Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 4, 2020

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Job Openings

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Alerus Financial
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White Plains NY

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Denver CO

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Nova 401(k) Associates
Houston TX / Telecommute

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Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]
Atlanta GA / Telecommute

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Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]
Washington DC / Telecommute

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Webcasts, Conferences

SECURE Act Implications for 401(k) Plans
RECORDED
Williams Mullen

Monetizing the SECURE Act
March 11, 2020 WEBCAST
Pentegra Retirement Services

Regional Benefits Forum
April 3, 2020 in SC
Southeast Benefits Education Network [SBEN]

Emergency Savings: Employer Perspectives and Solutions
April 8, 2020 WEBCAST
EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute]

►See 133 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1468 Recorded Webcasts


Discussions

New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum


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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issue Snapshot: Failure to Timely Distribute Assets on Plan Termination

This Snapshot discusses types of plan terminations, effect of failure to distribute assets "as soon as administratively feasible" after plan termination, and tips for auditors examining plan terminations.

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

The 2020 Must-Do List for Qualified Retirement Plans

"[1] 403(b) plan restatement deadline ... [2] Defined benefit plan restatement deadline ... [3] Cash balance plan determination letter application window ... [4] Updated mortality rates applicable to defined benefit plans ... [5] Required hardship distribution change ... [6] The SECURE Act."

Trucker Huss

[Guidance Overview]

SECURE Act: New Part-Time Eligibility Rules for 401(k) Plans

"Under the new rules, long-term, part-time employees who work at least 500 hours in three consecutive years (and have attained age 21) must be allowed to participate in 401(k) plans. The addition of part-time eligibility does not nullify the 1,000 hours per year rule. It also does not require matching requirements by employers for any level of employee participant."

Husch Blackwell

Supreme Court Interprets the Statute of Limitations for ERISA Cases: What Is the Meaning of 'Actual Knowledge'?

"Employers can longer rely on comprehensive disclosures of plan investments and fees to shorten the ERISA statute of limitations. This will lead to expensive discovery, including depositions of every plaintiff, to learn whether they have read and comprehended the disclosures from the plan.... It will also further complicate class action certification for cases that fall in second half of the six-year statute of limitations." [Intel Corp. Investment Policy Comm. v. Sulyma, No. 18-1116 (S. Ct. Feb. 26, 2020)]

Euclid Specialty Managers

Supreme Court's Sulyma Decision Lays Out Roadmap for Employers and Fiduciaries

"[F]iduciaries may take steps to prove actual knowledge. This may include obtaining proof of paper or electronic delivery, or tracking the extent to which plan participants access their plan-related disclosures online. Plan fiduciaries also might consider adding disclosures to plan websites and requiring participants to review them. For example, if a plan's investment lineup changes, participants who log into the website to review their balance or change an election might be required to open and scroll through a disclosure that describes the plan's updated lineup, then click a button indicating that they have read and understood the disclosure." [Intel Corp. Investment Policy Comm. v. Sulyma, No. 18-1116 (S. Ct. Feb. 26, 2020)]

Morgan Lewis

Supreme Court Resolves Circuit Split Over ERISA's Statute of Limitations for Fiduciary Breaches

"Fiduciaries can create a record documenting that participants received specific information and acknowledged that such information was read.... [W]ith favorable factual records, summary judgment still may be possible.... What is required to prove that a participant purposely ignored ERISA-mandated disclosures remains to be determined.... The Supreme Court's ruling may make class certification more difficult for plaintiffs in fiduciary breach cases." [Intel Corp. Investment Policy Comm. v. Sulyma, No. 18-1116 (S. Ct. Feb. 26, 2020)]

Faegre Drinker

Fidelity Wins Dismissal from ERISA Claims Based on 'Infrastructure' Fees

"The District Court's ruling ... represents another in a string of victories for recordkeepers that have successfully argued that the act of assembling a platform of investment options from which plan sponsors can select plan investments is not a fiduciary act. The Court's analysis and reasoning did not reach one of the key issues of interest to the regulated community -- namely, whether Fidelity had properly disclosed the infrastructure fees in compliance with regulations issued under ERISA section 408(b)(2)." [In re Fidelity ERISA Fee Litigation, No. 19-10335 (D. Mass. Feb. 14, 2020)]   

Groom Law Group

The Latest in Stable Value Fund Litigation

"The plaintiffs in these cases typically allege that the insurance companies ... effectively decide the amount of compensation that the insurance company receives. If that allegation were found to be true, plaintiffs argue, it would be tantamount to the insurance company exercising authority or control respecting management or disposition of the plan's assets -- which would render the insurer a fiduciary of the plan. And if a fiduciary deals with a plan's assets in its own interest or for its own account, it breaches its fiduciary duties and engages in a transaction prohibited by ERISA. The results in some of these recent cases appear ... to be at odds with one another."

