Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 16, 2020 logo logo
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Webcasts, Conferences

Best Practices For Changing Recordkeepers
March 19, 2020 WEBCAST
Western Pension & Benefits Council - Orange County Chapter

SECURE Act: New Opportunities for Plan Sponsors and Participants
March 26, 2020 WEBCAST
Williams Mullen

►See 106 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues 2020 Cumulative List of Changes for Preapproved DB Plans

"The list identifies the changes in the qualification requirements that IRS will consider when reviewing plan documents for the third remedial amendment cycle. Preapproved plan providers may submit their plans for review starting Aug. 1.... Third remedial cycle starts soon.... 2020 list contains eight years' worth of changes.... SECURE Act provisions excluded from review.... Employers still have time to adopt second-cycle plans."


Reminders About 403(b) Plans and Hardship Distributions

"March 31 is the deadline for correcting 403(b) plan document language ... Operational compliance with hardship distribution rules for 401(k) and 403(b) plans is required now."

Segal Consulting

Managing Turmoil: Tips for DC Plan Sponsors

"While recordkeepers have implemented business continuity plans for hurricanes and fires, those disasters have been localized. Plan sponsors should look to understand how business continuity will be managed from a national perspective:"


Viewing Stable Value with 2020 Vision

"Stable value investments in defined contribution (DC) plans are increasing amid growing demand for retirement income solutions. The capital preservation feature of this investment vehicle can be a useful building block in retirement portfolios.... [S]table value, which is only accessible through DC plans, will be critical as the industry and regulatory landscape evolves."

T. Rowe Price

The De-Risking Decision in 2020 (PDF)

"Since 2012, the interest rates ... have moved between highs of around 4.5% and lows of around 3.5%. Sponsors will want to consider whether current rates simply represent the (particularly low) bottom of that 3.5%-4.5% range, in which case 2020 de-risking is going to look (relatively) expensive. Or whether they represent a 'new normal,' in which case the cost of 2020 de-risking maybe 'average.' "

Northern Trust

SunTrust ERISA Litigation Draws to a Close

"The underlying lawsuit -- which boasts a procedural history dating back to 2008 -- alleges that SunTrust Bank's 401(k) plan engaged in corporate self-dealing at the expense of plan participants.... SunTrust will establish a $29 million settlement account that will be distributed to the class and used to pay the sizable attorneys' fees of nearly $10 million." [Fuller v. SunTrust Banks, No. 11-784 (N.D. Ga. Oct. 3, 2019; settlement agreement Mar. 11, 2020)]


Benefits in General

Cybersecurity Concerns for Work-From-Home Policies (PDF)

"Ensuring that appropriate technical and administrative safeguards are in place prior to launching wide-scale work-from-home programs is critical to ensuring the safety of your network and data. [This article outlines] considerations that businesses should take into account when implementing work from home programs."

Jenner & Block

Employee Benefits Questions and Answers Related to COVID-19

"[1] Is an employer health plan required to provide testing for and treatment of COVID-19 without a deductible or at a reduced cost? ... [2] Can an employer amend its high deductible health plan (HDHP) to allow testing for and treatment of COVID-19 without a deductible or with a deductible below the current required minimums?... [3] Can employers allow changes to employee elections under their Code section 125 cafeteria plans to reflect changes in circumstances due to COVID-19? ... [4] Can employees receive a loan or hardship distribution from their 401(k) or other defined-contribution retirement plans on account of expenses related to COViD-19?... [5] Can an employer establish catastrophic leave-sharing or disaster leave-sharing programs to allow employees to assist one another with COVID-19 situations?... [6] If [a governmental] employer extends additional benefits to employees or retirees, is there an issue of 'gift of public funds'?"

Hanson Bridgett LLP

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

The Impact of COVID-19 on Incentive Compensation

"The COVID-19 outbreak has had a swift and volatile impact on business operations and the financial markets. Because this is occurring simultaneously with the annual incentive award cycle of many companies, immediately at issue is how companies will address incentive setting and employee retention in this rapidly changing environment. This memorandum discusses the key considerations for companies and their boards as they navigate common waters in uncommon times."

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

How Does the 415 Limit Work with a Combination of 401(a) and 457 Plans?

"I need help understanding how the 415 limits work with multiple plans. We are a local governmental entity. We have a 457 plan and a 401a plan. We have a participant that defers the max allowed to his 457 plan account ($19,500) and catch-up ($6,500). I know that the catch-up is not taken into account with the 415 limit ($57,000). Does that mean that the $57,000 limit is imposed on the 457 deferrals and any contributions he receives under the 401a plan?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Safe Harbor Plan Can Change Formula Mid-Year?

"Can a safe harbor plan change their formula during the plan year, specifically the basic matching formula to the 3% non elective?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

CEO Receives 1099 Compensation -- Effect on Testing?

"401(k) PS plan. Sponsor is an S Corp. The plan's definition of comp is W-2 (wages, tips and other compensation on Form W-2). CEO of the company receives 1099 comp and is treated as an outside consultant. The CEO does not participate in the plan. I would think the CEO does not need to be included in the testing because he has not received W-2 comp from the company. Agree?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Merge 401(k) Plan into SIMPLE IRA Plan?

"Can a 401(k) be merged into a SIMPLE IRA Plan? I know one can roll over a 401(k) into a SIMPLE IRA, but I cannot find topics on plan mergers."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

Upcoming Events About Retirement Plans or Executive Compensation

Mar. 17
Impact of the SECURE Act on Retirement Income Adequacy
EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute]
Mar. 17
Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: Retirement and Health Plan Sponsors - Day 3
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor
Mar. 17
ERISA Litigation Recent Hot Issues
Western Pension & Benefits Council
Mar. 18
FAQs on the SECURE Act
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA]
Mar. 18
Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor
Mar. 18
Multiemployer Pension Plan Withdrawal: An In-Depth Examination
Mar. 19
Basics of Qualified Retirement Plans: Session 4
Mar. 19
The Importance of Prudently Monitoring Target Date Funds
Multnomah Group
Mar. 19
PECA Welcomes the DOL - Back by Popular Demand
Pension Education Council of Atlanta [PECA]
Mar. 19
Best Practices For Changing Recordkeepers
Western Pension & Benefits Council - Orange County Chapter

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Coronavirus Issues for Employee Benefit Plans
Thompson Hine, via Bloomberg Law

ERISA Advisory Council Report: Voluntary Transfers of Uncashed Checks from ERISA Plans to State Unclaimed Property Programs (PDF)
Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL], 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

Article submission: Online form, or email to

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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