Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 2, 2020 logo logo
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Job Openings

Webcasts, Conferences

ERISA Plan Asset "Hard-Wired" Conduit Feeders

Modernizing the DC / 401(k) Plan System
March 4, 2020 in DC
ERIC [ERISA Industry Committee]

Discussion of Sulyma v. Intel Decision
March 6, 2020 WEBCAST
ERIC [ERISA Industry Committee]

►See 130 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1467 Recorded Webcasts


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[Guidance Overview]

SECURE Act Adds New Compliance Requirements for Employers

"This [chart] focuses on SECURE Act provisions that are aimed at expanding employer-sponsored group benefits and associated administrative and revenue enhancement provisions."

Fisher Phillips


ASC Webcast Series: Fundamentals of Qualified Retirement Plans

Sponsored by ASC

New to the retirement plan industry or looking for a review? Don't miss ASC's Fundamentals of Qualified Retirement Plan webcasts! Session 4 includes Participant Loans, QDROs, Death Benefits, Plan Termination and more. Register Now! Learn more

Editor's Pick IRS Confirms Review of Changes to VCP Enforcement, Audit Process

"Tammy Ripperda, Commissioner, Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division, IRS, ... emphatically stated that no changes have been made to the VCP program.... [As] part of their ongoing internal training efforts, however, the IRS found that procedures outlined in the Internal Revenue Manual and in the EPCRS Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc. 2019-19) have not been adhered to by the IRS. Thus, although the technical aspects of the program have not changed, the enforcement of the existing rules is under scrutiny. Said another way, the shift being considered -- and it apparently is under consideration -- in the long-standing process with the VCP is apparently seen by the IRS not as a change in official practice, but rather an adherence to the black letter of the stated procedures."

National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

Ignorance Is Bliss (If You Are an ERISA Plaintiff)

"[T]here will be a groundswell of decisions involving fiduciary assertions of willful blindness [and that] the courts will struggle to reconcile the tension inherent in the decision's primary holding regarding 'actual knowledge' with its secondary holding that fiduciaries may still be able to prove 'actual knowledge' through 'inference from circumstantial evidence.' ... [F]iduciaries will experiment with various ways to obtain more specific validations that their disclosures were accessed by participants." [Intel Corp. Investment Policy Comm. v. Sulyma, No. 18-1116 (S. Ct. Feb. 26, 2020)]

Hanson Bridgett LLP

Supreme Court Decision on ERISA Statute of Limitations May Help Defendants Defeat Class Certification

"[D]efendants will no doubt argue that they must be entitled to depose every putative class member regarding which disclosures or other relevant information he or she read, and to present at trial electronic records of every time a class member viewed the disclosures or other relevant information on a website or called to inquire about his or her account. Unless the proposed class is limited to the shortest possible three-year period, this would seem to be a potentially strong defense to class certification." [Intel Corp. Investment Policy Comm. v. Sulyma, No. 18-1116 (S. Ct. Feb. 26, 2020)]

Robinson & Cole LLP

Oracle to Pay $12 Million to Settle ERISA Suit

"The suit, filed in 2016, alleged that ... Oracle caused participants of its 401(k) savings and investment plan 'to pay unreasonable record-keeping and administrative fees' to its record keeper, Fidelity Management Trust Co."

Pensions & Investments

Arizona Tees Up Best-Interest Annuity Sales Rules

"The bill would change Arizona's suitability requirements to be consistent with the annuity sales model approved by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Feb. 13. This includes a best interest standard based on the following four obligations: care, disclosure, conflict of interest and documentation."

A Detailed Look at Retirement Distributions Reported on Tax Returns

"Among taxpayers of all ages in 2010, 28 percent received gross distributions -- either directly or through a spouse -- and 26 percent received non-rollover distributions. Incidence increases dramatically with age, with nearly 60 percent of taxpayers age 59 to 69 and nearly 85 percent of taxpayers age 70 or older receiving non-rollover distributions. Among taxpayers 59 or older with distributions, non-rollover distributions average $20,000 per person. Overall, taxpayers age 59 or older received 80 percent of the dollars distributed through non-rollovers."

