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July 20, 2020 logo logo
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Job Openings

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Lebanon NJ

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Telecommute / Encino CA

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Newly Posted
Webcasts, Conferences

ERISA Fiduciary Institute Series - Part 1: Introduction to Fiduciary Governance
American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

July 2020 American Savings Education Council Meeting
July 20, 2020 WEBCAST
EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute]

Meeting Plan Participants Emotional Needs During COVID-19
July 23, 2020 WEBCAST
The Segal Group

Furloughs and Layoffs: Pension and Health Plan Issues and Other Critical Legal Implications
July 30, 2020 WEBCAST

Closed Plan Rules under the SECURE Act
August 12, 2020 WEBCAST
American Society of Enrolled Actuaries [ASEA]

415 Case Studies
August 18, 2020 WEBCAST
American Society of Enrolled Actuaries [ASEA]

►See All 128 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See All 1577 Recorded Webcasts


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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues Guidance for Mid-Year Reduction/Suspension of Safe Harbor Contributions

"This relief from the notice requirements does not apply to a plan amendment which reduces or suspends safe harbor matching contributions. That type of amendment would still need to provide a 30-day advance notice and an election opportunity before the reduction or suspension could take effect. The guidance and relief provided under Notice 2020-52 [also] applies to 403(b) plans that use the 401(m) safe harbor rules."


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Proposes Rule Restricting ESG Investing

"Although the Proposed Rule does not discard the 'all things being equal' test, for the first time, the DOL is clearly shifting the burden of proof to ERISA fiduciaries making ESG investments in reliance on this test. Plan fiduciaries would be required to document any occurrences where such a tie is purported to exist, including the basis for determining that no distinguishing factor could be found between the competing investments and why the investment was chosen based on the purposes of the plan, diversification of investments, and the interests of the plan participants and beneficiaries.... [T]he DOL has expressed a high degree of skepticism that such 'ties' will actually prove to exist when scrutinized."

Paul Hastings LLP

Biogen Inc. Faces ERISA Challenge Over Funds, Fees

"While not the smallest to face an excessive fee lawsuit in recent years, Biogen's defined contribution plan held less than $1 billion at the start of the proposed class period.... The plaintiffs ... say the defendants did not try to use the plan's bargaining power to reduce expenses. They also suggest plan fiduciaries failed to exercise appropriate judgment to scrutinize each investment option that was offered in the plan, to ensure it was prudent in terms of cost and performance." [Covington v. Biogen Inc., No. 20-11325 (D. Mass. complaint filed Jul. 14, 2020)]


The CARES Act: an Update on Distribution Activity and Its Impact (PDF)

11 pages. "Of the participants offered the option, 1.9% withdrew assets from their retirement plan through CARES Act provisions through May 31, 2020. The median distribution amount was $10,413, and participants withdrew, on average, 60% of their account balance."


House Bill Would Extend, Expand Tax Benefits for CRDs

"Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) has introduced HR 7645, legislation that would extend the time period for taxpayers to withdraw coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs) from retirement savings arrangements and receive the special tax benefits that CRDs provide. Certain withdrawals could be tax-free under the legislation."



Plan Advisor Checklist: Identifying the Best Retirement Plan Prospects

Retirement plan prospecting can be difficult. Successful advisors are targeted and focused on bringing new ideas to clients and prospects. Use this checklist to define your target audience, identify meaningful opportunities and communicate your value. Learn more

Sponsored by October Three

Beyond the 4% Rule: How Much Can You Spend in Retirement?

"While the 4% rule is a reasonable place to start, it doesn't fit every investor's situation. A few caveats: [1] It's a rigid rule.... [2] [It] applies to a hypothetical portfolio invested 50% in stocks and 50% in bonds.... [3] It uses historical market returns.... [4] It assumes a 30-year time horizon.... [5] It includes a very high level of confidence that your portfolio will last for a 30-year period."

Charles Schwab

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

When Are RSUs 'Deferred Compensation' for FICA Purposes?

"How short-term deferral is defined for this purpose is significant because many awards vest December 31 and settle early in the next year. [Generic Legal Advice Memorandum No. AM 2020-004] would mean the FICA point is in the first year, not the year of payment. The lag method under the 3121(v)(2) regulation would allow remission of the FICA tax in year two, but the income amount will be based on the FMV at December 31, increased with interest, not the FMV at the time the employer initiates the transfer in year two. As a result, the income inclusion and FICA amounts are almost guaranteed to be different."

Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

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Jointly Owned Cannabis Companies -- 401(k) Plan for Store's Plan but Not for Grower's Plan?

"Employer has 2 companies. One company grows cannabis and makes cannabis products. The other company sells the products. I was told that a 401k plan could be set up for the store but not for the company that produces the product. I can't seem to find anything on this topic. Has anyone else had this scenario?"

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
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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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