Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 9, 2020

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Valley Stream NY / Telecommute

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Ascensus
San Diego CA / Indianapolis IN

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Ascensus
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Ascensus
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Ascensus
Indianapolis IN

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[Official Guidance]

PBGC Updates Forms and Filing Modules Affected by Recent Corrections and Clarifications

"Most of the forms, instructions, and modules of PBGC's e-filing portal affected by the Miscellaneous Corrections, Clarifications, and Improvements Final Rule have been updated ... and are now available for use -- including: [1] Reportable Events -- Forms 10 and 10-Advance and related instructions and the corresponding part of PBGC's e-filing portal ... [2] Financial and Actuarial Information Reporting (4010 Filings) -- The 4010 module of PBGC's e-filing portal and the summary of 4010 filing requirements (i.e., the illustrative form, instructions and screen shots) ... [3] The 2020 Comprehensive Premium Filing Instructions (Note: MyPAA is now ready to accept electronic premium filings for plan years beginning in 2020).... The parts of the Standard Termination Filing Instructions where the post-distribution certification requirements are described will be updated in the near future."

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Official Guidance]

Text of GASB Exposure Draft: Certain Component Unit Criteria, and Accounting and Financial Reporting for Internal Revenue Code Section 457 Deferred Compensation Plans (PDF)

38 pages. "This proposed Statement would require that for purposes of determining whether a primary government is financially accountable for a potential component unit, except for a potential component unit that is a defined contribution pension plan, a defined contribution OPEB plan, or an other employee benefit plan (for example, a Section 457 plan to which only employees contribute), the absence of a governing board should be treated the same as the appointment of a voting majority of a governing board if the primary government performs the duties that a governing board typically performs.... In addition, this proposed Statement would require that all accounting and financial reporting requirements relevant to pension plans be applied to Section 457 plans that meet the definition of a pension plan. Similarly, this proposed Statement would specify that all accounting and financial reporting requirements relevant to pensions be applied to benefits provided through Section 457 plans that meet the definition of a pension plan."

Governmental Accounting Standards Board [GASB]

Recent Developments in the Voluntary Compliance Program: What You Need to Know

"Sponsors of plans considering new VCP submissions need to take this potential shift into account when making strategic decisions about whether and how to file a VCP submission (vs. for example use of self-correction), must be prepared to timely respond to IRS requests for additional information, which often means anticipating possible follow-up requests, and must be prepared to take into account the risk of being unable to resolve a submission."

Sullivan & Worcester

CenturyLink Prevails in Fiduciary Breach Lawsuit

"The participants sued in December 2017, alleging that the 401(k) plan fiduciaries violated their duties under ERISA by offering a large cap domestic stock fund that was a poor performer and by failing to prudently monitor the fund to make improvements." [Birse v. CenturyLink, Inc., No. 17-2872 (D. Colo. Mar. 5, 2020)]

Pensions & Investments

Only 'Actual' Knowledge of Disclosure Triggers Three-Year Limitations Period for ERISA Fiduciary Breach

"The opinion leaves room for plan fiduciaries to argue that evidence of a plaintiff/participant's 'willful blindness' to disclosures supports a finding of 'actual' knowledge.... Dissemination of disclosures should be tracked, with acknowledgments sought where appropriate, to confirm plan participants are reading and comprehending such information. When considering challenges to class certification, fiduciaries may find utility in highlighting the individualized nature of probing the 'actual' knowledge of plaintiff/participants." [Intel Corp. Investment Policy Comm. v. Sulyma, No. 18-1116 (S. Ct. Feb. 26, 2020)]

Stradley Ronon

Court Ruling on Intel's DC Plan Sparks Trepidation

"One immediate impact could mean more lawsuits in the circuits where courts have until now upheld the shorter time frame.... The next practical steps for sponsors to consider are how to ensure that participants are not only receiving, but also understanding and accepting the information.... Another question to be addressed when the lower court decides the substantive claims of the Intel case is whether the risk of litigation has spooked sponsors away from offering alternative investments in their defined contribution plans, an area where Intel had been seen as an innovator, until the lawsuit." [Intel Corp. Investment Policy Comm. v. Sulyma, No. 18-1116 (S. Ct. Feb. 26, 2020)]

Pensions & Investments

Is Your Pension Plan Prepared for Unexpected Market Events?

"As a best practice, the use of LDI strategies are encouraged to abate risk. In fact, a review of the funded statuses of [one group of plans who employs] recommended LDI strategies -- each customized for their plan's needs -- shows that they are faring well in the wake of the recent market turmoil."

