing is $250 per day, with a maximum of $150,000 per plan (per plan year missed). Previously the penalty was $25 per day, up to a maximum of $15,000. The IRS penalty for a late Form 8955-SSA filing is $10 per participant per day with a maximum of $50,000. Previously the penalty was $1 per participant per day with a maximum of $5,000. The DOL can assess a penalty of $2,330 per day with no maximum for a late Form 5500 filing. [That] dollar amount is adjusted for inflation but was not changed by the Act."

The Retirement Advantage

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

1099-R Needed for Death Benefit 'Paid' to Spouse Who Also Participates in Plan

"Husband and wife work for the same company. Husband holds private stock in the 401(k) plan. Husband passes away. Because the stock is held in the plan f/b/o husband, will a 1099-R code "G" be needed? None of the assets actually leave the plan -- they will be transferred to the spouse's participant account."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Sponsor a SIMPLE IRA Even If No NHCEs Covered?

"I was watching the ERISApedia webinar on the SECURE Act questions -- and Ilene mentioned that in order to sponsor a SIMPLE IRA, an employer must cover/have an NHCE. Does anyone have a cite for that? I've never heard that particular rule, but I don't work with SIMPLE IRAs. I thought a sole proprietor with no employees could sponsor a SIMPLE IRA, but maybe I'm mistaken."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Business Pays Medicare and Supplement Premiums for Sub S Owner

"Plan uses 415 safe harbor comp. The owner of a Sub S Corp is now on Medicare. The business pays the Medicare and Supplement premiums on behalf of the Sub S Owner. Would these premiums be added to the Sub S Owner's compensation for plan purposes?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Upcoming Events About Retirement Plans or Executive Compensation

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
Groom's IRS Comment Letter Group: SECURE Act Issues Impacting Qualified Plans and IRAs
Groom Law Group
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
Feb. 27
IRA and 401(k) Retirement Changes: Understanding the SECURE Act and How It Will Affect Your Business
Feb. 27
The Dirty Dozen: The Most Common Plan Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Feb. 27
Regional Benefits Forum
Southeast Benefits Education Network [SBEN]
Fee is required
Feb. 27
Retirement Plans Legislative and Regulatory Update
Feb. 27
Multiple Employer Plans Under the SECURE Act
Wagner Law Group P.C.
Mar. 2
IRA Institute
Fee is required
Mar. 2
IRA Seminar
Fee is required

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

401(k) Plan Changes in SECURE Act May Necessitate System Changes (PDF)
Jackson Walker, via Bloomberg Tax Management Memorandum, 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

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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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