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June 18, 2020 logo logo
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Webcasts, Conferences

Emergency Savings - Are we Re-Learning Lessons or Have we Reached its Limits?
Aspen Institute

New Proposed Section 4960 Regulations: What Tax-Exempt Employers Need to Know
July 7, 2020 WEBCAST
American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group [ALI CLE]

Current Developments in Employment Law - Part A
July 22, 2020 WEBCAST
American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group [ALI CLE]

Current Developments in Employment Law - Part B
July 23, 2020 WEBCAST
American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group [ALI CLE]

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View COVID-19 News and Resources

[Guidance Overview]

CARES Act: Special Distributions to Qualified Individuals

"The CARES Act includes a provision that can help participants who are affected by the coronavirus by permitting them to take a special coronavirus-related distribution (CRD) this year.... [A] chart compares the CRD to other 'distributable events.' "

Faegre Drinker


ASC Live Webcast: Pros & Cons of Auto Enrollment & More!

Sponsored by ASC

In this 2-hour webcast, John P. Griffin J.D., LL.M. discusses the viability of automatic enrollment plans (including ACAs, EACAs and QACAs) from the perspective of employers and service providers. Register Now! Learn more

[Guidance Overview]

New Electronic Disclosure Rules

"[T]he 2002 safe harbor applies to retirement plans and welfare benefit plans, while the 2020 safe harbor only applies to retirement plans. Therefore, a plan administrator may find it simpler to continue using the 2002 safe harbor for certain retirement plan disclosures that have been historically distributed together with many of the same welfare benefit plan disclosures."


[Guidance Overview]

What Savings and Retirement Plans May and Must Do to Facilitate COVID-19 Loan Relief

"Plan administrators may permit participants and beneficiaries to access their own plan benefits to address their cash-flow problems without adverse tax consequences with more favorable plan loan policies.... Loan repayment relief and loan percentage increases will provide more vital COVID-19 relief than maximum loan amount increases because most plan accounts are substantially below the current $50,000 loan maximum."

Albert Feuer, in Tax Management Memorandum, via SSRN

[Guidance Overview]

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 29

"[If] there is any doubt about the SEC's expectations for the care required in making rollover recommendations, [a June 15 statement by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton] should make it clear that, under Reg BI, those expectations are heightened.... [T]he statement specifically mentions the CRDs (coronavirus related distributions) in the CARES Act. That suggests that the SEC has received reports of questionable activity related to those types of distributions and will be looking at them more closely."

[Guidance Overview]

Private Equity in 401(k) Plans -- a Trillion Dollar Opportunity?

"As of 31 December 2019, employer-sponsored defined contribution retirement plans held approximately $8.9 trillion ... While the DOL's letter does not open the door to direct access to Private Market Investments by 401(k) plan participants, it does provide a framework for the expanded use of private equity and ... other types of Private Market Investments in managed asset allocation funds such as target date funds."

K&L Gates


Meet O3 Edge - A New Prospecting Solution for Retirement Plan Advisors

Access deep insights from over 700,000 U.S. retirement plans & filter by what matters. Review results with retirement plan professionals to easily identify the right plans for you. O3 Edge uncovers powerful new ways to bring value to your prospects. Learn more

Sponsored by October Three

2020 U.S. Retirement Plan Participant Satisfaction Study

"Just 27% of retirement plan participants say they have accessed professional financial advice related to their plan, and 29% are either unaware of whether such advice is available or perceive that it is not available to them.... [C]ommunication satisfaction scores are 70 points higher when participants receive a personal communication via their retirement plan provider's mobile app than when they receive a traditional email. However, just 15% of retirement plan participants indicate having received this type of digital communication."

J.D. Power

403(b) Plan Sponsors: Are Your Part Time Employees 'In OR Out' -- or 'In AND Out?'

"Part-time workers and transient workers have always posed a challenge for plan sponsors trying to determine retirement plan eligibility. For 403(b) plans, universal availability rules and the related ability to exclude employees that work less than 20 hours a week added a layer of complications, especially when employees teetered over and under the threshold from one year to the next."

Belfint Lyons Shuman

COVID-19 Pension Related Impacts: Line of Duty Benefits

"A safety net of benefits covers governmental employees who become injured or die as a result of illness or injury sustained on the job.... In extraordinary situations, existing programs have been altered to accommodate new or emerging events.... Considerations for employers (and possibly pension trustees) considering this possibility include: Who to include? ... Who qualifies? ... Precedents and duration."


