Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 28, 2020

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Newly Posted
Webcasts, Conferences

An Introduction to the Fiduciary Standard and Fiduciary Principles
RECORDED
fi360

Going Viral: Vaccinate Your Employee Benefits Plans Against the Impacts of COVID-19
April 30, 2020 WEBCAST
Hall Benefits Law

Managing through the Crisis: Litigation Risk Considerations for Plan Sponsors
May 11, 2020 WEBCAST
Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association [DCIIA]

32nd Annual Real Property, Trust & Estate Law National CLE Conference
May 14, 2020 WEBCAST
American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law

Retirement Plan Fiduciary Training
May 19, 2020 WEBCAST
Wagner Law Group P.C.

►See All 154 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See All 1529 Recorded Webcasts


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View Coronavirus (COVID-19) News and Resources

[Guidance Overview]

Plans Can Allow Higher Loan Amounts, But Should They?

"[A] quirk in the CARES Act provisions regarding COVID-19 loans [is] giving plan sponsors a reason to pause.... [W]hile the CARES Act allows an increase in the loan limits for borrowers who qualify for a COVID-19 loan ($100,000 or 100% of a participant's vested account balance, if less), it did not extend the repayment terms. Thus, the loan must be repaid over a five-year period, unless used to acquire a primary residence."

Cammack Retirement Group

Approving QDROs During Court and Government Office Closures

"A plan administrator could choose to adhere to its QDRO procedures that require a certified order. But doing so has the potential to hold up payment of benefits to participants and alternate payees for an indeterminate period.... Two simple alternatives include representations from the parties -- the attorneys or the participant and alternate payee themselves -- and an independent verification by the plan administrator."

Morgan Lewis

How Can 401(k) Plan Sponsors Better Shield Participants From External Fraud?

"[P]lan sponsors need to increase their sensitivity when it comes to using emails. They can't (and shouldn't) unnecessarily restrict the use of this efficient communications tool, but they do need to be more aware of its potential weakness.... [J]ust as plan sponsors have adopted an employee education policy for investing in their 401k plans, so might they develop similar tactics when it comes to teaching participants how to better protect their retirement assets."

Fiduciary News

40% of Single Employer DB Plan Clients Defer Contributions Under the CARES Act

"In the first general survey of defined benefit (DB) pension plan sponsor actions under the [CARES Act], Milliman consultants report that in 40% of their clients' DB plans, cash contributions that would have been due on April 15, 2020 ... were deferred. The due date was extended to January 1, 2021, under the CARES Act."

Milliman Retirement Town Hall

Can We Pay Plan-Related Expenses Out of Plan Assets?

"Most plan documents allow for the payment of eligible expenses directly from participant accounts ... [T]he next decision to consider is how you will allocate the expenses to participants, keeping in mind that you must do so in a manner that is consistent and does not discriminate against the non-highly compensated employees.... So long as your plan document allows, or is amended to allow, there is generally no compliance issue with shifting to having the plan pay expenses during the current period of economic uncertainty. Similarly, when the economic environment rebounds, you're able to change again."

DWC

Editor's Pick 403(b) Plans: Fee Litigation Update

"The 403(b) Retirement Plan Litigation Status Chart [in this article] provides detailed information on each case.... The claims in these lawsuits cover a broad range of topics and issues. However, most are focused on the fees charged and investments used in retirement plans."

Cammack Retirement Group

Consumers Baffled by Annuities

"[O]nly 1 in 4 consumers can correctly answer at least 7 out of 10 annuity-related questions. In addition, more than 40% answered 'not sure' to each of the 10 questions.... [O]nly 1 in 4 consumers understood that annuities could be purchased with money saved in workplace retirement plans, such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans."

LIMRA

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Current Executive Comp Issues: Considerations Resulting from Market Volatility and the Unknown (PDF)

"[1] Consider retention packages to address depressed realizable pay levels ... [2] Consider addressing outstanding performance-based equity awards ... [3] Considerations with respect to upcoming grants ... [4] Consider compensatory changes to increase cash flow ... [5] Revisit stock ownership policy requirements ... [6] Does it make sense to consider a secular trust for deferred compensation ... [7] Modifying or terminating a 10b5-1 trading plan."

Hunton Andrews Kurth

IRS Provides Limited COVID-19 Relief for Section 83(b) Elections

"A limited extension, until July 15, 2020, is available for ... Section 83(b) elections otherwise due on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. It will be especially important for taxpayers making such an election to keep records of the filing and evidence of timely mailing."

Williams Mullen

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

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5307 Applications and COVID-19 Closures

"Most IRS offices are closed. I have a few DB plans for which we will need to file a Form 5307 application. The IRS website says they 'continue to process determinations for employees plans,' but it's not entirely clear what that means. (https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-operations-during-covid-19-mission-critical-functions-continue) Obviously, I will push the application submission dates off as far as possible, but does anyone know if U.S. Mail and/or FedEx/UPS packages are currently being delivered/accepted?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Partial Plan Termination During 2020 Despite Rehiring the Furloughed Employees Before Year-End?

"Have an employer who terminated 35% of participants. If this coronavirus situation improves by November, they may hire half of the terminees back. This is a plan year determination so we don't need to determine whether a partial plan termination has occurred until after 12/31/2020. Because most former employees will want their distributions immediately, though. How are other plan administrators planning to handle this?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Relief Measures for Safe Harbor Match Plans?

"Have any relief measures been put into place for Safe Harbor Match Plans that are also Top Heavy? Company is looking for ways to manage their costs during this time."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Late Forms 5500 Have Been Filed But DOL's Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program Was Not Used

"New client had not been filing Forms 5500 for many years. Previous service provider prepared and filed 5 years' worth of Forms 5500 but not through the DOL's Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program. Client has now received notices from IRS wanting lots of money. Has anyone been successful going through that program after the IRS has become involved?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

DOL Obtains Consent Order and Judgment to Remove Fiduciaries from Cleveland, Ohio, Retirement Plan
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

COVID-19 Withdrawals: Why Plans Shouldn't Allow Them
Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants

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Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 644-4146

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

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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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