Peter J. Brady and Steven Bass, via SSRN

Can Low Retirement Savings Be Rationalized?

"[C]onstant consumption with age is only optimal under the precise and unlikely condition that the subjective rate of time preference is equal to the real interest rate. Most people exhibit a positive rate of pure time preference and additionally discount the future by both mortality and morbidity risks. In comparison, the real interest rate is roughly zero percent and the term structure of interest rates suggests that this condition is likely to persist. These considerations suggest that optimal consumption in the life cycle model declines with age. This finding has major implications for optimal retirement saving."

National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]; purchase required for full document

FAS87 ASC715 Discount Rates and Moody's Rates, February 28, 2020

An unofficial monthly report of the Moody"s Daily Long-term Corporate Bond Yield Averages and Moody"s Daily Treasury Yield Averages (used as benchmarks by some corporate pension plans).

David Rigby, via BenefitsLink Message Boards

403(b) Sales Practices in Question

"When your vendor(s) and/or their competitors are being formally investigated, ... it is prudent to identify if and how the potential areas of concern could negatively affect your plan and your participants.... Conducting a participant survey can help you identify potential areas of weakness with your current vendor(s).... [M]any vendors do not offer fee reductions to their long-term clients, even as they are offering better pricing to their new clients."



Plan Participants Benefit in Pension Risk Transfer Agreements

"Corporate pension plans are governed by federal law, while insurance and annuities fall under state regulation. Surely, the critics complain, the hard-earned retirement benefits of America's workers are safer with Washington as the cop on the beat.... Actually, they are not. The state regulatory system that oversees annuities and the life insurers that issue them impose a higher level of regulatory and solvency scrutiny than the federal regulations governing pension plans."

Pensions & Investments


How Much Can I Afford to Spend in Retirement?

"[These] free planning tools and processes made available here.... employ basic actuarial and financial economics theory by using the theoretical cost of inflation-adjusted annuities to derive our default assumptions for the cost of lifetime retirement income.... [The authors] believe the expected lifetime income from retirement accounts communicated to participants should be expressed in inflation-adjusted dollars, just like Social Security income."

Ken Steiner, FSA Retired

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Is the 2020 ADP Refund Deadline March 13? 15? 16?

"Which date is the actual final date to make the refund sans penalty? Also... Folks gonna be mad with their refunds with the market correction."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Deadline for Making Requested Distribution

"What with a current downturn in the market, how long can a plan sponsor wait to distribute assets, having received completed distribution forms, including 30-day waiver (for a pooled account)?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

12/31/2019 Deferrals Were Remitted Late -- Use 2019 Version of Form 5530? Or 2020 Version?

"We have a company that did not remit its 12/31/2019 deferrals on time. Using the 7-business day rule, they were due 1/10/20. So do I use a 2020 Form 5330? Can I use a 2019 form? They had 2 other late payrolls during the middle of 2019, so I'm filing a 2019 form anyway."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

AES International is Certified for Fiduciary Excellence
Centre for Fiduciary Excellence [CEFEX]

ProCourse Acquires Valeo’s Qualified Plan Practice
ProCourse Fiduciary Advisors, LLC

Upcoming Events About Retirement Plans or Executive Compensation

Mar. 3
Navigating Change in an Evolving Government Retirement Industry
CBIZ, Inc.
Mar. 4
Understanding Earned Income
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA]
Mar. 4
IRA and HSA Seminar
Mar. 4
District of Columbia
Modernizing the DC / 401(k) Plan System
ERIC [ERISA Industry Committee]
Mar. 4
Controlled Group Liability and Successor Employer Rules After PBGC v. Findlay Industries Inc.
Mar. 4
What To Do When Culture Sucks
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Greater Cincinnati Chapter
Mar. 5
Open MEP/PEP Strategies: Answers to Your Pressing Questions
Faegre Drinker
Mar. 6
Discussion of Sulyma v. Intel Decision
ERIC [ERISA Industry Committee]

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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