Pension Risk Transfer: Plan Terminations, Buyouts, Lift-Outs, and Buy-Ins

"Pension deficits tended to get bigger in the low interest rate environments that have typified the last decade -- or if the original plan didn't sufficiently take into account the increasing longevity of the participants; the plan lacked the expertise or efficiency to manage the investments and administration; or the plan sponsor lacked the profits to sufficiently fund it. What is the best way for a company to transfer pension risk, and how does a CFO know which route to take? There is no one-size-fits-all answer."


Retirement Assets Total $28.7 Trillion in First Quarter 2020

"Total US retirement assets were $28.7 trillion as of March 31, 2020, down 11.9 percent from December 31, 2019. Retirement assets accounted for 33 percent of all household financial assets in the United States at the end of March 2020.... Defined contribution (DC) plan assets were $7.9 trillion at the end of the first quarter, down 12.3 percent from December 31, 2019. Government defined benefit (DB) plans ... held $5.9 trillion in assets as of the end of March 2020, an 11.1 percent decrease from the end of December 2019."

Investment Company Institute [ICI]

Retirement Benefits for Adjunct Faculty

"The vast majority of U.S. colleges and universities let all or some adjunct faculty defer salary into a sponsored retirement savings plan. Adjunct eligibility for plan participation is usually not contingent upon a minimum teaching load or a previous service requirement. Plan-eligible adjuncts are generally not auto-enrolled in the plan. Contributions by plan-eligible adjuncts -- typically at a threshold employment level -- are matched by 37% of institutions and 60% of systems."

TIAA Institute


How to Improve Retirement Plans for Teachers and Other Public Servants

"The Public Service Retirement Fairness Act [HR 6257]... would allow 403(b) plans to invest in collective investment trusts.... Introducing CITs into these plans will not fix everything in the 403(b) market.... CITs can offer a significant benefit to workers saving for retirement through reduced expenses.... The bill could be enhanced by adding additional participant safeguards."


Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

M&A Considerations Raised by CARES Act

"Financial assistance and other relief provided to employers under the [CARES Act] will have a short- and long-term impact on employee benefit plans in mergers and acquisitions. The chart [in this article] highlights some considerations buyers and sellers should consider in addressing potential 'pop-up' liabilities and/or other issues relating to the CARES Act in transactions."

Morgan Lewis

Pandemic Considerations for Employee Benefit Plan Financial Statements

"Many preparers and auditors are working from home and unable to go to the office to handle or review documents. The economic fallout from the pandemic has led to cash flow problems for plan sponsors resulting in layoffs of employees and even bankruptcy proceedings. Meanwhile, the [CARES Act] has led to changes that affect plans, including penalty-free withdrawals and delays of sponsors' deadlines to make contributions for 2019. Here are some things to keep in mind related to employee benefit plan financial statements amid the pandemic."

Journal of Accountancy

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Effect of Uncashed Distribution Check During Claim Appeal

"Client completed paperwork to received lump sum distribution based on benefit estimate. By the time the paperwork was processed and check was issued, IRS issued new interest rates used to calculate lump sum. Plan sponsor applied new interest rates, resulting in lower distribution than shown on benefit estimate.  What effect, if any, does the fact that he went through the process to request a distribution and received a check but did not deposit it have on his right to start over with the distribution process and request a new distribution based on the new interest rates?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Adding Safe Harbor NEC Per SECURE Act

"Plan wants to add a SH NEC via the SECURE Act provisions. This gives them ADP SH but not ACP. The plan typically only passes ACP using borrowing. Can they still borrow from the ADP if it is SH? Also, testing method was prior; I assume they should amend to current for the ACP portion?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Discontinue Safe Harbor Match, Start a Non-Elective Safe Harbor?

"If a plan discontinues the safe harbor match midyear due to financial downturn, can they amend before the year to a safe harbor non-elective (as permitted under the SECURE Act)? The information that I have from when the CARES Act first came out was that this was not permitted, but again, there have been so many updates I just want to be sure this is still a 'No'."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Controlled Group Here? Lotsa Attribution

"Company A is owned 45% Husband, 45% Wife, 10% adult child. Company B is owned 100% by adult child. If I attribute the mom's ownership to the adult child, then adult child owns more than 50%, and then is attributed Dad's ownership, and therefore is considered the 100% owner of Company A? Adult child than has 100% common ownership and 100% identical ownership, so Company A and Company B are a controlled group?"

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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue, Inc.
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Winter Park, Florida 32789
(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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