MassMutual

A Down-Market Survival Guide for Retirees

"[If] you know that your liquid assets, combined with any income you have coming in the door through Social Security or a pension, are sufficient to meet your living expenses, you're much more likely to sit tight even as your long-term investments fluctuate. Without such a cushion, it might be tempting to switch your long-term investments into a defensive posture, which you could regret when stocks begin to recover.... [T]ake a closer look at your spending rate and consider making adjustments in very weak market environments.... Identify tax-saving opportunities.... Find other ways to trim investment-related costs.... Step away from the action."

Morningstar

Options to Reduce Unfunded Retirement Liabilities of the Post Office Retirement Funds (PDF)

27 pages. "Changing the mortality-improvement assumptions used by the OPM to calculate the RHB liability, to better reflect developments post-2010, could reduce the Postal Service's unfunded RHB liability by about $4.2 billion.... [By] investing future employee and Postal Service retirement contributions in diversified portfolios of stocks, bonds, and other assets, the unfunded Postal Service pension and RHB liabilities could effectively be reduced by increasing returns on its three retirement funds. Based on projected payments into CSRS, FERS, and RHB, comparing six diversified portfolios against the current investment strategy, we found that each of the six would likely improve funding levels over 20 years."

Office of Inspector General, United States Postal Service [USPS]

What Is a 403(b) and How Does It Work?

"[The authors describe] how much is too much to be paying to have your investment money in a 403(b). [They] also take a look at what your options are if your current plan has you paying too much [and] lay out a few questions you should ask before doing a 403(b) with any provider."

Clark Howard Inc.

[Opinion]

Making the Fiduciary Case for Annuities

"No-load annuity product development represents a step in the right direction toward enabling fiduciary advisors to weave together an investing framework that includes protected lifetime income."

WealthManagement.com

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Disaster Relief Announcement TN-2020-01, for Tennessee Victims of Severe Storms, Tornadoes and Flooding

"The President has declared that a major disaster occurred in the State of Tennessee.... Individuals and households who reside or have a business in Davidson, Putnam and Wilson counties may qualify for tax relief.... [C]ertain deadlines falling on or after March 3, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, are granted additional time to file through July 15, 2020."

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

2020 Benefits Update (PDF)

44 presentation slides. Topics: [1] Retirement plan changes under the SECURE Act; [2] New rules for e-delivery of ERISA documents and notices; and [3] Update on ACA repeal and CalSavers.

E is for ERISA

Coronavirus and Benefit Plan Offerings

"Overall, while action at a [retirement] plan level (as opposed to an investor level) may be unwarranted, taking action to review investment options offered in the plan (with experts, as appropriate) -- and documenting that review -- is of paramount importance from an ERISA fiduciary perspective.... For those [health] plans with self-insured coverage, it may be important to vet what, if any changes, could be warranted and accommodated by carriers/TPAs to get employees access to a test and when available, a vaccine."

Michael Best

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Participant Makes Maximum Deferrals to 401(k) at Work But Also Has SEP for Moonlighting Income

"Participant has maxed out on his 401(k) at his employer, but he also has a side business where he has a SEP. I don't believe that he can put any employee money into the SEP, but even if he's hitting the $56k between the combination of deferrals and employer contributions under the 401(k), he also could maximize an employer contribution under the SEP, right ($56k)?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Corporate Contributions to DC Plans -- Deadline Issues

"[1] We know corporate contributions now due 15th of 4th month (04/15 for calendar year). Does this apply to both S Corps and C corps? [2] Does extension now extend them to 10/15? [3] We have plan with fiscal YE 05/31/19. This means we file 2018 version of 5500s. I can't find anything that tells me when that contribution is due -- would it be 02/15/20 (old rules) or 03/15/20 (new rules)? [4] Exactly when was this change effective?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Upcoming Events About Retirement Plans or Executive Compensation

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
Mar. 12
Webcast
Free
Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: Retirement and Health Plan Sponsors - Day 2
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor
Mar. 12
Webcast
Free
Proving Prudence & Participant Loyalty: A Plan Committee Defends Itself
fi360
Mar. 12
Ohio
Annual Legal & Regulatory Update
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Northeast Ohio Chapter
Mar. 15
Nevada
Mid-Sized Retirement & Healthcare Plan Management Conference
University Conference Services
Mar. 16
Texas
IRA Seminar
Ascensus
Mar. 16
Webcast
ERISA Plan Investments in the Financial Markets 2020: The Fundamentals
Practising Law Institute

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

2020 Guide to Retirement (PDF)
J.P. Morgan Asset Management

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Lois Baker, J.D., President  loisbaker@benefitslink.com
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
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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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