Trucker Huss

'$20 Billion Club' Sees Record Plunge in Contributions for 2019, While Both Assets and Liabilities Peak Again

"Contributions to large pension plans plunged in 2019, nearly matching their lowest point in the past 15 years. Russell Investments began tracking a group of 20 publicly listed U.S. corporations with pension liabilities in excess of $20 billion in 2005. Dubbed the $20 billion club, these large plans saw contributions in 2019 similar to 2008 amid the global financial crisis. This year's analysis also reveals assets experienced a significant increase in 2019, rising 9.6% on average over the year."

Russell Investments

February 2020 Pension Finance Update

"Pension pain intensified in February, as stock markets and interest rates tumbled last month.... Plan A lost more than 5%, ending the month almost 10% lower than at the end of 2019, while Plan B slipped 2% and is now down 3% for the year[.]"

October Three Consulting

Editor's Pick The SECURE Act: Avoiding the 10-Year Rule for Conduit Trusts

"[A]dvisors can start by taking a comprehensive inventory of all clients with trusts as retirement account beneficiaries and identifying those that are Conduit Trusts ... The next step involves identifying all Income Beneficiaries of Conduit Trusts to assess whether the trust can still 'stretch' distributions (e.g., is the Income Beneficiary an Eligible Designation Beneficiary? If there is there more than one, are any Income Beneficiaries Non-Eligible Designated Beneficiaries?). Advisors should then proactively review with clients the implications of the 10-Year Rule on their estate planning strategies."

Nerd's Eye View

[Opinion]

Modernizing the DC/401(k) Plan System (PDF)

21 pages. "This paper details proposed legislative and regulatory changes for defined contribution plans to: [1] Reflect changes in workforce demographics and plan designs; [2] Promote retirement savings through comprehensive financial well-being; [3] Improve plan management and administration; [4] Enhance retirement outcomes by modernizing distributions options."

The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC]

[Opinion]

Will We Get a New DOL Fiduciary Rule?

"[T]he [DOL] has included the proposal of a new fiduciary rule on its Regulatory Agenda. The Agenda indicated that it would be issued in December of last year.... [T]he later a final regulation emerges in the last year of a term of a Presidential Administration, the more risk exists that circumstances may permit the next Administration to undo their work."

FredReish.com

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Ready to Expand Your Clawback Policy? Not So Fast

"Before modifying their clawback policies, [companies should] ... ensure that their clawback policies are implemented in concert with other corporate policies and arrangements and in a manner that is consistent with their intentions: [1] Catalog all corporate polices and arrangements in which clawback provisions exist.... [2] Consider the interaction of the company's 'Cause' definition with applicable clawback triggers.... [3] Consider whether the clawback provisions should include severance already paid.... [4] Consider limiting the application of clawback policies, depending on employee level and pertinent triggers."

Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Plan's Rights Upon Termination of TPA

"Reviewing prior TPA contract. There is a 45-day notification requirement to terminate. What rights does TPA firm have to provide billable services in that time period even though Plan does not want them?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Hardship Distribution Due to Eviction That Has Occurred Already

"Participant is living in her car due to being evicted last week. The plan uses the IRS safe harbor hardship standards which list a hardship may be taken to 'prevent eviction or foreclosure.' Is there a way for the participant to qualify for a hardship on account of an eviction that has occurred already? She received a court order of eviction for a date in the past -- last month -- but she's just now applying for the hardship distribution. Of course, now she does not have rent, but she needs money to live!"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Upcoming Events About Retirement Plans or Executive Compensation

Mar. 5
Webcast
Free
Open MEP/PEP Strategies: Answers to Your Pressing Questions
Faegre Drinker
Mar. 6
Webcast
Discussion of Sulyma v. Intel Decision
ERIC [ERISA Industry Committee]
Mar. 10
Florida
That 401(k) National Conference
Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C.
Mar. 10
Webcast
Free
Litigation Lessons and Minimizing Risks
Trucker Huss
Mar. 11
Webcast
SECURE Act and Other Proposed Changes to RMDs
American Society of Enrolled Actuaries [ASEA]
Mar. 11
Webcast
Developing Discount Rates in Public Sector Pension Valuation Webinar
Conference of Consulting Actuaries
Mar. 11
Webcast
Free
Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: Retirement and Health Plan Sponsors - Day 1
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor
Mar. 11
Webcast
Free
Monetizing the SECURE Act
Pentegra Retirement Services
Mar. 11
Texas
Harnessing Technology to Improve the Benefits Administration Experience
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Houston Chapter

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

IRS Confirms Review of Changes to VCP Enforcement, Audit Process
National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

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Lois Baker, J.D., President  loisbaker@benefitslink.com
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

Article submission: Online form, or email to news.editor@benefitslink.com

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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